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About Me

 

Welcome!

Let me tell you a bit about myself…

I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where I lived for the first 25 years of my life. As you can probably tell by my name, it sounds very German! I am the descendant of a German great-grandfather who moved to Guatemala in the early 1900’s. So I have influence of both Latin American and German styles of thinking, feeling and being (you will see what I mean when you meet me and spend some time with me!).

The German/European influence is probably what brought me back to Europe in 2006. I have lived in the South of England, in many towns, doing many jobs, since then.

I am now settled  in Brighton and Hove, which I love – I have access to the countryside, the city, the sea, and a melting pot of cultures and activities. This is where I have started my journey into Counselling Private Practice, as well as delving deeper into my love of languages and teaching – Spanish, English, Psychology, Counselling/Psychotherapy.

I really enjoy everything that I do, and I never do anything or continue doing something that I don’t enjoy and might cause me unhappiness or frustration. Of course I will see it through to the end and complete what I’ve started.

I don’t think I will ever get unhappy or frustrated with Counselling or Teaching, there is always something new to learn from books, training, but more importantly from my clients themselves.

It is such an honour to be allowed into people’s worlds and be there for the realisations – sometimes good, sometimes not so good – about themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, and see lasting change happen – gradually – so they can continue a happier, healthier life, with a more robust approach to challenges and whatever else life might bring.

I hope this allowed you to get to know me a bit better…do contact me if you want to know more or are looking for a Counsellor, Supervisor, Spanish/English Teacher!

 

In Supervision: Scaife’s theory of supervision

In Supervision


Welcome to this week’s In Supervision post. This post will look at Scaife’s theory of supervision, specifically focusing on the responsibilities of each of the parties involved.

Scaife considers the client’s responsibilities as well as the supervisee/therapist and the supervisor. We will now look at each one individually.


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The client’s responsibilities, when they come to see me or another therapist, are to be motivated to change and to work hard to get to a better place in life. The decision to change is with the client. There might need to be an ongoing assessment of this motivation and whether the client is stuck in the process or what is going on for them in the therapeutic relationship.

Both supervisee and supervisor must be aware of this in order to figure out how to best help each client, and how to help the supervisee develop and work successfully in light of arising difficulties.


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The therapist/supervisee’s responsibilities are both towards the clients and the supervisory relationship itself.

Regarding his/her clients, the supervisee must make the therapeutic space one that facilitates trust, honesty and openness on the part of the client, in order to effect change. The therapist must also ensure they are acting within ethical and professional boundaries, which includes attending regular supervision and continuous professional development activities (seminars, conferences, reading books, doing research, amongst others).

Regarding his/her supervision process and supervisor, the supervisee must remember that they are just as responsible for this process as is their supervisor. They must also identify what their learning outcomes are and be prepared for supervision so time is used effectively.

The supervisee learns as they develop as a therapist, about differences between themselves and others, especially their clients – cultural, religious, ethnic, gender, disability and sexuality differences. An awareness of how the employer – if in an organisation – affects their practice is also relevant, as policies and procedures might affect the freedom with which the counsellor works, and influences the supervisory relationship.

Another responsibility of the supervisee is to be open in communicating their arising feelings and thoughts about their practice, their clients and their supervisor, including the reactions to a variety of arising situations with the client and the supervisor, and how they usually deal with them.

Challenging the supervisor in regards to boundaries and contract issues is also important. Assessing whether the supervisee is still at trainee level or has moved up to a more consultative relationship with their supervisor is also important – otherwise the supervisee might feel undermined and this might affect the supervisory relationship and possibly their motivation and their relationship with clients.

Discuss what is helpful and what is unhelpful about supervision, be humble enough to accept errors and learn from them, as well as be able to transfer what’s learned in supervision into practice with clients.


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All of these are the responsibilities of the supervisee, which will be worked on as a team with the supervisor. But added to these, the supervisor’s responsibilities also include a duty of care towards the client, the supervisee and the profession by promoting and teaching the standards and ethical framework of their professional body and the policies and procedures if working for and organisation.

The supervisor’s role is to safeguard both the supervisee and the supervisor, and part of this might be to question the supervisee’s capacity to work with clients or with a particular client, at a particular point in time. Supervisors, according to Scaife, have a gatekeeping function.

Depending on the level of development of the supervisee, the supervisor will help them determine what the best way to act is with a particular client or situation. The supervisor will also facilitate the supervisee’s ability to use the space as a learning environment and also as a space to develop their practice.

Finally, contracting and keeping track of the relationship and any problems or positive things that might arise and need discussing with the supervisee.

