Many of us will have experienced those moments of collapse.  You might call them “crumple zones” or “meltdown” or perhaps a few other unprintable words....

But whatever we call them, sometimes, just sometimes, there are those moments when something happens out of the blue that gets right inside us, and something inside falls to pieces, even if temporarily.

At other times, we may have managed to survive a whole series of big, significant, even disastrous events, only to find that something very small happens that reduces us to tears or a sense of feeling completely overwhelmed.

In the online Certificate in Humanistic Counselling, there are a number of exercises that require us to engage with reflecting on our own inner and external support systems.  On who we are inside when things get tough.  On our boundaries and ways of responding, managing, finding help etc.

As I write this England has just been placed in lockdown...again.

Now I was managing reasonably OK with previous events.

At the time of writing I have not had covid, for which I am very grateful.

I have not been furloughed from my work.  Well, I am self employed, so those who are self-employed cannot be furloughed obviously.  I have some continuing contracts and some continuing income, for which I am very grateful.

But right now, I am experiencing one of those what I call “meltdown moments”.

And that’s OK.  It’s very understandable.  And it’s OK to not be OK.

But those moments do bring us face to face with ourselves.

As therapists, we may find that we connect significantly with a client story.  Or we may feel challenged over some specific element of process that we struggle to work through for ourselves.

Or it might “simply” be that we have reached overload for whatever reason and need to take time out.

In whatever therapeutic work we are engaged in, it’s essential firstly to develop our own inner support systems, and secondly to ensure we have some appropriate external support systems as well.

So, right now, for me, that means an increased level of phone, zoom, skype contact with friends and family.  It means taking a breather from a significant part of my client work.  And it means being courageous enough to timetable my own needs into my diary and schedule that just as much as any work agendas, meetings etc.

What do you need to do for your own personal support in those meltdown moments?