Advertisements

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!

 

Blog en español: Autocuidado como forma de revolución

Blog en Español.jpg


Bienvenidos a esta nueva etapa en mis blogs en español.

Peditadaor cuestiones de tiempo, y con el afán de continuar brindando recursos en mi primer idioma, he decidido unir fuerzas con Lara Knaggs, psicoterapeuta de mujeres en-línea y en Londres, para compartir información en español, que sea de utilidad para nuestros lectores y clientes hispanohablantes en el Reino Unido y en el resto del mundo.


En estos posts, yo estaré dando un comentario breve acerca del post que Lara ha escrito para su página, y luego dejaré un link para que puedan leer el post en su totalidad.

Espero que sean de utilidad y si hay algún tema en particular que quieran que tratemos, con mucho gusto dejen un mensaje en el comment box o via el contact form.


cropped-fullsizerender.jpgEsta semana, Lara ha escrito acerca de un tema que se encuentra al centro de todo lo que yo hago – en mi vida personal y en mi trabajo con mis clientes.

 

El autocuidado es un tema muy importante, especialmente cuando todo es tan inmediato y hemos perdido la noción de “delayed gratification” o gratificacion atrasada, en donde hay que esperar para obtener el premio o aquello que realmente deseamos.

También nos hemos vuelto personas muy ocupadas y no solo en un área, sino en varias.

Nos olvidamos de darnos tiempo para nosotros mismos, y es de esto de lo que habla Lara en su post acerca de la revolución del autocuidado.


Pueden leer el post haciendo click en este link.Banner bio

 


Copy of Blog en Español.jpg

Advertisements

Practising what I preach – When life gets “in the way”….

Insights...From the Desktop of Karin BraunerHi everyone!

I have been pondering on some things for the past few weeks. You might have noticed a lack of new blog posts or less original stuff on my social media platforms.

I’ve been in a bit of a health “pickle”. I am in the process of sorting it out but it takes time to find out what is going on in my body and how to work it out – tests, procedures, medication and other options.


I was stressing out recently, here are some of my thoughts:

“I haven’t written my post for today”

“I’m letting my audience down”

“My social media will stagnate and I will lose all the hard work I’ve done”

“I must carry on no matter what”

20170810_114447


I quickly realised that these thoughts weren’t helping and I gave myself a compassionate-but-firm “talking-to” and came to the conclusion that I need to strip things down to the bare minumum, which means:

  • Putting new blog posts on hold for the next month at least, and reassess at the end of the month.
  • Creating new content and scheduling content on Social Media is also on hold, but fortunately there is the “saving grace” of other people’s content – 80% of my posts should be curated content anyway so I will appease my “social media stagnation fears” by reposting, which takes seconds. If I don’t then I don’t, but the option is there.
  • My plans for online courses are also on hold.

 


In a way, this gives you an idea of what I’m working on, so it’s not a bad idea to let you know about my stripped back plans for the next month. Lots to look forward to for my audience, readers and followers, but also for myself….


20180829_133159.jpg

 

 

….It’s just not happening this month. I need to take the time off! (sounds like I’m trying to convince myself huh? well I sort of am, because I love my work, everything above makes me happy, but I need to take this time off to be able to do it to the best of my ability and without hurting myself!).

 

 

 


What I will be doing during this month:


  • I will look forward to my 2 weeks off I’ve scheduled at the end of the month (29th October to 9th November) for self-care. I find that having something to look forward to like a short break or holiday helps as there is a chance to fully relax and let go soon.
  • Focusing on client work, saving all my energy and willpower to do a great job with my clients, who deserve the high quality of counselling and tutoring services I am known for and that they signed up for.cropped-fullsizerender.jpg
  • Being true to myself and cancelling on time when I feel things might be too much. I had to do this last week and it was fine. It shows I’m human and clients were understanding. I must remind myself that this is unusual, this is not forever, and I’ll be back to my usual self in good time.
  • Resting and finding solutions through research and contacting doctors, pushing for the care I deserve – trust me it’s been hard work getting my needs met but I am practicing what I preach and persevering with looking after my health.

