Friday, 7 November 2008
Things Didn't Go According To Plan This Morning
Even though I was exceedingly anxious this morning when I set out for the hospital for my regular psychotherapy session I was determined to have another good session. I was going to try and start talking as soon as we were seated. I knew what I wanted to tell my psychotherapist about. I was going to start with my meeting with There and Back last weekend, and move on to something that I am going to be doing next Wednesday evening which is a totally new experience for me (well new in as much as I haven't done it for a very long time).
I walked to the bus stop and didn't have long to wait before the bus I wanted arrived at the stop and I boarded it. As has been the case for many months now, there are huge stretches of road being dug up for the water mains replacement programme, so buses are on a diversion at the moment. But that is not all, because the road onto which they are diverted also has one lane out of action for these road works, the bus has to stop at traffic lights that are controlling the single alternate lane working, the lights are at the bottom of a very steep hill and the bus can barely make it up the hill.
Anyway, I was sitting comfortably on the bus indulging in my usual habit of looking out of the window to see what was happening on the route, when I suddenly became aware that my mobile was ringing in my handbag. You will understand how unusual this is when I say that there are ony a handful of people who know the number so I don't usually expect it to ring: the phone is really for emergencies. I scrabbled around in my handbag and managed to grab the phone and open it before the caller had rung off. It was somebody from the hospital phoning to tell me that my psychotherapy session had to be cancelled because my psychotherapist wouldn't be in because he had an emergency at home. They had hoped to catch me before I left home, but I left a little earlier this morning because I knew that there were likely to be delays because of the buses being on diversion.
So I got off the bus, crossed the road and walked to the bus stop to get a bus back home again. Having coped with pterodactyl-sized butterflies in my stomach this morning, to suddenly find that I was not going to have the psychotherapy session that I had prepared myself for left me feeling very low and fighting away the tears. This seemed such a strange reaction but I suppose that because I am now truly engaging in the therapy, to suddenly find that I was not going to have that opportunity to talk things through as I had planned left me feeling a little bereft.
I had started to write this post when a comment on this morning's post came in for moderation. It was from 'alhi' from Random Musings from a Wannabe who felt that I had changed since she had been reading my blog and that she was considering seeking referral to a psychologist again. There have been a number of comments over the last couple of weeks from people who say that they can see a difference in my posts; and I, too, have said that psychotherapy was definitely beginning to make a difference to me.
Psychotherapy is not easy. It requires a great deal of commitment on the part of the patient and depending on the type of psychotherapy that is offered, can require a significant amount of work outside of the therapy sessions. Treatment such as the type that I am receiving (psychodynamic psychotherapy) is not readily available on the NHS. For many people the only thing that they will be offered is a short period of CBT (cognitive-behaviour therapy), but it was felt that this would be of no use to me as it would not get to the source of my problems.
Evidence shows that the so-called 'talking treatments' can make a significant difference to those with mental health problems. For some, such treatment is sufficient in itself to help them over their problems. They are, however, the minority. For many others it is a combination of drugs and psychotherapy that makes the difference, and I am one of those. After taking various different antidepressants for 10 years, I have finally found a regime that is actually helping to make a difference to how I feel. The problem is that the psychotherapy is likely to be time-limited. Okay, so I wasn't only offered a meagre eight weeks of therapy, which is often the norm, but I know that I am likely to find that my psychotherapy comes to an end in a few months time and that this will happen whether or not I have reached a suitable place for cessation of therapy. It will happen because the resources (that is suitably qualified psychotherapists) are not available for the number of patients that require the treatment. What worries me is having my therapy stopped before I am ready to cope with all that the world will throw at me.