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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!

 

Private Practice Mini Series — Ghosted: the private therapist initiation rite


Hi, and welcome to the third post in my Private Practice mini series aimed at practitioners in private practice, and anyone who works one-to-one with clients.

In the first post of this series, I wrote about creating the mental space that leads clients to find us.

Last week I wrote about calling things into being.


This week I want to talk about those difficult times when we book clients and they either don’t show up, or they have their first session and never contact again.

This is a very tricky situation, that can leave practitioners feeling insecure about their capacity as therapists, or bringing that impostor syndrome to the forefront…or even more, wondering what it is they did that made the client “ghost” them.


I am speaking from personal experience here.


As someone that also had a start in private practice and all that entails, I can say that ghosting happened to me too.

As a supervisor, I really like Scaife’s model (read my post on that here). He talks about responsibility and gives the supervisor, the therapist and the client a set of responsibilities.

I will start with what I’ve experienced as a therapist starting out in private practice and generalise it to other practitioners. Then I will discuss what I think happens from a client’s perspective (some not all possibilities).


In regard to the therapist, I would say that our responsibility is to hold the space for the client, where it’s safe to process and work through difficult stuff.

When we are starting, we are “desperate” (my own words, not calling anyone that although I’m sure some of you reading this can relate) – urged might be a better word, to retain and find clients to fill our time slots and help us start earning an income from what we trained so hard to do.

This urge might communicate over to the client. Unconsciously of course.


I am psychodynamically trained (now working integratively) so I believe that the unconscious to unconscious communications are very powerful.

We might not verbally be saying to the client “please keep me as your therapist, I need you”, but that’s what we might be communicating in many other ways we’re not aware of.

Now, just being aware of this is a great starting point to not put that burden on our clients.

A burden that might lead them to leave.

Apart from this, I don’t think there’s anything else that I can say right now to point the responsibility of a client ghosting a therapist, on the therapist themselves.


Let’s turn to the client’s responsibility.

Sometimes a client books a first session and never shows up.

It might have taken all of their energy and might to contact and book the appointment, but might have realised that they’re not ready yet, or that it’s too scary to attend, or something might have happened that led them to not need therapy anymore.

Sometimes they let us know, other times they don’t. It can be enfuriating, but we can’t take it personally. We might never find out what happened. We might have to live with the “not knowing” of why we were forgotten by our new potential client.


I find that as we spend more time as private practitioners, we get better at setting boundaries and trusting ourselves, and valuing ourselves as practitioners, and this happens less and less.

But when we are beginning, these things might not communicate as much through our contract, or our verbal and non-verbal communications. It’s an art and it’s developed slowly and gently, as we work with more clients and spend more time acclimatising to the realm of private practice.


Other times, a client arrives for their first session, it seems to have gone well, and they never book another session again.

For some clients, the catharsis that happens in a first session might have been enough.

Or it might have been too much to start talking about something that was only in their minds up to the point they started talking about it with their new therapist.

Ideally they’d let us know. But as above, sometimes they don’t.


We must err on the side of trusting our abilities and capacity as qualified and experienced therapists (we have, after all completed quite a few hours in placements before setting up our private practice!), and consider what is our responsibility and what is our clients.

Taking it to supervision and getting reassurance and clarity about what happens when we’re ghosted by clients will build us up, help us set clearer boundaries, possibly rewrite our contracts (I’ve rewritten mine many times, mainly adding stuff as time goes on!) and work on our initial contacts with clients, and how we feel about ourselves as therapists.

I hope this post has been helpful, or at least food for thought. I welcome your feedback and comments.


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Private Practice Mini Series: Calling things into being by speaking them out.


Hi, and welcome to the second post in my Private Practice mini series aimed at practitioners in private practice, and anyone who works one-to-one with clients.

Last week I spoke about creating the mental space that leads clients to find us.

Next week I want to talk about something that I see happens a lot when we start private practice: clients “ghosting” practitioners.


This week I want to focus on something that I see as “working in the background”, in our favour.

I was chatting to a colleague once and I said something about a plan I had for the next year.

Now taking into account that this colleague didn’t know me for long, what he said marked me.