Scaife’s theory reinforces what has been discussed in previous models, but looks at it from a completely different perspective – that of responsibility. I find it very interesting but also very important that the client is given responsibility for their therapeutic process, as it is up to them how much they disclose to their therapist and how fast or slow the work is, and it is up to the therapist to know how much they can challenge or pull back a bit, depending on where the client is in their process. And finally it is up to the supervisor to determine whether that particular therapeutic relationship is being good for both supervisee and client, or whether something needs to be changed in the way the supervisee interacts with their client.


Reference:

Scaife, J. (2013). Supervision in Clinical Practice: A Practitioner’s Guide. Routledge. 19 Dec 2013. Psychology.


I hold a Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby.I offer Clinical Supervision to qualified counsellors, and support during the course for trainee counsellors. (1


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En Terapia: ¿Qué hacer con los debería de y tengo que?

In Therapy- Working Through...


Bienvenidos a esta edición de la serie “En Terapia”.

Esta semana quiero hablar de un tema que me causa problemas y que quisiera desafiar.


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¿Alguna vez te has preguntado por qué tenemos ciertas reglas no escritas, las cuales la sociedad nos pide que sigamos?

  • Esto es lo que la sociedad espera
  • Naces, vas a la escuela, vas a la universidad (un año sabático es impensable, ¿Para qué perder el tiempo?), obtener un trabajo y quedarse en el mismo para siempre, incluso si te sientes miserable en él, casarte, comprar una casa, tener hijos, jubilarte, cuidar a tus nietos y luego morir (esperemos que sea una muerte pacífica).
  • Debes ser perfecto
  • Debes obtener altas calificaciones en todos tus exámenes y cursos
  • Debes cuidar de otros y no ser egoísta
  • Debes tener hijos

Estos son los llamados “imperativos categóricos”, los cuales son ideas irreales y muy generalizadas sobre cómo alguien debería vivir su vida.

Bueno, y ¿qué pasa con nosotros que nos sentimos inclinados de manera natural a no encajar dentro de estas expectativas de la sociedad?

¿Qué pasa con los que queremos algo diferente que no se encuentra descrito dentro de la lista anterior?

¿Acaso se convierte en una mala mujer, aquella que decide no tener hijos?

¿Acaso una persona es menos exitosa, porque no tiene su casa propia?

¿Acaso una persona merece luchar en un trabajo que no disfrute, tan solo porque lo correcto es mantener su trabajo, sin importar nada más?


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Yo soy una defensora de que la gente se rebele y que encuentre sus propios caminos en la vida. Eso es lo que he hecho en mi vida, y a pesar de que ha habido altos y bajos – ¿quién no pasa por altibajos en la vida? – he disfrutado el viaje más de lo que lo hubiese hecho si me hubiera conformado con un trabajo “tradicional” que pague mejor.

“Podrías estar ganando más dinero haciendo este o aquel trabajo” fue lo que alguien me dijo una vez. ¿Mi respuesta? “Seguro que estaría ganando más dinero, pero perdería el deseo de vivir trabajando en una oficina, en un trabajo que vagamente se relacione con lo que estudié y que es lo que me apasiona.”

Algo que también escucho es “¿Porqué aun no tienes tu propia casa?” – bueno, para empezar es caro, y eso no es una prioridad real en mi vida. Me gusta donde vivo, y cuando sea el momento, veremos opciones al respecto, pero por ahora no es algo por lo que me vaya a estresar. Yo no tengo que tener una casa, yo no debería tener que buscar comprar una casa si ¡yo no quiero hacerlo!

Esto me trae al siguiente punto…


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Podríamos replantearnos algunos de esos imperativos que la sociedad nos impone, pensando en preguntas que nos liberen, para poder tomar la elección que mejor nos funcione a nosotros como individuos. Podemos dejar la decisión tomada por alguien que no nos conoce en el mundo. Por gente que ha decidido que esa es la forma de vivir que mas nos conviene. La forma en que todo tiene que ser y que debe de continuar y terminar.

Veamos la lista a continuación:

Nacer – no tenemos mayor elección aquí, ¡así que saquemos lo mejor de la vida!

Ir a la escuela – esto es algo de lo que no podemos librarnos, y deberíamos de escuchar a nuestros padres en esta fase – esto es algo que vale la pena terminar, y aquí es donde hacemos nuestros primeros amigos, tenemos nuestras primeras experiencias sociales, y es la única cosa que algunos de nosotros tomamos de la escuela, ¡y eso está bien por mí!

