T-1 agreed to our first socially distanced mental health therapy appointment. We have had two such sessions with T-3.
T-1 had many concerns and objections that were voiced to us. Spouse was not thrilled with this level of sharing. Spouse worried about how much T-1’s objections were stressing us out. We accepted the specific objections and concerns because then we knew what was alive for T-1 and so could empathize and have a better chance of connecting.
This was the whole point of wanting in-person therapy: Telehealth does not feel connective to us. The life energy of the connection is more present for us in person, even at a social distance.
If you think about it, how far away from your Therapist are you usually? We are typically a “social distance” away.
Given the boundary concerns that have arisen in our therapeutic relationships, social distance therapy is actually offering some teaching for us.
T-1’s concerns seemed to fall under “what T-1 cannot control.” That is not meant to imply a “control issue.” We think T-1’s concerns mostly regard keeping us (the client) safe, protecting the therapeutic relationship, and then T-1 has concerns about business and person reputation that factor in.
We meet for about 35 minutes. We didn’t pay attention to time, but T-1 has to travel to meet us and then travel again to see additional Telehealth clients. T-1 changed our meeting day and time (with our consent) to lower T’s anxiety about meeting in person.
Still, during the meeting, T-1 seemed stressed. T-1 does not feel any more connected in person versus Telehealth. We do feel more connected in person. We did not benefit much from the appointment because T-1 appeared so uncomfortable and, again, shared what was alive in T-1, which was stress and discomfort and worry.
We did not feel very comfortable and so did not share what we wanted therapy about (reality versus delusion, reassurance seeking behaviors/OCD).
We entered the session with T-1 inviting us both to email about the experience and decide what to do next.
We emailed first, the next day, and thanked T-1, reiterated our affinity for in-person, distanced therapy, expressing our hopes that our meetings could evolve so that T-1 was more comfortable, and starting that is T-1 would be so stressed again that we would not want to contribute in-person therapy.
It was not a threat. Just what was alive in us.
T-1 agreed that it could evolve to be less stressful and the only time would tell. We are ostensibly going to try in-person socially distanced therapy again. Every other week at the most frequent for now.
Scheduling is a challenge. T-3 has committed to in-person socially distanced therapy once per week. The day, however, is not set. We are taking our week-by-week. T-1 is very scheduled and wants to know things ahead of time. We have to figure out how to balance all three of our needs. And we are asking T-2 to try in-person socially distanced therapy in case T-1 decides to stop.
T-3 sessions are beneficial, effective. T-3 is rolling with the circumstances and we feel at ease. We were able to cry at the last season, which relieved a lot of pressure we were holding.
If T-3 can commit to a regularly scheduled appointment, we would feel less pressure. It does not sound like this is going to happen soon. So we will just roll with it. Practice patience, etc. We feel gratitude that these healers are trying to help us. And with in-person socially distanced therapy, we can’t try to hug them, so we get to practice holding a boundary.
If it has changed, how is your health care going?