Book CoverWhat I’ve learned  – and have been reminded of – through this tricky health time in my life:

  1. I am not the only one struggling with health issues – other counsellors are struggling and doing the best they can.
  2. I am allowed to stop, take stock and rethink things.
  3. I have a clear plan of where I want to get to, and this means I can take breaks (day, week, month) when I need to, and when I get back to it, there is a clear guide to follow.
  4. People are very understanding and helpful in times of need.
  5. I deserve to get the care and support I need. It is there, it’s a matter of who shouts the loudest at the moment with the services.
  6. Time is short, but time heals and then there will be more time to do the things I enjoy.
  7. Relationships are important. My support system is so vital and everyone has been supporting me with thoughts, comments, reassurance and cups of tea or glasses of wine!
  8. I am practising what I preach. What I write in my book, what I tell my clients, I am doing it.
  9. am sure there are more…I will add them to this post as I think of them! Have you got any that you want to add here?

While I get back on track with my physical health, have a browse through my blogsite for some informative and interesting posts that I’ve already written -since August 2017 up to now.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

What to expect from Supervision – Develop Self-Awareness

new supervision blog post banner


As therapists, it is vital that we have a good support system in place for our professional and confidential work.

Personal therapy is one way in which we can get this support. Supervision is another, and it will be the focus of these posts.

In the next few months, I will talk a bit about 18 ways in which we should expect supervision to work for us.


I will discuss 18 things we should expect from our supervisory relationship in order to be accountable and working to a professional standard, for the sake of our practice, our profession, and most importantly, for the sake of our clients


Missed my previous posts?

Catch up here:

Containment and Holding

Reflective Practice

Autonomous Practice

Theoretical Grounding


Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Are you starting out in private practice?

Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?

To book supervision with me, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to set up an initial meeting.

 

 


In this post, I want to talk about how you can develop self-awareness in supervision.


As you might or might not have noticed, this was meant to be last week’s post, but instead of apologising I am going to say that I am going to use it to the advantage of this post’s topic: self-awareness.

Because i’m so aware of my present physical health issues, I know that one or two weeks of the month my energy levels are low and therefore I need to “lower expectations” of myself and what I can achieve (I am getting this sorted, but it takes time to get everything done, in the meantime this is the plan!). 

This self-awareness allows me to be honest with myself and lower expectations – some things are just going to have to wait. I prioritise my work with my clients and my students and rest in between sessions so I have energy to see them. I sometimes need to cancel a session or two if it gets really bad. 

This just means I’m human, I’m aware of my limitations when exhaustion hits, and I keep myself and my clients and students safe by letting them know what’s going on. 

My supervisor is aware of these issues and checks in every week (we meet for 30min every week) and we discuss what it was like to work like this, what it feels like to be struggling and still needing to work, the positive impact of helping my counselling clients, supervisees and teaching my students, has on my health (I do feel much better after each session! I love what I do!)

Self awareness is key. If I didn’t have this, I would probably continue scheduling all my social media posts (I spend at least 3-4 hours a week doing this!) and writing all the blog posts I have scheduled myself to write and publish every week, and so on. I haven’t done that this week as it would mean a headache and making myself more exhausted. 

I am writing this today because I’m feeling a tiny bit better, and am making time for a meeting.

Anyway, enough of me, my ailments and working practices!

(I do hope it was even a slight bit helpful, an insight into the real life of a therapist and supervisor. We are human too and we shouldn’t shy away from being open and honest – to a degree of course – about these things, note you still don’t know what my ailments are and it’s not necessary for you to know, in order to empathise or understand where I’m coming from!)


Here are a few things that will improve in your practice and your relationship with your clients and your supervisor when you allow self-awareness to develop in every step of your work:

  • when we are open and honest with ourselves and speak openly and honestly with our supervisor, we are allowing ourselves to
    • understand ourselves better
    • decide how we want to run our practice
    • what is acceptable for us and what isn’t
    • what makes us happy
    • what upsets us
    • what boundaries we need to tighten or put into place
    • what are our strengths and weaknesses
    • what areas we need to develop or improve so our interventions are more varied and helpful
    • what we need to study a bit more through reading or CPD
    • what happens when we are faced with difference or similarities between us and clients
    • choosing a niche
      • what clients we can see and which ones we choose not to (we are human, we might not like to work with a particular group and enjoy working with another)

5Follow this link for a video describing this process.