Ir a la universidad – en algunos países, ir a la universidad es más una necesidad que un lujo, pero incluso en esos casos, existen alternativas, como la formación de aprendizajes o aprender un comercio. Algunas personas fruncirán las cejas con esto, pero esta es una cosa importante que recordar:

Ellos no están viviendo tu vida, así que ¡no importa si ellos fruncen el ceño o sonríen por tus decisiones!

Ni si quiera pensar en un año sabático – ¿Por qué no? Hay muchas cosas que alguien puede aprender cuando se va a otro lugar para ser un voluntariado o solo a viajar por el mundo. Podría ser la mejor cosa a realizar, para aprender a conocerte a ti mismo, y para definir lo que quieres hacer con tu vida.

Conseguir un trabajo y quedarse en este para siempre – ¿por qué? ¿Por qué? ¿Por qué? Por quéee!? Si no estoy feliz, entonces no seguiré allí y planificaré mi salida. Consigue un nuevo trabajo que se ajuste a tu vida de mejor manera y da el aviso. No hay nada malo con seguir tu instinto y encontrar qué es lo correcto para ti.

Además, ¿quién dice que necesitas un trabajo para toda tu vida? ¿Qué pasaría si decides ir por el emprendimiento o el auto-empleo como yo lo hice? Poco convencional, pero ¡tan gratificante!

Cuando tienes ese sentimiento de “oh no, no me gusta esto” o “esto no es para mí” o “me siento presionado para hacer algo que no quiero hacer”, o si tu crítica interna empieza a juzgarte y a culparte por todo lo que haces, lo cual desafía las reglas generales de la sociedad, para un momento y piensa porqué estás haciendo algo y qué es lo que quieres en relación a ello.


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No dejes que la culpa o la vergüenza te mantengan en algo que no era para ti ¡en primer lugar! Mantenerte en una situación así, podría llevarte a tener problemas de salud física y mental, y eso no es bueno para ti, ni para nadie a tu alrededor.

Si sientes que debes o tienes que hacer algo, para. Deja ir la urgencia o presión por ser o hacer ciertas cosas. Siéntate con la incertidumbre de adónde ir ahora, honra dónde estás en tu  vida ahora mismo, y hazte amigo de la incertidumbre. Todo esto es temporal, y encontrarás tu verdad y lo que realmente quieres, con tan solo dejar ir y dejarte ser.

Lo que es importante para ti es lo que cuenta, y si no estás afectándote a ti mismo o a otros de manera negativa o en cualquier otra forma, entonces sigue tus instintos, cuando se trate de encontrar el camino que quieras tomar en la vida.


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Se valiente. Desafía la norma y ¡se tu mismo a toda costa!



22830972_10154754698267237_1487302927_oTraducción por: Mayra Alarcón22773476_10154754695032237_814551237_n


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In Therapy: What to do with should do-s, have to-s and must do-s.

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s In Therapy post. Where I discuss a variety of topics that can be worked through in therapy, and also give tips and insight into how you can do something whether you are in therapy or not.

In this post, I want to talk about a peeve of mine – society dictated to-do’s.


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Have you ever wondered why we have certain unspoken rules that society asks us to follow? Examples of these are

  • This is what society expects
    • You are born, go to school, go to university (a gap year is out of the question, why waste time?), get a job and stay in it forever even if you are miserable, get married, buy a house, have children, retire, look after the grandchildren and then die (a hopefully peaceful death).
  • You should be perfect
  • You must achieve high marks in all your exams and courses
  • You should look after others and not be selfish
  • You have to have children

These are called “categorical imperatives”, which are unrealistic and very generalised ideas of how someone should live their lives.


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Well, what about those of us that are naturally inclined to not fit into these societal expectations? What about those of us that want something different than the list I’ve described above?

Does it make her a bad woman because she’s chosen not to have children?

Does it make them less successful because they don’t own their own home?

Does he deserve to struggle in a job he doesn’t enjoy, just because it is the right thing to do to keep a job no matter what?

I am an advocate for rebelling and finding our own paths in life. I have done that with mine, and even though there’s been ups and downs – who doesn’t have ups and down in their lives? – I’ve enjoyed the journey more than I would have settling for a “traditional” job that pays more.

“You could be earning more doing this and that job” was something someone told me once. My answer? “I bet I would be earning more, but I would lose the will to live working in an office, in a job that relates vaguely to what I studied and what I am passionate about.”

