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Tack or Turtle - Correction or Crisis is it worth waiting to seek help?



If you're not in the sailing world you may not know that Tack and Turtle are nautical terms. Tack means to change course by turning a boats course into and through the wind.

Turtling is when a boat is upside down with its mast pointing towards the bottom.


Often in my practice clients/couples contact me for support when they are at the point of capsize or have already turtled. Sometimes this is unavoidable when trauma or the unexpected hits. Sadly however there is still a huge stigma around seeking support through talking therapy:(


What are the benefits of 'waiting' until it becomes a crisis? Are there any benefits? Tough question as a psychotherapist because I'm biased obviously :) However there are times that the rise in emotional reaction or situation out of the blue can look better 24hrs later because emotions peak and trough naturally. Waiting for these emotions to reduce will also allow our prefrontal cortex (rational/decision making) part of our brain to re-engage, and so better decisions are made.


That said it has absolutely been my experience that some of the best therapeutic work is done in the place of non-crisis. This isn't to say that counselling isn't effective in managing and working through crisis, however the depth of work 'root finding' is better achieved when the nervous system isn't in sympathetic (fight or flight) mode.


The benefits of (good) counselling are far reaching ie gain self awareness skills, emotional literacy, emotional management skills, relationship/communication skills, personal growth, goal setting, creative expression of emotion skills. In my case some scientific info regarding our emotional world, greater access to our somatic world (body work), having someone you trust to aid in negotiating a difficult situation etc etc. If we have access to this in the NON CRISIS times we are often in a much healthier place mentally and emotionally to deal with the CRISIS TIMES or even AVOID THE CRISIS ALTOGETHER.


How great would it be if we could 'turn the tide' of STIGMA towards investment in our mental health in times its most effective.



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