Feel free to share it with your colleagues, supervisees, supervisors and others.


The more we talk about what supervision should be about, what it should cover, and how it should support therapists in their private practice, the better equipped we all will be, and we will provide the a better service to our clients


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

Relationship Success – Round up and Upcoming Posts

NEW BLOG POST (1)


Hi! And welcome to today’s Relationship success post.

In this post, I’d like to point you in the direction of the first four posts, and let you know what to expect in the next month.


Relationship success is all about communication.

It seems like a small, innocent word, right?

2

But communication has so many aspects and ways of manifesting itself, many of which we learn by trial and error, or by dire necessity.

In these posts, I am raising awareness on the things you already know, and the things you can work on with your romantic partner – and other relationships – and maybe even on some aspects of communication and relationships that are more obscure and difficult to put into words sometimes.

I hope you have been enjoying the series so far, and I look forward to your comments and suggestions for future posts


You can also contact me to book a couples session or an individual session, whichever will be more beneficial for you at this point.


Book CoverI have written a book that will help you improve your life and relationship. By following the 20 self-care habits in the book, your mindset will change, you will learn how to set clear boundaries and meet your needs in a variety of ways. You can develop your own ideas or use the ones already presented in the book. It’s a versatile and practical book that I’m sure will help you on your path to self-care and better lives and relationships.


I also have a blog post series on this topic, and videos to go with it! You can watch the videos here (there’s a link to the original blog post in each video description):

Introduction  *** Set clear boundaries ***  spend time with others *** spend time on your own *** honour your feelings *** spend time in nature *** self-care vs selfish


Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time

Catch up on past posts  

Week 1

What to expect in this series – video

What to expect in this series – blog post

Week 2

Whose responsibility is it anyway? – Video

Whose responsibility is it anyway? – blog post

Week 3 

Acceptance – Video

Acceptance – Blog post

Week 4

Compromise – Video

Compromise – Blog post


I hope you enjoy catching up on these past posts, and I look forward to writing more interesting, informative and helpful posts from next week.

Here are a few topics to look out for:

  • how the differences between men and women affect how we communicate and understand each other and life in general
  • what do cavemen and us have in common?
  • endorphins, falling in love and what happens after a while…
  • drama triangle
  • how does learnt behaviour affect our lives and relationships
  • …and more to come!!!

 


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers


Insights...From the Desktop of Karin Brauner

What to expect from Supervision – Developing self-awareness

I am a bit delayed with today’s supervision blog post.

This week I want to write about the importance of self-awareness.

I will publish the blog post tomorrow.

I’m taking some self-care time off today – I really need it!

In the meantime here is a video introducing the topic.

Enjoy!

developing self-awareness in supervision

Relationship Success – Do we get a cat or a dog? (On Compromise)

Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time


Welcome to this week’s Relationship Success post.

If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up here:

Working on your relationship one step at a time,

Whose responsibility is it anyway?.

Acceptance


I decided to write this series because I believe in the importance of raising awareness of the aspects of relationships that might help or hinder our ability to communicate and relate in healthy ways with our partners.

Once we are in a space to think about our behaviours, our partners behaviours, and how they impact on one another, we can then start thinking about how to resolve those miscommunications or missed opportunities to make things right.


If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.


2In today’s post I want to start with a little joke that you’ve probably heard as many times as I have.

“So, my partner and I were having a conversation. She really loves cats and wants us to get one. I don’t like cats, I told her I’d prefer to get a dog. So, after a few hours of discussing this, we decided to compromise, and we are getting a cat tomorrow.”

Switch “cat” and “dog” with any two other things, and you can pretty much get the idea.