“Why don’t you own your own home yet” is something I also hear – well it’s expensive to start with and it’s not really a priority. I like where we live, and when the time comes, we will look into it, but it’s not something I’m going to stress over. I shouldn’t have a home, I shouldn’t have to look into buying a home if I don’t want to!

This brings me to the next point.


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We could rephrase some of those societal imperatives into questions that free us all to make the choice that works best for us, rather than what somebody somewhere in the ether decided was the be-all-and-end all of how-to-live-your-life.

Let’s go with the list above:

Being born – we don’t have much choice, so let’s make the best of life, eh!

Going to school – it’s something we can’t get out of and we should really listen to our parents in this one! It will be worth it in the end, and this is where we make our first friends and have our first social experiences, which could be the only thing some of us get out of school, and that is fine by me!

Going to University – In some countries, going to Uni is a necessity more than a luxury. But even in those cases, there are alternatives, like apprenticeships or learning a trade. Some people might frown at this but this is an important thing to remember:

They are not living your life, so it doesn’t matter if they frown or smile at your decisions!

Don’t even think of a gap year – why the heck not? There’s a lot someone can learn when going away to volunteer or just to travel around the world. It might be the best time to get to know yourself more and to figure out what you want out of life.

Get a job and stay in it forever – why? Why? Why? Whyyyyy!? If I’m not happy, then I won’t do it and plan my exit. Get a new job that suits your life better and give your notice. There’s nothing wrong with following your gut feeling and finding what’s right for you.

And besides, who says you need a job for life? What if you go into entrepreneurship or self-employment like I have? Very non-conventional but oh-so rewarding!


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So when you get that gut-feeling of “oh I don’t like this” or “this isn’t for me” or “I feel pressured to do something I don’t want”, or if your inner critic kicks off and starts judging you and finding fault with everything you do that defies the general rules of society, stop and think why you are doing something and what you really want in relation to it.

Don’t allow guilt or shame to keep you in something that wasn’t meant for you in the first place! Staying in it might lead to mental health and physical health problems, and that’s not good for you or anyone around you!

If you feel you should, must or have to do something. Stop. Let go of the urge or pressure to be or do certain things. Sit with the uncertainty of where to go next, honour where you are in your life right now, and befriend the uncertainty. All of it is temporary and you will find your truth and what you really want through letting go and just being.

What is important to you is what matters, and if you are not affecting yourself or others negatively or in any way, then go with your gut feeling when it comes to the path you want to take in life.


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Be brave. Defy the norm and be yourself at all costs!


Contact me with any comments, questions, or to book

a Counselling or Supervision session.


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In Supervision: The Cyclical Model

In Supervision


Hi, and welcome to this week’s In Supervision post!

This week, I’d like to talk about Page and Wosket’s Cyclical model of supervision.

In doing research for this week’s post, I came across the original model and two further updates of the model by the authors. I will write this post from the point of view of my own practice and what I find useful about this model, whilst keeping true to the model as described by Page and Wosket.


An important aspect of this model is that it’s used not only for clinical supervision of counsellors, but also opens the supervision arena to coaches, group facilitators, social workers, managers, nurses, educators, trainee supervisors.

 


So, if you are in any of these other professions, I encourage you enquire for supervision with me!

 


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In regards to the past models I’ve discussed, this model gives them a well-rounded structure and complements them well. The seven-eyed model works well within the focus, bridge and space aspects of the cyclical model, the developmental model encompasses the focus and space, and the functional model links well mainly with the contracting, focus and review aspects of the cyclical model.


page and wosket 1This model pays attention to five areas that are closely linked with each other. These are:

  1. Contract – terms agreed between the supervisor and the supervisee/therapist
  2. Focus – what the work is going to be about and how
    each session is going to look
  3. Space – reflective, exploratory and developmental work that takes place throughout the process of supervision
  4. Bridge – the way the supervision session allows the supervisee to bring what has been worked on back to the sessions with his/her clients
  5. Review – an opportunity to re-contract and talk about how the supervisory relationship is going, what is working well and what is lacking and needs re-formulating and work.

page and wosket 2In the 2000 update of the model, Page and Wosket pair these even further, to make reference to two specific aspects in supervision:

  • Supervisory Relationship – Contract and Review
  • Supervisee – Client Relationships (context/environment) – Focus and Bridge
  • Awareness and Intent of Supervision – The space that develops between these two pairs allows for deeper exploratory work.

Awareness and intent  are important in supervision, especially at the start. These will allow the other areas – contracting, bridge – to develop and work well.