These are almost his words, verbatim: “yes, I am sure you will achieve that. Everything else you’ve said you’d do, you’ve accomplished so far.”


That got me thinking…


What is it that I’m doing – apart from taking steps towards fulfilling what I’ve said I wanted to do in the first place – that is getting me to achieve that goal?

In having conversations with other people, I started to piece things together and realised a very valuable lesson:

When we call things out….when we name the things we want in life…they will come to us, sooner or later!


Everything we do gets us closer to our goals.

Everything we say gets us closer to our goals.


There is a lot of power in what we say and confess to ourselves and to our friends, family and colleagues!

I really do believe that trusting that what we want to happen will happen is a great way to achieve our goals and live more fulfilling lives.

This is how I’ve been building my practice.

I guess it’s been discussed before in books like The Secret an the Law of Attraction, and such. But until you experience it yourself, it won’t mean much.

This goes hand in hand with what I wrote to you about last week – if we create space and name the things that we want to pass, they will most likely happen.


Another thing I live by is this “what I’m doing now, will help in the future, somehow”.


A clear example is a colleague I’ll be partnering with soon. I met her nearly 7 years ago now at a training session, and she remembered me from that, and now we will be working together!

Yes it’s 7 years later, but the point it, we plant seeds and they grow and flourish when it’s their time to do so.

The key is to plant the seeds, either by doing something, saying something, while taking the steps and planning towards what we want for our lives and businesses.


So get talking, get confessing openly with yourself or with your tribe, those things that are dear to your heart, that will bring your goals to fruition, and your lives to be more fulfilling and more like how you want them to be.

Whether that means having 5 clients, 10 clients, 20 clients…working only 2 days a week…having various sources of income and ways of supporting people with your business…whatever it is…speak up and see it happen!


Until next time…


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Private Practice Mini-Series: Creating the mental space that leads clients to find us


Hi, and welcome to this mini series aimed at practitioners in private practice, and anyone who works one-to-one with clients.

This will be a three-post series where I’ll be talking about

1. Creating the mental space that leads clients to find us

2. Calling things out so that they become a reality in our lives and businesses

3. Ghosting: a private practitioner’s initiation rite of passage


I’ve been in private practice for nearly 7 years now, and I’ve learned a lot.

Some things I wished I’d learned when I’d started, but that’s not always possible.

It is because of this that I’ve launched some services (free and paid), like this blog, to support practitioners that are just starting out now, to know about things that will get them started with more knowledge than I had when I started.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like how things have panned out. I love how my practice and life are going. But I know this might not be the case for everyone.

Keep reading if you want to find out about this week’s topic and what I mean by creating mental space.


I’ll write a bit about how I started out and how I got to where I am today.

In 2013, I decided to launch my website and get online on directories so I could get clients. I was also working 37+ hours at a care job (which I enjoyed, but my sights were changing more towards full time private practice, only a dream at this point!).

From that point onward, I had started to lower my hours at that job and spending more time on counselling.

The first two years I didn’t have that many clients. Which was fine because I was renting a room and finding it difficult to find the right times to fit clients anyway.

In 2015 I got a Senior Care Officer contract at a children’s home, which was temporary until November. When that contract finished, it gave me the freedom to work as relief staff, which meant I could choose what days to work and what days to dedicate to my private practice.


This is where it starts to get good!


A month or so before my Senior contract ended, I started thinking more and more about dedicating Mondays and Thursdays to private practice. Just thinking about it did something…

It was almost magic!

By the time my contract ended, I had quite a few more enquiries.

I booked them in, and by the end of the year I’d gone from 1-2 regular clients to 4-8 regular clients!

I got a contract as a support worker in the same children’s home on February 2016, but took only 16hrs per week, which meant I could still dedicate Mondays and Thursdays to counselling and building my business.

My manager there has always been kind enough to accommodate my other responsibilities outside of that job. And as I was working very part time only, it was all good.

That year I did my last waking night shift. That’s how I started letting go of doing extra shifts and focusing more on my private work. By mid 2017 I stopped doing extra shift.


Another dramatic shift came about when I decided to finally give blogging a good chance and take it seriously. This meant taking promoting my blog seriously as well.