The take-home message here is that, in that scenario, one partner gets their way and the other is left with their needs not being met.


So how can we have actual, real compromise, where both partners get a bit of what they want – or all of what they both want – without either partner suffering or having to pass on what they really want?


I would say two things here:

  1. Pick your battles
  2. Come up with a third solution that works for both of you

3Let’s start with the ‘easier’ one.

Come up with a third solution that works for both of you.

Did you know that your solution or his/her solution are not the only ones out there?

Yes? No? Maybe but it’s hard to accept?

Sometimes it’s hard to accept this and try to find ways to fit in with both your lifestyles and desires.

Once you both get your heads around that, then there is a chance to have an open and honest conversation about how to move forward.

So maybe you end up getting a cat AND a dog (remember this is an analogy, replace cat and dog with your situation, it might be more complex than that though!), or you decide to get a Hamster instead, because you both agree that you both like hamsters. Or you just don’t have any pets or decide to leave it ‘til later.

A third solution might give you both a chance to get all or at least part of what you both want, or find a way to not fight or argue about the situation, and find something else that works for both of you, even if it isn’t 100% what either of you wanted.


4

A happy relationship full of communication, respect and compromise is much better than one where “I win” or “why did you get your way, again!”, or “I’ll get them, back next time I’ll get what I want, it’s only fair!”.

 

 

 

 


Pick your battles


Picking your battles simply means, is it worth it to have a big argument about this or that, or can it be resolved by “being the bigger person” or agreeing that it is just not worth it to fight, and let’s find a happy medium or a third solution, or let’s just drop it.

But, how do you know whether to leave it or fight it?

One question you can ask yourself is, will this matter in the long-run?

Is having a cat in the house so bad? is having a dog so bad? Is not having either so bad? Do we really need to have a cat or a dog, or neither?

Do I see myself being upset with him/her because they put their foot down and denied me the chance of having my favourite pet?

If the answer is yes, then this is a battle you need to pick, for the sake of your future self. But be sensible, empathetic, compassionate and understanding of yourself and your partner when you have the conversation!

If the answer is no, then there’s your answer: it is not worth it.

5


Now, we’ve been talking about things that are negotiable, like getting a cat or a dog.

It is important to the relationship that there are things that are factored in at the beginning of the relationship, so that everyone is clear on how the couple is going to handle certain things:

  • How to handle money. This is a big topic that can cause heartache or relief.
    • Do you keep separate accounts or is everything put into a joint account?
    • Are you good at saving but your partner isn’t, how will you deal with this?
    • What is acceptable spending during the week and what isn’t?
    • Can I spend my money how I want or do I have to consult my partner?
    • And so on.
  • Love languages. We can’t help what we prefer to get to fill up our love tank. (I will write a full blog post on this soon).
    • Do you or your partner like getting gifts?
    • Do you or your partner enjoy physical touch?
    • Do you or your partner prefer acts of service?
    • Do you or your partner thrive on quality time?
    • Do you or your partner appreciate words of affirmation?
    • Do you match with your partner’s main love language?
    • How can you get what you need and meet your partner’s needs as well, especially if your love languages are completely different and even a bit incompatible?
  • From that last one stems this last one – how to spend your time
    • Do you enjoy time on your own and in fact need it to recharge and be able to relate well with your partner and others again?
    • Do you need lots of people-time to recharge?
    • How do you want to spend your time together?
      • Planned outings
      • Playing games or watching tv at home
      • Other activities

6Think about these and talk to your partner about the things that are important to you. They might be the same things that are important to them! Or you can find a happy middle, or a way to meet both of your needs without much hassle.

To end this post, I want to leave you a bit more “food for thought”: there are some things that shouldn’t be negotiable in a relationship, things that are inherently vital to our mental health and wellbeing as individuals, and for the health of our relationships:

  • Respect for one another
  • Acceptance of one another
  • Supporting each other in your goals and aspirations.

If these aren’t present, then resentment might arise on either partner and things might get tricky and murky.


