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advice on psychoanalytic psychotherapy for tired working mum with little free time

(5 Posts)
SaveMeTheWaltz Fri 19-Jun-15 08:29:38

I've just started having psychoanalytic psychotherapy (fourth session today, currently just attending once per week but will be doing two per week after the summer hols). I'n not sure if it is right for me at this point in my life, but because of the process itself, but because of the amount of time it takes up. I work full time (flexible hours, so can attend therapy during the working day but need to make up the hours at another time). I have a three year old DD who doesn't need much sleep (will happily go to sleep at 9pm and be up at 5 fresh as a daisy). So between work and DD I am basically very time deprived and constantly knackered.

I started looking for therapy as I lost my second DD at birth just over a year ago. I saw an NHS bereavement councillor three times, who on the third session told me that I obviously didn't need her help, so I started looking into private therapy. I'm starting to resent the fact that the time I am spending on this could be used for sleep or work or exercise or time with DD.

Has anyone else managed to stick with psychoanalytic psychotherapy when working full time with young children? Am I just making my life harder than it is by trying to pursue this at this moment in time?

applecatchers36 Fri 19-Jun-15 08:54:49

Hi Save so sorry to hear of the loss of your second DD. I guess my question would be why do you want to pursue private therapy? Bereavement is of course a natural process and doesn't necessarily mean you need to see a therapist. I work with Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists, they tend to work with people for a longer time frame, is my understanding. Do you want something briefer, more time limited? I think Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) uses A Psychoanalytic approach but offers a time limited briefer intervention, if that is the approach you like. I also wonder about peer support through a charity like sands or something similar.

Also think about timing, maybe now is not the right time for you, you have a 3 year old DD, full time job and maybe you want to spend your time with her and your family and you can always explore Psychotherapy at a later stage if that is still something you want to explore in future.

The sleep deprivation is a killer, I think these light mornings don't help with the early risers.

Take care x

NotAJammyDodger Sat 20-Jun-15 08:44:58

Hi Saveme I am 2.5 years into weekly psychodynamic therapy. I work full time and have 5year old. I really value it, and it has helped me enormously.

That said, I accept that it is a necessary cost for me to maintain my mental health and, a bit like going to the gym regularly, I need to allocate time for it. I don't think I'm being self-endulgent. Everyone has their 'me-time' and an hour (or two a week) is hardly being selfish to my family.

I guess the only thing to consider is whether you want a more brief therapy intervention. Psychoanalysis is a long term therapy, usually a minimum of two years. May I ask whether you have tried any other forms of therapy / why you opted for psychoanalysis?

SaveMeTheWaltz Sun 21-Jun-15 14:33:49

Hi applecatchers and notajammydodger, thanks for replying.

I'm pursuing private therapy because that is the only help available! I also had a missed miscarriage after losing DD2, which really plunged me into a bit of a pit of despair, and I felt as if I needed some help to climb out of it (although by the time I had managed to arrange the private therapy I had managed to recover a little). I've always had an academic / intellectual interest in psychoanalysis (I work in a humanities department, so constantly drawing on Freud, Lacan etc for research and teaching), and thought that it made sense to pursue that interest as part of the recovery process. I'm not sure if that is a good enough reason for pursuing it though, especially when I am so time-challenged.

I feel a bit exhausted at the thought of seeking out alternative forms of therapy! All I know is that I don't want anything offering 'coping strategies' - I am an excellent 'coper', most people probably think that I am fine, its the deeper, private, psychological aspect of my loss that I am struggling with.

Thanks for listening to me, it helps to be able to think things through in writing on here.

NotAJammyDodger Sun 21-Jun-15 19:48:13

Hi Saveme I certainty found that psychodynamic therapy helps me with the deeper stuff. I found transactional analysis (TA) very helpful as well.

CBT and other, as you nicely termed coping strategies ,did not work for me personally.

The only other thing I would mention is that it is very important to find a therapist that works for you. Longer term therapy is heavily invested on establishing a sound therapeutic relationship. Without this the therapy won't be (as) effective. Therapy may be painful but the therapist should not be.

Here whenever you want to chat if it helps. Best wishes.

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