And this in turn meant posting regularly and consistently on social media.


I was still counselling Mondays and Thursdays, but decided to start offering sessions on Wednesdays as well.

I got more clients. I also started offering supervision.

I created the mental space for those clients and supervisees, and lo and behold, they contacted and booked!


My last two years at the care job were spent daydreaming about only running my own business.

I planned for it.

I made the mental space for the clients that I needed – a mix of counselling, supervisees, coaching and tutoring clients.

I also started thinking about other services and products to offer.

I wrote 20 Self-Care Habits, which came from a series of blogs I wrote.

I began planning other avenues of income and work.

In July 2019, I left the care job. I miss the social aspects of it and the young people I worked with.

But it wasn’t for me anymore.


I worked 11 years as a support worker in different areas. It gave me lots of knowledge that includes being able to offer counselling to autistic and other neurodiverse people.

My practice is now full to the brim. My products and services are being created slowly but surely.

More books are in the pipeline, as well as collaborations with colleagues and companies to create more mental space to help more clients and colleagues with their lives and careers.


Those who know me will know that I didn’t write this to brag. I’m more in awe of how things are going than anyone else!

I wrote this to show my fellow colleagues what is possible when we work hard, when we get the training, CPD, support from one another, and put ourselves out there.


I hope this post has been helpful to those starting out, and allowed those more seasoned practitioner to reflect on the amazing journey we’re all in…

…doing what we love, whilst at the same time helping our clients and colleagues get back on track, or get their businesses going.

I look forward to writing to you next week.

Until then…


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20 Self-Care Habits – Colleague Collaboration (Book Review)

Hi everyone!

I’ve just been given a brilliant review for my book, 20 Self-Care Habits, which was published 31st July 2018.

It’s been quite a journey and it’s always nice to hear how someone is benefiting from what I’ve written.


Everything I do is aimed at helping people. Helping them get a head start, learning from what I’ve learned in the past, from personal experiences but also from others’ experiences of putting my suggestions into practice.


In this occasion, my colleague, Pat Capel, reviewed my book for his website, and I’d love you to read it.


I think it’s better to hear feedback from others than from the author themselves sometimes – cause I would be biased to say it is a good book 😉

Anyway, I trust that you’ll enjoy reading Pat’s review and other stuff on his page – it’s really good stuff! (see, now I’m giving you feedback on Pat’s stuff, which is really good to be honest!)

If you haven’t read 20 Self-Care Habits, or my other reviews on my website, then have a look at Pat’s take on the book.


Here’s a snippet of what Pat had to say…

“If you are someone who is wondering what “self care” is or what you can do to take better care of yourself, I would suggest giving this book a read.  In this book, Karin explains and guides you through what it means to take care of yourself.  Our modern world can be tricky and yet she explains simple and practical strategies that you can start your new self care regime immediately. “

Pat Capel, http://www.patcapel.co.uk

Enjoy reading the review and spend some time exploring Pat’s page, and my own book page, reading even more reviews on the book.

I look forward to hearing your feedback after you’ve read 20 Self-Care Habits.


For more on Pat, follow him on Social Media:

Pat CapelPsychotherapist and Counsellor

Website:    https://www.patcapel.co.uk/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/patcapelpsychotherapy

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/pat_capel

LinkedIn:    https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-capel-b9b176b7/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patcapelpsychotherapist/?hl=en


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Practical Steps to Blogging – part 2


Hi, and welcome to part 2 of this mini-series on blogging!

Last week and this week I’ll be talking to wellbeing professionals, including coaches, counsellors, psychotherapists, and anyone that looks after the wellbeing of their clients in one way or another.

click on any of the images in this post to go to the workshop page

This week I’ll focus on the scheduling and timing aspects of blogging.


 Here are some top tips on scheduling and getting your writing done:


Make it easy for yourself

As human beings, we like to over-complicate ourselves.

I say simple is better! Review regularly how you’re doing and how your writing is helping or making things more difficult for you, and plan your next writing sessions accordingly.

I’ll talk a bit more about this in the workshops.

Consistency is key!

More than the length and the amount of posts it is all about showing up regularly for your audience!