Good communication skills and practising empathy, understanding, acceptance and listening for the sake of listening, will help you and your partner find the path to happier conversations and solutions to the problems and situations in the relationship as they arise.


Have you got any ways in which you’ve achieved good levels of compromise, where both of you win? Leave a comment below!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers


1

What to Expect From Supervision – Theoretical Grounding

new supervision blog post banner


As therapists, it is vital that we have a good support system in place for our professional and confidential work.

Personal therapy is one way in which we can get this support. Supervision is another, and it will be the focus of these posts.

In the next few months, I will talk a bit about 18 ways in which we should expect supervision to work for us.


I will discuss 18 things we should expect from our supervisory relationship in order to be accountable and working to a professional standard, for the sake of our practice, our profession, and most importantly, for the sake of our clients


Missed my previous posts?

Catch up here:

Containment and Holding

Reflective Practice

Autonomous Practice


Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Are you starting out in private practice?

Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?

To book supervision with me, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to set up an initial meeting.

 

 

 


In this post, I want to talk about the importance of having a supervisor with a sound theoretical grounding.

Supervisors should have a sound theoretical grounding when providing supervision services.

What this means might vary from professional to professional, but gaining knowledge is important by any means (courses, reading books, cpd…)


I completed my diploma in supervision in 2015, and it gave me lots of food for thought, but most importantly it gave me the theoretical knowledge, skills and grounding from which to work with my supervisees.

1

I developed a model of working that I feel covers all the areas – practical such as contracting, psychological such as providing a safe space to work through clinical work, ethical and boundary issues, and more.

I don’t think I would be as confident in supervising practitioners if I didn’t have this base knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is possible to work without having gone through a supervision course, but I am a firm believer in having knowledge behind me to be able to offer the best service to my supervisees, which will in turn impact on the clients they see.


Learning theory is important in practice because it allows us to get a good perspective of the work we do and all the areas that we need to pay attention to in order to do our work well, within ethical boundaries, and to a high standard.


Here are a few things your supervisor should know when working with you:

  • awareness of all the areas involved in client work
    • relationship between the client and the therapist
    • relationship between supervisor and therapist
    • the parallel process between therapy and supervision sessions
    • the client’s life context 3
    • the supervisee’s work context
    • the responsibilities and roles of each party involved – client, therapist, supervisor
  • awareness of the stage of development of the supervisee, so the supervisor can provide appropriate support at that particular level and adjust as the supervisee moves from trainee to autonomous
  • have clear systems and boundaries around the supervisory relationship in itself, including
    • contracting and reviewing
    • dealing with issues as they arise
    • providing a safe space for the supervisee to be challenged and to reflect, within ethical and professional boundaries
  • provide support in these areas
    • practical and educational
    • emotional, psychological
    • ethical and professional

4Here are a few things that you will gain from supervision when your supervisor has a sound theoretical grounding:

  • space to review theoretical concepts learned and how to put them into practice
  • develop your own way of working within your chosen theoretical modality, with an opportunity to add skills from other modalities to your toolkit
  • to learn how to communicate better in regards to issues arising in the sessions with clients, but also in supervision sessions
  • it will also improve your professional skills,
  • and more…

All of these are important for your private practice.

Are you getting these from your current supervision arrangements? 


5Follow this link for a video describing this process.

Feel free to share it with your colleagues, supervisees, supervisors and others.


The more we talk about what supervision should be about, what it should cover, and how it should support therapists in their private practice, the better equipped we all will be, and we will provide the a better service to our clients

 


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

 

Relationship Success – Acceptance

Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time


Welcome to this week’s Relationship Success post.

If you missed the previous posts, you can catch up here:

Working on your relationship one step at a time,

Whose responsibility is it anyway?.


I decided to write this series because I believe in the importance of raising awareness of the aspects of relationships that might help or hinder our ability to communicate and relate in healthy ways with our partners.

Once we are in a space to think about our behaviours, our partners behaviours, and how they impact on one another, we can then start thinking about how to resolve those miscommunications or missed opportunities to make things right.


If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.


