We all know the saying “If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

But what do we really do when the heat is on?

It might be about coping strategies for extreme heat as we have experienced almost everywhere this summer.

Or it might be about finding ways of staying with, and working through, intense situations for a client in therapy.

Sometimes, it is right to acknowledge boundaries and refer a client on when we find ourselves in a situation beyond our means and level of expertise or competency.

Not long after I qualified, I referred on a client who had sat down in front of me and spilled out exactly my ex-partner's story.  It was much too much for me at the time.

Sometimes, it's important to engage in some additional supervision sessions to support our clinical work when the going is tough.

When one of my clients committed suicide, I definitely needed some additional supervision sessions to work through that process.

Sometimes, it's essential to acknowledge our own process and its impact on clinical work and take appropriate time-out.

I took a whole year out of training between my second and final years in order to manage the impact of a very difficult divorce process.

And sometimes, it's about re-arranging appointments away from the heat of the day, or buying an additional fan for the therapy room.

Whatever the element of heat, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, we need to find a way of working with it and through it.

Nobody wants a washed-out, exhausted therapist.

Most of the time, it's about finding structure, routine and developing both inner and external support systems and resources to enable ourselves to manage the heat when it arrives.

So...take the holiday;  use an ice pack;  book that supervision session;  and most of all,  remember to breathe and take your time in finding a way through that will prepare you for the next time the heat is on.