Having an aim, a goal, and a way of working helps develop the supervisee’s awareness of the various aspects of working as a counsellor (or as a social worker, nurse, etc.) and develop the skills required to work to a high standard and best help his/her clients move forward in their lives.

 Awareness also allows space to review the supervisory relationship and adjust or change where things are not working as well as they did at the start or at other stages of the relationship.


page and wosket 3The latest, 2015, update sets the various aspects of the model in a pyramid, but this doesn’t mean for the authors that one is more important than the other. They are all inter-dependent on one another for the supervision process to take place effectively, successfully and ethically. Personally, I prefer the cyclical rather than the pyramid for this model. It seems to make more sense and encompass so much more.


What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


Vital for a good supervisory relationship are trust, openness and space to grow by asking, questioning, working through mistakes…


I hold a Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby.I offer Clinical Supervision to qualified counsellors, and support during the course for trainee counsellors. (1


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Q&A – Can I love and hate someone at the same time?

Q&A


Welcome to this week’s Question and Answer Space!

I hope you find this useful and informative.

These Wednesday posts wouldn’t be possible without your questions, so get asking!

Either leave a comment below with your question, or message me via this contact form.


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This week’s question:

Can I love and hate someone at the same time?

 

 

 

 


2Now this question is something that I encounter many times in many shapes and forms when working with clients, or in every day conversations as well.

Through life experiences we get to a place where things can only be one thing and not two at the same time. Feelings are either good or bad…people are either good or bad… are either good or bad.

good or bad…positive or negative…love or hate…

It’s all-or-nothing. It’s all black or white.

This makes life harder and some feelings, thoughts and situations tricky to navigate through and move on from.

Life isn’t exactly black or white or all-or-nothing. But how do we make peace with something we might have been living with for a long, long time?

How about finding the middle, the greys?

love and hate q&a.pngCan two strong emotions like love and hate co-exist? I think they can! Can we love someone and hate them at the same time? I think we can!

Take the example of a parent telling their child off for behaving in a naughty way. Does the parent hate the behaviour – and maybe the child too –for a period of time? Possibly. Does the parent still love the child despite the behaviour and being unhappy with them for a while? Definitely!

Finding a place in your life where two seemingly opposite emotions co-exist, and accepting that they both exist and co-exist towards a particular person or situation – becoming ambivalent at times – can be helpful in understanding what exactly you are feeling, and work through those feelings.

Avoiding one feeling (hate) because we think we should  be feeling the other one (love) will limit us in our range of emotions and in how we relate with the people in our lives. We are not bad, terrible people for loving and hating someone at the same time.

As with every emotion, it’s temporary and you will go back to feeling what you really feel for that person, it’s just that, at this point in time, they have infuriated or upset you to the point of hate.


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Q


En Terapia: Procesando el Enojo (Part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Bienvenidos al episodio de esta semana de En Terapia. Esta es la parte dos de la mini serie dedicada al enojo, una de las emociones más difíciles de entender, sentir y procesar, para algunos de nosotros.

La semana pasada vimos qué es el enojo, y cómo algunas veces esta es la única respuesta que tenemos para una persona o situación. También hablamos acerca del enojo como una forma de comunicarse, y cómo está bien expresar dicho enojo y procesarlo. Esta semana quiero hablar acerca de cómo el enojo puede ser un motor para ver resultados positivos en tu vida, y cómo procesar el mismo


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El enojo puede ser un motor para muchas cosas positivas en la vida. Algunas veces debemos de cavar más profundamente, o pasar un poco más de tiempo en la fase del enojo, para poder obtener los resultados positivos de procesar nuestro enojo.

El enojo nos da energía – ese impulso de adrenalina que tenemos y todas las respuestas corporales que tenemos cuando estamos enojados, toda la energía que surge de nuestras mentes y cuerpos, nos puede ayudar a reaccionar con una persona o situación en particular.

En los tiempos de las cavernas, estas respuestas eran vitales para sobrevivir. Actualmente, es menos importante que reaccionemos como los hombres de las cavernas solían hacerlo ante amenazas inminentes (un nativo de una tribu distinta o un animal salvaje), pero aun cargamos esas reacciones innatas con nosotros.


