During a typical IPL photofacial treatment, each pulse will be overlapped ~30% (each treated area). For spot treatments, a small mask can be used to direct the energy at specific areas. It's hard to comment on the protocol you received without knowing the indications, the specific laser used, and your skin, but it does not sound like a typical IPL treatment.
I'm not sure what you were having done? Were you having your full face treated with an IPL Photofacial? If so, the average number of pulses my office does for a full face photofacial is around 300. Yes, that's a lot, but we fully overlap pulses, we do multiple passes, and we get great results. This is why many patients who come to my office who have had other IPL procedures elsewhere say, "THAT is not the same procedure I had done before." And I say, "Yes, I know. That's why we get great results and why it takes about 45 minutes for us to do a treatment - not 10!"
"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot
be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person
treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."
I am not sure I am understanding your question. Protocol varies depending on the laser used, but usually pulses are spaced out during treatment for cooling. Over heating the skin increases risk for complications. In most cases that treatment area is fully treated 1-2 passes and sometimes certain areas will be spot treated as well.