Transcript of 47th Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, July 15, 1997 at 4 pm.

Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor Balis. Happy anniversary!
Dr. Balis: Oh, happy anniversary, Sylvia. It's precisely a year to the day that we started our sessions together.
Ms. Bows: I know. It's unbelievable to me. God, a whole year...oh, I'm sorry that I'm so late again. I know that I've been doing a lot of it lately. But with boys, and the job, and the's just been so hard orchestrating my life and having time to make everyone happy. You understand, don't you, Doctor Balis?
Dr. Balis: I do. I actually meant to talk to you about that. I can see how hard it is for you to squirrel away time for our sessions from your very busy schedule. Would you be interested in reducing the number of sessions to...let's see, maybe one or two visits a month?
Ms. Bows: Doctor!
Dr. Balis: I'm not raising this issue because I'm not interested in seeing you anymore, Sylvia. I just want to make sure that our arrangement works for you. In our year together, we've solved all the original issues that you came to see me for last July.
Ms. Bows: But, Doctor...
Dr. Balis: I know stuff happens all the time--Beverly, the family, work. But there will always be something. And I would love to talk to you about things that go on in your life, things that bother you, events that concern you. But your time seems to be very tight right now. Instead of feeling guilty for being late to a session on top of feeling guilty about leaving work early and not getting home soon enough, why don't we cut down on the number of sessions?
Ms. Bows: I guess that makes some sense. It's just that I've grown so used to having you.
Dr. Balis: You'll still have me.
Ms. Bows: But not as much. I don't know, Doctor. I'll think about it, okay?
Dr. Balis: Good. Now, what would you like to dedicate our anniversary session to?
Ms. Bows: Sex.
Dr. Balis: Sex?
Ms. Bows: Well, actually the lack of it.
Dr. Balis: Are you and Tom experiencing problems again?
Ms. Bows: It's not so much Tom as it is me. I just feel completely run down. I get up early in the morning and deal with the boys--which even with Tom's and our nanny's help can be a handful. Then I rush to get dressed and to get to the office by no later than nine-thirty. When I get to work, I'm literally assaulted by a mob of people needing my attention and expecting decisions so that they can meet their dead-lines. I wrestle my way out by about five-thirty, unless I'm coming over to see you that day. When I get home, I barely have enough time to rip my shirt off, and Grant and Roald settle in for about half an hour of intense breast-feeding. Then somehow dinner happens. And before I know it, it's time to put the boys down for the night. Part of the bed time ritual is bath and mommy time. By ten, Grant and Roald are out cold. And, I have to say, I'm not far behind them. But I still need to do some work to catch up on the previous day's work. When I hit the bed, all I want is sleep. And even when my mind and spirit is willing, my body is too dead to respond to Tom sexually.
Dr. Balis: How many times a week do you actually manage to make love to Tom?
Ms. Bows: I don't really know. I think it might be once. Sometimes, twice. And each time I have to force myself into it. And, Doctor, please believe me that I love Tom and find him extremely attractive. I always watch when he undresses at night--I still get a little thrill seeing him naked. And I have sexual fantasies about him all the time. So it's not that. It's this feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.
Dr. Balis: Have you talked to Tom about this?
Ms. Bows: I'm not keeping it a secret. I have nothing to hide. I tell Tom the truth--I'm tired.
Dr. Balis: And how does Tom react?
Ms. Bows: He's disappointed. He hasn't accused me of anything, although...
Dr. Balis: What?
Ms. Bows: I was thinking about it from his point of view. Here I am always telling him how I'm just too tired to make love to him.
Dr. Balis: He believes you that you are?
Ms. Bows: Yes. But he must also think about all those times, just a few short months ago, when I was brimming over with energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to do it with everybody else. Sure, I have no time or energy for him now. But nine months ago, I was fucking three to four guys a week several times a day. See?
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Tom is very understanding. But somehow I don't think the comparison has escaped him. I know he must think about it. And when I think about it, I feel angry for Tom. He didn't get a fair deal. If I were him, I'd be upset.
Dr. Balis: It seems to me that you're projecting a lot of feelings onto Tom that he might not actually have. He's never talked to you about all that, has he? This is all from your imagination, right?
Ms. Bows: Yes, but we sort of developed a code of silence when it comes to my sexual escapades of that time. Bringing it up, and particularly under these circumstances, would be in very bad taste. And I believe it could damage our relationship. I know that Tom feels the same way, for he has never even hinted about that since we got back together.
Dr. Balis: I'm not suggesting that you rehash that issue with Tom. Actually, you're problem isn't primarily sexual--it has more to do with the physical and temporal demands in your life right now. I know I suggested it before, but I really think that getting away for a while with Tom and the boys would be very beneficial--free yourself from the concerns from work or your extended family. The rest would do you a lot of good and it would certainly improve your relationship with Tom.
Ms. Bows: So I should schedule time to go away and fuck my husband's brains out. Is that it?
Dr. Balis: Crudely put, perhaps, but I believe that he would like that. And I think you'd like that too. Bring a nanny. Bring two nannies. Arrange to spend some quality time alone with Tom.
Ms. Bows: God, that sounds so good. But what about work?
Dr. Balis: They've managed without you before. And you don't have to be gone for a long time. At this point, a few days would be good--a long weekend, perhaps. And, maybe, you can even make your get-away weekends with Tom a regular thing.
Ms. Bows: Hmm.
Dr. Balis: Okay, we're out of time for today, Sylvia. Please think about what I said, including the part about reducing the number of our sessions to one or two a month. Okay?
Ms. Bows: Okay, Doctor Balis. I'll see you next week?
Dr. Balis: If you insist.
Ms. Bows: Well, you didn't mean to start now, did you?
Dr. Balis: I guess not. I'll see you next week, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Thank you. Goodbye, Doctor Balis.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
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