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Una de las cosas que el enojo puede hacer por nosotros es ayudarnos a ser más creativos. Aquí hay algunas cosas que nos podría ayudar a lograr el procesar nuestro enojo:


  • ¿Tu supervisor te ha dicho que trabajes más fuerte o que no has puesto la suficiente atención a tu trabajo? Utiliza el enojo que podrías sentir por esta falta de reconocimiento, para generar más ideas para tu supervisor.
  • Piensa en soluciones creativas – soluciona los problemas en tu trabajo o en tu vida diaria al pensar afuera de la caja (el enojo nos puede llevar a ver un panorama más amplio, así como también puede hacernos pensar de una forma menos calmada de lo que solemos hacerlo).
  • Busca la motivación para hacer algo nuevo, algo distinto, o algo que has dejado de lado por un tiempo.
  • El proyecto de arte
  • Ese libro que has querido escribir
  • Ese asueto que has querido tomar pero que no has podido
  • Aplicar para un nuevo curso o trabajo
  • Hacer un cambio en el estilo de vida

Encontrar nuevas formas para relacionarte con las personas o situaciones en las que sabes que podrías enojarte:

  • Utilizar el humor
  • Establece límites claros
  • Quítate de algunas de esas cosas que te hacen sentir enojado y que no son buenas para ti.
  • Mantén una distancia o acércate más.

¿Tienes más formas en las que el enojo puede ser beneficioso? ¡Deja un mensaje abajo!


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Procesar el enojo puede ser fácil o difícil, dependiendo del tamaño del problema o del asunto que nos enojó en primer lugar. Sin embargo, aquí hay algunas cosas que podrían aplicar en la mayoría de los casos:

  • La aceptación es el primer paso en muchas situaciones, o uno de los primeros pasos, para liberarte de la carga.
  • Háblale a tu enojo, hazte amigo de él. Yo sé que esto suena raro, ¿Cierto? ¿Acaso no tratábamos de deshacernos de él? Pues sí, pero no podemos deshacernos de él a menos de que lo entendamos y que le demos el tiempo que necesita. Tú no decides si quieres hacerte amigo de alguien al evitarlo y sin darle ninguna oportunidad de que se presente como un amigo potencial, ¿Correcto?
  • ¿Puedes pensar acerca de qué podría estar pasando contigo ahora mismo, en este momento de tu vida, cuando te estás sintiendo enojado? ¿Podría haber otra emoción que esté siendo enmascarada con el enojo? (El enojo es muy listo y es hábil escondiendo otras emociones que podrían ser las causas reales de tu sufrimiento).
  • ¿Has sido herido por alguien?
  • ¿Te sientes asustado por algo o alguien?
  • ¿Te sientes triste o deprimido?
  • Ubicar la responsabilidad en donde corresponde es indispensable, ya que esto libera el espacio para ti, para perdonarte a ti mismo por tu participación, para perdonar a otros por su participación y para decidir si deseas continuar con esa relación o si deseas terminarla, lo cual también te ayuda a procesar el enojo al señalar el mismo en el lugar que le corresponda.
  • Siéntete enojado pero también encuentra tiempo para ser compasivo y comprensivo con aquellos que te han enojado, incluso contigo mismo ¡si te has hecho enojar! (Lee mi entrada del blog acerca de cómo lo logré luego de cometer un error).
  • Explora el enojo presente pero también en relación al pasado – algunas veces la gente o las situaciones pueden recordarnos de algo por lo que estuvimos enojados en el pasado, y podemos traer las mismas reacciones o unas muy similares a este momento. No quiere decir que está mal que las sientas, de hecho es una gran oportunidad para que las vuelvas a visitar (tal vez acompañado de un terapeuta) y que puedas procesar cualquier enojo no resuelto y no procesado y otras emociones tanto de la situación pasada como de la presente.
  • Cosas que puedes hacer para procesarlo:
  • Escribir en un diario
  • Hacer ejercicio
  • Practicar técnicas de relajación (respiración profunda, meditación, utilizando la atención plena, haciendo yoga, tomando un tiempo en silencio).
  • Hablar con un terapeuta, estamos aquí para escucharte y ayudarte a procesar esos sentimientos y pensamientos difíciles.

Espero que esta mini serie te haya ayudado a obtener algunas ideas sobre cómo procesar tu enojo, a cómo entender esta emoción y también a cómo canalizar los efectos del mismo para obtener resultados positivos en tu vida.


Para más información sobre el enojo, te recomiendo el blog de Nathan Gould, el cual tiene más artículos acerca del tema.


Contáctame si deseas programar una sesión, o si deseas discutir lo que has leído en esta entrada.


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Traducción por Mayra Alarcón

 

 

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In Therapy: Working through anger (part 2)

In Therapy- Working Through...


Welcome to this week’s instalment of In Therapy.

This is part two of the mini-series dedicated to anger, one of the most difficult emotions for some of us to understand, feel and work through.