1In today’s blog post, I want to talk about acceptance, and to do so, I am going to start with what I believe to be the basis of acceptance in any relationship: acceptance of ourselves.

In last week’s post, I mentioned that we sent “vibes” to the world, and the ones closest to us pick them up in ‘surround sound, high definition’.

What vibe are we sending?

  1. I accept myself, I respect myself, and therefore I expect you to accept and respect me as well.
  2. I am not sure about myself, I find it difficult to respect myself, so feel free to step all over me as you please.

OK, point B got a bit dramatic, but some of us might actually be thinking like this – or worse!

The vibe will be sent and we will be treated by others in the way that is communicated to them.


This isn’t a life-long sentence. we can change this!


Therapy is a great place to become self-aware and work through the reasons behind you feeling like the person in point B.

Talking about this and understanding why we behave this way or allow people to treat us a certain way, will help us change things internally – the unconscious is very powerful, but not unbeatable!

2

In therapy, we talk about stuff that might have been swept under the carpet, ignored, or avoided (in Freudian terms – repressed or suppressed). By talking about it and working through it – feeling, thinking, understanding and letting go – we will also let go of the negative vibe we are sending, and people will start reacting and treating us differently.

Why?

Because we will have found our self-respect, our self-acceptance.

How?

 Now this is a tricky part to explain and I find it almost magical to see this happen in therapy and then it transfer over to people’s lives.

All I can say is it works!

Setting clear boundaries and meeting our needs is an important learning experience from being in therapy, and I can see the change happen in my clients.

The vibe becomes positive and their relationships in turn also become more positive!


Book Cover

To find out more about how I work to achieve this and more with my clients in their individual therapy sessions, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.

You can also have a look at my book on 20 Self-Care Habits, which will allow you to get to know yourself better!

 


Now let’s get into the relationship part of acceptance…


In order to accept others, and most importantly our romantic partners, we must first accept ourselves.

This is the reason I started this post with individual’s acceptance of themselves before even attempting to delve into acceptance in a couple!

Now that we’ve worked on accepting ourselves, we can go about thinking and becoming aware of how we respond to our partner’s personality – positives and flaws.

3

It’s easy to accept the positives, it’s probably the stuff that made us fall for them in the first place!

But what about when we move in together…

when we start seeing their awkward habits or weird things that we had no idea about?

We can take a few routes:

 

 

  1. Tell them to stop being annoying and change to what we want them to be.
  2. Get angry with them and snap at them without clearly communicating what is bothering us.
  3. Let the issue fester and then blow up somewhere down the line.
  4. Accept them for who they are and learn to communicate what we need from them.

As you can probably guess, the only healthy one in those four options is the last one, and it comes with many layers and ways of doing it.

Trying to understand where our partner is coming from is key, as is our partner understanding where we are coming from.


4

As with understanding ourselves as individuals, understanding why our partner is the way he/she is, and behaves the way they do, will help us work through our feelings and thoughts about them and about each situation we find ourselves in with them.

It will allow for compassion and empathy to arise, rather than anger and frustration.

When both parties know the why’s and how’s of their behaviours, then it is easier to communicate these to their partners.

Explanations lead to more understanding, and more understanding leads to a safer environment to be vulnerable and open up about our worries, thoughts and feelings.


I know I feel closer to my partner when we have in-depth conversations about why we do what we do and how we came about particular ways of being.

Deep and meaningful conversations are important. They deepen the bond.

They also deepen appreciation, love, trust, respect and acceptance of one another.


6


I hope you have enjoyed reading this post in the Relationship Success series.

I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.

In the next blog post I’ll talk a bit more about communication and compromise.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

What to expect from supervision – Autonomous Practice

new supervision blog post banner


As therapists, it is vital that we have a good support system in place for our professional and confidential work.

Personal therapy is one way in which we can get this support. Supervision is another, and it will be the focus of these posts.

In the next few months, I will talk a bit about 18 ways in which we should expect supervision to work for us.


Missed my previous posts?

Catch up here: Containment and Holding, and Reflective Practice


I will discuss 18 things we should expect from our supervisory relationship in order to be accountable and working to a professional standard, for the sake of our practice, our profession, and most importantly, for the sake of our clients.


Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Are you starting out in private practice?

Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?

To book supervision with me, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to set up an initial meeting.

 


In this post, I want to talk about developing an autonomous practice as therapists gain more experience, and how this evolves in the supervision setting.


1Do you remember – or are you there now – the first few client sessions, and how terrifying it felt? Am sure your first sessions went better than you remember or expected them to go.

It is not unusual to get “impostor syndrome” – that feeling that we are doing a job that we are really not qualified to do; or we feel we are not good enough to be helping someone with their deepest, darkest, most difficult struggles.

But the fact is, we have worked hard in getting the training we need to be able to do this job we call therapy. So we are not impostors, we are well equipped to do the job.


Supervision is a place where we can build this confidence, and move away from feeling like an “impostor” to feeling confident and capable of helping people in their time of distress.

When we first start off in our placements, we need a lot of support from our supervisor.

2We might be focusing in sessions on how to keep ourselves grounded, even in light of very distressing emotions and conversations. This might take all our energy at first.

Our supervisor’s job here will be to contain and hold us, helping us think about what is going on for us in sessions, and guiding us in what might be the best intervention for this particular client.

In due course, we will start to “let go” of our supervisors hand a bit more, trusting ourselves more and more as we see more clients and get more experience.

Slowly, we are becoming more confident and secure in who we are becoming as therapists. Developing our own identity as professionals.

We don’t need our supervisor to tell us what interventions to use or when.

We might now need to start thinking more about why we chose certain interventions and what effect this has had in the therapeutic relationship and the client.

3

Reflective practice deepens and autonomy is emerging.

The supervisory relationship must change accordingly in order for autonomy to further develop.


Move forward a few years, you are now in private practice.

What you need now looks very different to what you needed during those first sessions.

A more collegiate, collaborative relationship forms with your supervisor.


You might need a new supervisor to break that link from trainee to fully qualified, or your supervisor might just get it and you stay with them (I speak from experience!)


A more collegiate relationship means that your supervisor is in a position to still contain and hold when needed, but will most likely challenge you a bit more in regards to critical thinking and reflecting about your work, how you are keeping yourself up to date with CPD and other training, as well as how you are keeping safe in regards to ethics and professional boundaries with clients.

4Of course, all of these should also happen when we start in placement, but these become more obvious as we let go of depending 90-100% on our supervisor for support with interventions and the basics, to depending more on our knowledge and experience and using the supervision space for more in-depth work.

Autonomy develops further when we feel confident in our work but still rely on an objective observer’s – our supervisor’s – outlook on what we are communicating about our client sessions and what this brings up in us.

We are still human, we still “miss” the nuances due to being “in” the therapeutic relationship with our client, and the keen eye of a supervisor is great for clearing up blind spots or clarifying aspects of the relationship with the client that will help us as therapists and therefore help our clients.


5Follow this link for a video describing this process.

Feel free to share it with your colleagues, supervisees, supervisors and others.


The more we talk about what supervision should be about, what it should cover, and how it should support therapists in their private practice, the better equipped we all will be, and we will provide the a better service to our clients!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

Relationship Success – Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Relationship Success – Working on your relationship one step at a time


Welcome to this week’s Relationship Success post.

If you missed last week’s post you can read it here.

This series is aimed at romantic relationships, but as I’ve seen in the therapy room, the materials and topics I talk about with my couples apply as well to clients who come to see me individually.

We are, after all, relational beings, and many issues that come up in any relationship will be similar to those in a romantic relationship, in one way or another…

…or the issues might just relate to the fact that there are two different people, with different backgrounds and ideas about many things, that are living or in close proximity to each other.

It’s normal. It happens. It means we are human! 


If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.


1In this post I’d like to talk about communication, and one of its most important pillars, in my opinion – taking responsibility.

It might seem straight forward, but as the title implies, we are sometimes quick to blame someone else, or quick to take the blame for someone else.

Both are detrimental to our selves and our relationships.