Figure out what length your posts will have and how often they’ll appear on your feeds, and stick with it.

It’s ok to reassess, I’ve done that so many times I’ve lost track!

Pick your battles

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time writing and plenty of time to look after yourself

Ideal times to do each aspect of our work and personal lives is important.

During the workshops...

I’ll be delving in deeper in to the above aspects.

We’ll also be talking about what else to do with your blog post apart from writing it and posting it.

Plus! You’ll get a chance to ask questions and work together with like-minded colleagues who are starting or continuing their blog writing journey.


Getting your message out there can be fun (I particularly love writing!) and it’s a great way to get yourself known to your colleagues and potential clients.

There’s so much to learn from you. Let’s get that message out!


Until next week…


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Practical Steps to Blogging – part 1


Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!

Today and next week I’ll be talking to wellbeing professionals, including coaches, counsellors, psychotherapists, and anyone that looks after the wellbeing of their clients in one way or another.


There are a few reasons for me writing this blog post mini-series now.


1. Blogging revolutionised my practice, and I am eager to teach more people how to blog to revolutionise their practices by following practical, simple steps.

2. I’m presenting a series of workshops via onlinevents.co.uk, which launch with a two-part blogging workshop broken down in two days. This is the beginning of a series – still planning the following sections, but I can tell you that the next 2 (parts 3 and 4) are scheduled for December!

click here or any of the images in this post to go to the workshop page

3. I am a content creator and am now offering that as a service. Now, I don’t write blog posts for people, but I am offering helping out with outlines and other aspects of blogging as part of my Content Creation service.


This week I’ll talk a little bit about what to expect in the workshop, and some tips on how to start blogging. Next week I’ll focus on the scheduling and timing aspects of blogging.


 Here are some top tips to get you going:


Get your head around blogging

As with anything, having the right mindset before starting a task is important.

Don’t worry, your mindset will change as you start. Just get started and things will start making more sense!

Have a “thinking” session

Sitting down and coming up with things you want to write about is always a good idea.

Putting things down on paper will release those ideas into the real world and you will be able to see things more clearly, as you’ve made room in your mind for further thinking about these things.

There are lots more things to consider in a thinking session, but starting out with this will be a good starting point!

Practical aspects

When getting down to the nitty gritty of writing a blog post, considering the why, what, when, where, who and how are important.

Knowing exactly where you stand with your reasoning behind blogging will get you closer to becoming more at ease with writing and getting your message out.

During the workshops…

I’ll be delving in deeper in to the above aspects.

Plus! You’ll get a chance to ask questions and work together with like-minded colleagues who are starting or continuing their blog writing journey.


Getting your message out there can be fun (I particularly love writing!) and it’s a great way to get yourself known to your colleagues and potential clients.

There’s so much to learn from you. Let’s get that message out!


Until next week…


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Total Health Summit – 10th October



Experience “Total Health” by balancing body, mind, emotions, and spirit.


Total Health Summit™: Join us and explore tools and techniques to attain equanimity and unity of body, mind, emotions, and spirit.


Hi, and welcome to this week’s blog post!


This week I’d like to share with you about a project I’ve been collaborating with.

I’ve been talking about boundaries, meeting our needs and responsibility with Keith Engelhardt, the mastermind behind the Total Health Summit.

It’s been fun to record the interview with him and to interview a couple of colleagues!



So what’s this summit about?


The aim of this year’s online summit is to get more people to experience “total health” by balancing body, mind, emotions and spirit.


Achieve work/life balance and total health by:

Learning how to reduce stress.

Envision decreasing being overwhelmed by work or life.

Visualise learning how to find balance.


The varied knowledge and experience of each of the speakers will allow you to target different areas of your life: physical, mental, and spiritual.

The best part is that it is free to watch for a limited time!

The silver and gold passes are affordable and they come with yearly access community where you can continue to learn and share with like-minded people.


Find out who more about the speakers by clicking here.


Learning how to deal with stress, stressful situations and find balance in life is important, and there is more than one way to achieve it.

This is why I highly recommend tuning in on October 10th to the Total Total Health Summit.

I hope to see you there!


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