Last week we looked at what anger is, and how sometimes it is the only response to a person or situation. We also talked about anger as a communication, and how it is OK to express it and work through it.

This week I want to talk about how anger can be a motor for positive outcomes in your life, and how to work through anger.


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Anger can be a motor for many positive things in life. We sometimes have to dig a bit deeper, or spend a bit of time in the angry phase in order to get to the positive outcomes of processing our anger.

Anger gives us energy – that adrenaline boost we get and all the bodily responses we have when we get angry, all are energy emerging from our minds and bodies that help us react to a particular person or situation. In cavemen times, these responses were vital for survival. Nowadays, it’s less important that we react like the caveman would to an imminent threat (a native from a different tribe or a wild animal), but we still carry those innate reactions within us.


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One of the things that anger can do for us is help us be more creative. Here are a few things that working through our anger can help us achieve:

  • Has your manager told you to work harder or not paid enough attention to your work? Use the anger you might feel at this lack of recognition to generate more ideas for your manager
  • Think of creative solutions – problem solve in your job or in your every day life by thinking outside the box (anger can lead us to see the bigger picture as we will be less likely to think in our usual calm manner)
  • Find the motivation to do something new, something different, or something you’ve left on the side for a while.
    • That art project
    • That book you’ve wanted to write
    • That holiday you’ve wanted to take but haven’t yet
    • Apply for a new course or job
    • Make a lifestyle change
  • Find new ways of relating with people or situations that you know will make you angry
    • Use humour
    • Set clear boundaries
    • Remove yourself from some of those things that anger you and are no good for you
    • Keep a distance or get closer

Have you got any more ways in which anger can be helpful? Leave a message below!


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Working through anger can be either easy or difficult, depending on the size of the problem or issue that made us angry in the first place. However, there are some things that might apply to most situations:

  • Acceptance is a first step in many situations, or one of the first steps anyway, to freeing yourself from the burden.
  • Talk to your anger, befriend it. I know, this sounds odd, right? Weren’t we trying to GET RID of it? Well, yes, but we can’t get rid of it unless we understand and give it the airtime it needs. You don’t decide if you want to be friends with someone by avoiding them and not even giving them a chance to present themselves as a potential friend, right?
  • Can you think about what is going on for you right now, at this point in your life when you are feeling angry? Might there be another emotion that is being masked by anger? (Anger is very clever and is good at hiding away other emotions that might be the real causes of your distress).
    • Have you been hurt by someone?
    • Are you feeling afraid about something or someone?
    • Are you feeling sad or depressed?
  • Placing the responsibility where it belongs is important, as it frees up space for you to forgive yourself for your involvement, to forgive others for their involvement and decide whether to continue the relationship or end it, as well as it allows you to work through the anger by pointing it at the right parties.
  • Be angry but also find the space to be compassionate and understanding towards those who have angered you, and even to yourself if you’ve angered yourself! (read my blog post on how I did this after making a mistake).
  • Explore present anger in the present but also in relation to the past – sometimes people or situations might remind us of something we were angry about in the past, and bring up the same or very similar reactions to these. It doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you to feel them, in fact it’s a great opportunity to re-visit them (maybe in the company of a counsellor) and work through any unresolved and unprocessed anger and other emotions from both the past and the present situation.
  • things you can do to work through it
    • writing in a journal
    • doing exercise
    • practice relaxation techniques (Breathing, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, quiet time)
    • talk to a counsellor, we are here to listen and help you work through those difficult feelings and thoughts.

I hope this mini-series has helped you get some more ideas on how to work through anger, how to understand this emotion and also how to channel its effects into positive outcomes for your life.

For more on anger, I recomment Nathan Gould’s blog, which has even more articles on the topic.


Do contact me if you want to schedule a session, or if you want to discuss what you’ve read in this post.


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Reblog Digest

Collaborations (1)


If you have been following my blog, you might have read my two-part miniseries on working through your first counselling session (click to read).

There is so much to consider when choosing your therapist, what to expect and how to go through the process and trust in the therapeutic relationship and the process itself.

Therapy Route discusses the different aspects of what therapy is, what to expect, and other questions you might have regarding your counselling process. Click here to read.

 


Never give up the struggle in life, written by a colleague in LinkedIn, gives us an idea of how we can get stuck in our ways and restrict ourselves without actually needing to.

The metaphor of the elephants and the rope is a lovely reflection.

 


Dealing with conflict in a positive way is something couples might struggle with more often than not.

Nathan Gould talks to us about how to have these discussions without ending up in an argument.

Read his blog post here.

 


Book Recommendation:

Diet, exercise and mental health: How to control your anger, anxiety and depression, using nutrition and physical exercise


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In Supervision: A Functional Model of Supervision

In Supervision


Hi, and welcome to this week’s In Supervision post!

This week, I’d like to talk about Inskipp and Proctor’s functional model of supervision.  I find that this model links well to the other two models previously discussed.

First, I want to make a reference to the previous two models discussed in my supervision posts about my diagram (see first post here), and how Inskipp and Proctor’s model relates to them.


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This model links well to Stoltenberg and Delworth’s model in that it assesses the supervisee’s work and development of knowledge and skills; and to Hawkins and Shohet’s model in that it deals with the more relational and personal aspects of the supervisee’s practice.

 

 

 

 

 


Let’s look at the three functions of supervision as theorised by Inskipp and Proctor.


The restorative function is the supportive aspect of supervision. It focuses on the supervisee’s health and wellbeing. As counsellors, we tend to work on a regular basis with strong emotions and distress that might leave us feeling emotionally, mentally and sometimes even physically drained.

Supervision is a space where the supervisee can be looked after, by talking about the feelings that they might be carrying over from a session or sessions, and the supervisor’s role is to help the therapist process these emotions and figure out how to best help themselves first, and then their client in the next session.

Reflecting on their emotions, being aware of what’s going on within themselves and in the relationship with the client are important to help the therapist work through difficult feelings and to be able to provide the client with robust support and interventions to help them get their lives back on track.  I see this very closely linked to what Hawkins and Shohet describe in their seven areas of supervision.


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The normative or managerial function links well with the ethical frameworks that we follow – like the BACP ethical framework for the counselling professions – in that it is a quality control function. The therapist is assessed on their practice and whether they are practicing the principle of beneficience and being helpful rather than harmful to their clients. Other aspects mentioned in the framework that relate to this function are:

 

 

 

 

  • putting the client first

  • working to professional standards, which is what this function assesses

  • show respect

  • maintain integrity

  • build appropriate relationships with clients

  • demonstrate accountability

  • respect the client’s autonomy and help them work towards independence from the therapist through working through the client’s issues

  • justice

  • self-respect, meaning that the therapist is responsible for their self-care as well as their personal development


The last point brings us to the formative and educational function of supervision. Here we focus on the therapist’s development of their knowledge and skills. It is a more practical aspect of supervision, whereas the restorative function is more relational and emotionally developmental, and the normative is more a quality control measure.

The relationship between the client and the therapist, and the therapist and their supervisor, is more obvious in the restorative function, but even so it doesn’t feel like it’s enough.


This is why I am adamant that the three models discussed so far work much better together than in isolation. In the sessions themselves, I believe that these happen naturally, but in theory there isn’t one theory that encompasses all of the qualities, nuances and interactions that make up the supervisory relationship.

 


I hold a Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby.I offer Clinical Supervision to qualified counsellors, and support during the course for trainee counsellors. (1

What do you think?

Leave me a message below!


 

Until next week…


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Q&A – Should a therapist tell their client that they will discuss them in Supervision?

Q&A


Welcome to this week’s Question and Answer Space!

I hope you find this useful and informative.

These Wednesday posts wouldn’t be possible without your questions, so get asking!

Either leave a comment below with your question, or message me via this contact form.


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Today’s question comes from a colleague. She asks:

Should a therapist tell their client that they will discuss them in Supervision?

 

 

 


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I will first answer from what I do in my own practice, and then confirm and add on with what the BACP Ethical Framework says.

 

When I meet a client for the first time, I make sure that they know that what they say in the room, will stay in the room, except in a few specific circumstances:

  • I explain that I have regular supervision, and that I discuss my clients in this space, which is also confidential and professional. This arrangement is for the benefit of myself as a therapist but also to keep my practice in check and to ensure the support I give my clients is to a high standard both ethically and professionally.
  • Q&AWhere there are child protection issues, or harm to self and others (I will discuss with my clients in these cases).
  • Where there are terrorism or money laundering related alerts (In this case I don’t need to alert the client, as am required to report by law).

 
The BACP Ethical Framework
says that clients should be informed of their case being discussed with a supervisor

“to maintain the quality of the service they are receiving and to support and enhance the practitioner’s expertise”.

It adds that in some circumstances, the client will need to know who the supervisor is:

  • Conflict of interest where the client is a counsellor in personal therapy and the supervisor might be their colleague.
  • The client might know the supervisor on a personal level.

    Q


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