 


I see many relationships suffer due to a breakdown in communication.

I’ve seen it in some of my own relationships, which is why I strive to ask questions and clarify what I meant as much as possible.

Doing this, allows me to connect with the person and to gain a better understanding of them and in turn they gain a better understanding of myself, and any confusion, misunderstanding or animosity can be cleared and life can continue.

Easier said than done, and sometimes the relationship needs to end for one reason or another.

Before it gets to that point, there are things we can all do in our relationships to bridge the communication gap and regain that lovely relationship we started out with.


2One thing that I believe is true, and is important to take note of is that we usually end up hurting those that are closest to us. Especially those we live with.

Being aware of the fact that we are prone to snapping or blaming our romantic partners is important, as it might help us stop and take a breath instead of short-circuiting into snap-or-blame games.

Taking time to stop and think is the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship.


In two words: Take Responsibility.


Stress, anger and other strong emotions need to be processed, but if we can help it, we can work through them without letting them grow into overwhelming monsters that will only hurt us and our partner.

The physical effects of these strong emotions are not good for our physical health, and over-thinking something that could be resolved by asking a question like “wait, what did you actually mean by that?” is detrimental to our mental health.

Asking awkward and uncomfortable questions might be difficult for us – pride or the need to be right and not lose face might prevent us from asking them – but it might be the best thing we can do for the benefit of our relationship. 


Book CoverFor support with your other relationships (non-romantic ones) do have a look at my new book, where I give you tips and advice on how to improve your life and relationships by following 20 self-care habits, with an underlying theme of setting clear and healthy boundaries and learning to meet your own needs. Of course, there’s more to it than that, so pick up the book and find out how your life and relationships can improve!

 


3Increased communication and self-awareness – asking those awkward questions or saying those things that put us in a vulnerable position – might be key to growing and improving our relationships.

Getting our feelings “out” rather than keeping them “in” are only going to be beneficial, even if it’s not obvious right now.

The better we feel in our relationship and how we work through arising issues and situations, the better we will feel about ourselves.


It is all about balance. 


The better we feel about ourselves, in turn, will also allow us to voice our feelings and needs more clearly. We will respect ourselves, we will honour ourselves and our feelings.

This is “catchy” and when people see how we respect and honour ourselves, they will fall in line and act accordingly.

I call it that “vibe” we sent out.

I see it all the time – someone comes to therapy, realises an aspect of themselves they’ve been neglecting; they start thinking differently about themselves, and things start to change in their environment and relationships.

The vibe has changed.


4Earlier in this post I mentioned asking awkward questions and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in order to deepen communication and understand each other better.

I also mentioned taking responsibility as a means to improve communication and our relationship.

Here are some ways in which we can take responsibility and help our partner do the same:


  • I am responsible for my own happiness, not my partner.
  • My partner is responsible for his/her own happiness, not me.

In a given situation,

  • What part have I played?
  • What part has my partner played?
  • What was my reaction to it and how can I take back responsibility for my reaction rather than placing it on my partner?
  • What was my partner’s reaction to it and how can I disengage from taking responsibility for his/her reaction?

In an aim to resolve this situation,

  • I need to be assertive and say how a comment or behaviour made me feel – using “I felt” statements rather than “you made me feel”.  – Ask the awkward questions, allow vulnerability.
  • I need to hear an explanation, an apology, or just feel understood by my partner.
  • I need to own what I said or how I behaved and explain or apologise accordingly.
  • Do we both need a time-out before carrying on with the conversation? – 20 minutes is how long the body takes to regroup.

Links to the past:

  • In an attempt to understand myself and my partner better, it’s important to know whether there’s a link to a situation from their/my upbringing that leads me/them to react so strongly to particular comments or behaviours.

As you can see, it’s all about give then take, and take then give, or both happening simultaneously!

Remember: Both parties have responsibility in keeping the relationship healthy and making it grow.


I hope you have enjoyed reading this first post in the Relationship Success series.

I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.

In the next blog post I’ll talk a bit more about communication, compromise and acceptance.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

%d bloggers like this: