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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!

 

5 more ways in which supervision is important (videos)

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


Dear readers,

This week is week 3 of #supervisionwithkarin month.

Am really enjoying the interactions over at Twitter, InstagramLinkedInFacebookYoutube and Pinterest.

Come and join in the conversation! 


In this week’s post, I’d like to leave you with 5 more Storyboard Videos about reasons why supervision is important for those in Private Practice.

The following videos refer to the following isues that can be developed and worked on in Supervision:

  1. Supervision is important for your professional development and the growth of your practice, but it is also helpful – alongside personal therapy – for personal development.
  2. Supervision helps us work to a safe standard by keeping us accountable and working within an ethial framwork.
  3. Reflective practice is important – learning from our successes but also from our mistakes or missed opportunities helps us grow as practitioners and therefore help our clients more effectively.
  4. The supervisor’s role is to challenge their supervisees in a way that supports rather than hinders their self-confidence and ability to work with their clients, and to talk to their supervisor without censoring themselves.
  5. Similarly to point number 1, supervision is a safe space to process personal feelings and thoughts that might have been brought up by client sessions.

For more information on supervision with me – face to face and online – visit my Supervision Pages here.



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Limpieza de primavera

2


Las semanas anteriores – desde que el clima mejoró y parece que al fin la primavera está por llegar – he iniciado a limpiar algunos de mis papeles, ropa y desorden.

Eso me hizo sentir bien, remover las cosas que no he usado, visto o que no me he puesto en un largo tiempo, y hacer espacio para, bueno, ¡Solo para tener espacio en realidad! No he reemplazado nada con nada más, lo cual se siente bien.

1No me veo a mi misma volviéndome minimalista en ningún punto pronto, pero estoy minimizando muchas de mis cosas. Esto tiene sentido, tanto en cuanto a espacio como a salud mental.


Otras cosas que he revisado recientemente:

  • Plan de negocios para los siguientes meses – simplificado, para que yo no trate de ser todo para todos y de hacer todo a la vez… eso nunca funcionaría y me agotaría y me daría por vencida, y ¡yo no quiero ninguna de esas opciones!
  • Un horario semanal y la cantidad y duración de las tareas que me asigno a mí misma para mi vida y para los negocios.
  • Alistarme para la nueva legislación GDPR, me llevó a deshacerme de papeles de algunos años atrás, y de cosas que en realidad ya no necesito. Convertí en archivos electrónicos la mayoría de mis contratos de negocios y comunicaciones, de manera que todo está encriptado y protegido con contraseñas, y esto se siente mucho mejor.

2Por ahora, suficiente de mí …

La limpieza de primavera se parece mucho a la limpieza de una casa, desempolvar, tirar cosas que no usamos.

¿Cómo puede esto impactar nuestro estado mental?

Bueno, primero que nada, el hecho de que tengamos un desorden alrededor de nosotros podría ser una señal de que nuestra salud mental no es la mejor.

O, en segundo lugar, el desorden podría estar haciendo que nuestra salud mental sufra.

De cualquier manera, algo debe ser realizado, para que nuestro espacio físico coincida con nuestra salud mental de una manera positiva.


3El desorden podría afectar:

  • Los niveles de energía
  • Los niveles de concentración
  • Y podría llevarnos a sentirnos abrumados o incapaces de hacer frente a la vida diaria y a otras demandas.
  • Podría recordarnos el pasado, lo cual podría llevarnos a la depresión, o
  • Nos podría hacer sentir ansiosos por el futuro
  • Lo cual significa que no estamos viviendo en el presente.

Hacer limpieza tendrá los siguientes efectos:

  • Limitarás el peligro de incendios, y la acumulación de polvo y moho
  • Te será más posible vivir en el presente en lugar de vivir en el pasado o en el futuro.
  • Te sentirás orgulloso de tus alrededores
  • Sabrás donde se encuentra todo, y te habrás librado de aquellas cosas que en realidad ya no necesitas.
  • Crearás más espacio para, bueno, crear más cosas en tu vida, en el aquí y ahora.

4Cuando hablamos acerca de deprimirse o ponerse ansioso debido al desorden, no estoy disminuyendo los síntomas de depresión o ansiedad de nadie.

Lo que quiero decir es, que veas a tu alrededor, y que chequees que cosas están desordenando tu espacio físico, que podrían estar teniendo un impacto en tu salud mental.


Algunas cosas las guardamos debido a la nostalgia, pero esta nostalgia podría no ser buena para nuestra salud mental. Esta podría mantenernos en nuestro pasado e incapacitarnos para ver lo bueno que tenemos en el presente y esperar lo positivo en el futuro.

Mira qué necesitas mantener en tu vida y qué no.

5

Deshazte de las cosas que ya no te sirven y mira cómo se siente dentro de ti.

¿Te sientes mejor? ¿Hay una “primavera” en tu camino que no habías visto antes?

¿Tu energía y motivación están volviendo?

¿Qué ha cambiado desde que despejaste tu espacio?


Házmelo saber, deja un comentario en la sección de comentarios al pie de la página, o en el formulario a continuación.


Traducción por  Mayra Alarcón.


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Supervision: 5 ways in which it is important (videos)

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


Dear readers,

This week is week 2 of #supervisionwithkarin month. It is going really well over at Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest. Come and join in the conversation! 


In this week’s post, I’d like to leave you with 5 Storyboard Videos about reasons why supervision is important for those in Private Practice.

The following videos refer to the following isues that can be developed and worked on in Supervision:

  • Autonomous practice – a supervisee will develop through time
  • Boundaries – learning how to set and keep them
  • Containment and Holding the supervisee
  • How to tackle the isolating nature of confidentiality in Counselling
  • Focusing on the supervisee is important

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Questions or comments? Leave a message below.


Supervision Month!

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


www.k-brauner-counselling.co.uk/clinical-supervision


Welcome to today’s blog post!

This month, I’m going to be offering lots of content on supervision, in the form of videos and informative posts via my social media platforms throughout the week, and on Mondays I will bring you some of what to expect me to be talking about and posting.

The topics will be on a variety of supervision issues, such as what counsellors and psychotherapists need to know and be putting in place in their practice as therapists and supervisors.

I will also be presenting my supervision model, which I created when I was training and underpins and informs my supervision practice.


I will resume with my In Therapy posts in due course. Do have a look at my archive to catch up if you haven’t read them. There’s a lot on a variety of topics: self-care, anxiety, autism spectrum, and more!


I will be posting quite a few times during the day on Twitter, once or twice on Facebook and LinkedIn, and once a week on Instagram and Pinterest.

Today, I’d like to leave you with my first video, introducing the month of June as Supervision month!


Help me get this hashtag catching on:

#supervisionwithkarin 


Looking forward to hearing your comments and engaging with you on Social media and also  via my website and blog.



www.k-brauner-counselling.co.uk/clinical-supervision


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Self Care Book – Out Soon!

NEW BOOK


Dear readers,

I hope you have enjoyed the bank holiday weekend!

I will resume regular posts next Monday.


For this week, I would like to leave you with the news that I have finished writing my first ever book!

It is now in editing and can’t wait to share it with you all!

20170810_114447

It’s going to be on the topic of Self-Care, which is what I started writing about last August when I started publishing blog posts regularly.


I will be writing more blog posts or social media posts to talk a bit more about what you can find in the book –  what topics I’ve discussed, the resources you can use in your life after reading it, so you can get good at your own self-care, and other resources I’m putting together now – like a facebook group to carry on the conversation of self-care and get more tips and ideas from others interested in improving their self-care tools, skills and time spent doing these activities.

 

 

 

 

 


Looking after yourself by...

So today, I leave you with the links to my self-care blog posts, in the hopes that this will spark interest in the content of my ebook – it is not the same topics, but some are included and expanded on.

 

 


blog series on self care pinEnjoy the blog posts on the list below.

I am looking forward to sharing my ebook with you in the near future!

  1. Introduction
  2. Setting Boundaries
  3. Honour your feelings
  4. Unplug from technology – plug into nature
  5. My friend tells us about her self-care journey
  6. Being on your own
  7. Spending time with others
  8. Keeping fit

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NEW BOOK

Autism Spectrum Series – Theory of Mind

1


Welcome to this week’s In Therapy post.

In this week’s Autism Spectrum series, I want to discuss theory of mind, as it is an important aspect of social communication, and a big part of the difficulties that someone on the Spectrum might experience.


1I find it amazing how people on the Spectrum, particularly Aspergers, find ways to figure out how to navigate the sea of social communication that we take for granted as neurotypicals.

It is amazing but also, to them, to be expected as it is a skill and a tool for survival and for living in a mainly mainstream world.


In brief, theory of mind explains how people understand someone else’s point of view, including what they know, what they believe, their emotions and intentions. This understanding in turn helps to navigate the sea of social communication and situations we discussed last week.

It is similar to empathy, only differing in that empathy allows the person to feel what the other is feeling, whereas theory of mind stops at the understanding that someone might have different feelings to themselves.

2

Sometimes people might struggle with social interactions because they might believe that everyone believes and thinks exactly the same way as they do.


In neurotypical children, theory of mind – knowing that others might have different beliefs, knowledge or emotions about things – starts to develop at the age of 3-5 years, while in those on the Autism Spectrum it might begin to develop between the ages of 5-13, but it might not develop to the same level of the neurotypical children.

This is a good predictor or aspect important in diagnosing Autism or Aspergers.


The opposite of theory of mind is mind-blindness.


3Knowing that theory of mind is an area to be worked on, and following from what I said last week about challenging the individual’s learned view of a particular situation (remember the folding of the arms scenario), providing skills to develop social skills in understanding others’ reactions and beliefs is an important aspect of the therapy or coaching process.

For example, in the folding of the arms scenario, the individual with Autism trying to figure out what the folded arms mean, might react aggressively because they might believe the person is angry with them and they are trying to defend themselves from this anger.

If we analyse this scenario with the individual, and explore other reason for the other person having their arms folded, we might see their behaviours change – if the person is just feeling cold, the individual might offer them a jumper or try to get them a hot drink to warm up.

4In therapy, I use this technique with my mainstream clients, in a similar way but possibly in a more cognitive way, in more abstract terms; whereas with someone with Autism it might need to be discussed in a more objective, tangible, behavioural way.

That is not to say that I wouldn’t or haven’t used both ways of working with my clients on the Spectrum.

It’s just about finding the right words and ways to make things easy to grasp, to get that “aha” moment that effects change in therapy.

Same idea, different process.


Theory of mind is one aspect of social communication and interaction, but it goes even further than just preventing someone from understanding another person’s beliefs, emotions and intentions.

As a consequence of the difficulty in figuring these out, the following areas of social interactions are also affected: having meaningful conversations, resolving problems, having intimate relationships, to name a few.

5This can be highly frustrating, leading to “meltdowns” or broken relationships if not picked up soon enough.


Having said that, most humans have broken relationships – so it is important to normalise that these broken relationships aren’t privy to people on the Spectrum. We all fail at communicating well what we think or feel, especially to those closest to us.

Becoming aware of this and learning from our mistakes is going to make the difference in our next relationships.


Understanding how this area of functioning is affected, will provide great insight into the mind of someone on the Spectrum, and therefore allow us to better understand their behaviours and communications, whether verbal or otherwise…

6…they will also allow us to find better ways to teach social interaction skills and ways to guess what the other person is thinking and feeling, and therefore increasing the chance of close relationships, meaningful conversations and increased ability for problem solving.


I trust in the process and I trust in my clients’ capacity to develop all these things, and more!


I have been working with clients on the Spectrum from a cognitive standpoint, in the here-and-now, but also understanding – psycho-dynamically – that some issues that they might be experiencing might stem from childhood experiences or other experiences from the past.

I work in this way with everyone, but pay special attention to the social communication aspects when working with people on the Spectrum.

In my place of work with young people with Autism and other disabilities, we us social stories to help them understand what is happening now, what is going to happen next, where we are going, when we are eating or having a snack, and when we are getting back to the care home after an outing.

7This works very well as it gives them information and therefore lowers anxiety during transitions.


There is a lot of scope to help mainstream individuals understand how people on the Spectrum function and how they have learned to navigate the complex world of social interactions, which in turn will help us show the person on the Spectrum how others think, creating a better environment for everyone.


Understanding is key…


 

 

I welcome your questions and comments below.

Next week I will write more about Intense World Theory.


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Cómo vivir una vida con mas compasión (parte 2)

2


Bienvenidos a la segunda parte del tema acerca de la compasion.

Es un tema importante pues es una manera de mejorar nuestras relaciones y tener una vida mas tranquila y feliz.


Empecemos…


compasion parte 2


¿Cómo podemos iniciar a practicar la compasión

con nosotros mismos y con otros, en nuestra vida diaria?

A continuación te comparto algunos consejos acerca de cómo puedes empezar a tener el hábito de vivir una vida compasiva:

  • Desarrolla autoconciencia y reflexiona acerca de tu día, conforme va transcurriendo.
  • Un terapeuta podría ayudarte con esto, o busca un buen libro de autoayuda acerca del tema y tómalo como propio.
  • Al inicio del día, podrías estar agradecido por lo que ya tienes, por levantarte y tener un trabajo, familia, amigos, comida y un hogar.
  • Mientras transcurre el día, podrías pensar acerca de cómo algo que tú hiciste por alguien, podría haberle cambiado la perspectiva de su día.
  • También podrías pensar en algo que alguien más hizo por ti, que te hizo sentir más feliz.

  • Al final del día, podrías reflexionar acerca de qué salió bien o qué podría haber sido diferente, respecto a la autocompasión, la compasión por otros, o cómo otros son compasivos contigo.
  • Cambia tu forma de pensar
  • Tú no tienes que ser perfecto
  • Los otros no tienen que ser perfectos
  • Nosotros somos humanos, los errores van a suceder

  • Se comprensivo y amable cuando tú o alguien más comete un error.
  • Date cuenta cuando estas siendo sentencioso y crítico, y trata de la mejor manera, de ser indulgente y bueno.
  • El tratar es la clave. Si estás enojado con alguien, no niegues esos sentimientos, pero busca formas de canalizar y procesar esa emoción.
  • Para más información acerca de cómo procesar distintos asuntos, lee mis entradas acerca del cambio, y otras acerca de procesar las emociones difíciles, como el enojo.
  • Considera la historia de la persona.

  • Tal vez ellos están pasando alguna dificultad y por eso es que dijeron o hicieron eso.
  • La gente no vive aislada, y nosotros podríamos solo saber una parte de su historia. Darles el beneficio de la duda – sin negar nuestras propias emociones al respecto – es vivir de manera compasiva.
    • Cambia los malos pensamientos que tienes respecto a ti mismo.
  • Reemplázalos con amabilidad, tolerancia, entendimiento.
  • Reemplázalos por otros más positivos, ¡qué sabes que son ciertos!
  • Dona en caridades, o trabaja para una

  • Anteriormente hablamos acerca de aliviar el sufrimiento.
  • Donar en caridades que ayudan a otros, con quienes nos podamos relacionar o a quienes queremos ayudar, es una buena forma de ser y mostrar compasión por otros.
  • Yo dono a la campaña A21, la cual trata el tráfico de personas y rescata a mujeres de situaciones bastante oscuras. Yo no estoy trabajando directamente con estas mujeres (¡Aunque me encantaría!) pero estoy haciendo una diferencia con lo que envío cada mes.
  • No todo tiene que ser acerca de caridades – dar también puede ser acerca de ofrecerle a alguien una mano ayuda, sonreírle a alguien, comprar el almuerzo para un colega, o tan solo sentarse a la par de alguien que parece que necesita compañía.
  • Busca un terapeuta para trabajar en esto y para desarrollar compasión por ti mismo y por los demás.

  • Reevalúa tus valores
  • Al inicio hablamos acerca de cómo nuestra crianza nos puede afectar en cuanto a cuan compasivos somos. ¿Es tiempo de pensar en esto de nuevo?
  • ¿Las personas con las que creciste, no te ayudan para tener una vida compasiva y feliz?
  • Reemplázalos por otras personas que coinciden con quien tú eres realmente y con cómo tú quieres ser tratado y tratar a otros.
  • Dile a tu crítico interno que se calle

  • Si comprendemos mejor a nuestro crítico interno, entonces podemos hablarle a él/ella y hacerlo más silencioso.
  • Podemos utilizar al crítico interno para nuestro provecho, una vez que aprendemos a manejarlo. Este puede convertirse en nuestro radar, para cuando necesitamos reevaluar nuestros pensamientos acerca de nosotros mismos y de otros.
  • La autoconciencia y la comprensión de lo que hemos internalizado de nuestros padres y maestros mientras crecíamos nos puede ayudar a encontrar nuestra autocompasión.
  • Desarrolla una mentalidad de desarrollo
  • Enfrenta tus desafíos y crece con ellos.

  • Encuentra el significado de lo que está pasando en cualquier momento, especialmente en tiempos difíciles.
  • Acepta el desafío florece a través de él y con él.
  • Busca los niveles adecuados de generosidad – llena tus necesidades primero y luego observa cuántas necesidades de otros puedes llenar y cómo.
  • Mantente seguro.
  • Pon límites claros y saludables.

  • Retribuye a otros y también a ti mismo.
  • Disfruta haciéndolo.
  • Algunos pensamientos finales…
  • Practica el perdón.
  • Expresa gratitud.

  • Practica la empatía.
  • Practica la escucha activa.
  • Está de acuerdo con no estar de acuerdo.
  • Practica la aceptación.
  • Haz cosas buenas por ti mismo y por otros.

  • Ve a toda la persona y no solo al comportamiento presente.
  • La gente no es la forma en que se comporta.
  • Ampárate en tu sistema de soporte para la compasión, entendimiento y bondad.

Estos son solo algunos tips de cómo agregar compasión y auto-compasión a tu vida. Si piensas en algun otro o crees que me hizo falta incluir alguno, déjame un mensaje.


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Autism Spectrum Series – Navigating the sea of social communication

1


Welcome to this week’s In Therapy installment of my Autism Series.

If you haven’t read last week’s post, click here to read it. I spoke about life milestones and how these affect both neurotypicals and people on the Spectrum. I also highlighted the effects in another post (read it here).


1In this week’s post, I want to tackle a big topic: social communication and how this is worked out by people on the spectrum. This is a very big topic, and therefore I don’t expect to talk about everything in just one post.

If you have any suggestions about what I can add, any questions, or you want to guest post about this topic, do leave me a message.


The first thing to remember is that people on the Spectrum are like all of us in most respects.

We all need to eat, drink, shower, have meaningful activities and relationships. We all have needs, wants, preferences, favourite people and activities. We all have hormones – (((this is a whole other topic for another day, but an important one at that as it has been difficult to get people to understand that sexual needs are for everyone not just neurotypicals or those without disabilities of any kind. Why?)))

In spite of those similarities, there are some marked differences, one of them being social interaction and communication.

Their perception of the world is different to neurotypical ways of perceiving the world, and therefore the way they interact with the world is going to need to be different.


2Let me get a bit philosophical, authors such as Locke, talk about realism and how our perceptions are only mental representations of the actual object we are observing.

In this way, every single one of us has a different mental representation of the same object, which might be slightly different but in the end we all know we are talking about the same object, right?


Sometimes those on the Spectrum might get confused – are we both talking about the same object? What is it about this conversation about this object that is confusing me? Am I missing something that is being communicated – sarcasm, facial expression, tone of voice?

This might lead to what we often call “challenging behaviours”.

I would rather call them communications and coping mechanisms to what turns out to be a difficult situation for the person.

Trying to figure out whether someone is using sarcasm, making a particular facial expression to match their verbal communication, or saying something in a particular tone can be exhausting.

3Many people with Aspergers will have set rules that they’ve figured out through the years, to identify what is going on in a social interaction: “when someone crosses their arms it means that they are angry with me”, for example.

This could be true in most occasions, but what happens when the assumption is wrong and the person is just holding their arms together because they are cold?


I am finding it important in my sessions to normalise what is Aspergers/Autism behaviour and what is “being human” behaviour.

Normalising and giving alternatives like the one above to different situations, without shaking up their well-designed system of interactions, helps develop new skills and add to already existing ones.

What is OK to do in a social interaction and what is not, is a very subjective thing indeed. And therein lies the difficulty.

4

This includes being able to ask questions about particular behaviours someone might be unsure of – “I see you’ve crossed your arms, are you ok?”

There might need to be some practising to get there, and some energy investment in this, but it might help with their future interactions in similar situations.


Someone on the Spectrum might expect a conversation to go one way, but being unable to control what the other person is saying might mean they are surprised by the response and might need to invest some time and energy in figuring out what they mean – facial expression, tone, sarcasm or not – and what the best response is in this case.

Providing a space to develop communication skills and question the need for them is important. Acquiring new skills through therapy or coaching might help gain better understanding of why we do what we do, why do we respond like we respond, and why we hide when we hide – this applies to both neurotypicals and people on the spectrum.


With my less-verbal or fully non-verbal clients, I find it important to really “listen” to the body language.

Being attuned to the subtle communications is vital and it improves my relationship with the person, and in turn allows them to access more of what they need and find fulfilling activities and interactions.

5

They might realise they can trust me more because I am watching closely and responding to their cues.

I can then verbally express what I think they want, and keep showing different objects, activities, pictures or symbols until we definitely get to what the person really is communicating they want.

Sometimes I will get it wrong, and I will apologise for doing so, or for taking too long to get it.

This also happens in neurotypical to neurotypical interactions, but it’s enhanced by the lack of verbal input and other ways of communication used by the individual.

A quick eye gaze towards a favourite object, a particular sound in response to me asking whether they want a drink (or something else), is so important. It is how they get their needs met.

(Verbal) Neurotypicals might just need to say, “can you pass me that drink please” and that’s it. Quick and simple. We get our drink!

But getting that drink when you are non-verbal, maybe have limited ways to communicate, interact and move, amongst other things that might need to be taken into account here, might take a bit longer…


There’s a lot of food for thought here…So I am going to leave it there for this week.

Next week I want to talk about theory of mind and intense world theory, which helps understand even more the social struggles someone on the Spectrum might experience.

I hope this has been helpful. If you find anything that might need rephrasing, rewording or amending altogether, do let me know.

Would you like to add anything? Send me a message and let me know.


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Autism Spectrum Series – Life Milestones and their consequences

1


Welcome to this week’s In Therapy post.

So far, I have written about topics that I feel will be helpful and informative to everyone in society.

1For the next few months, I have decided to start a series on topics that might be helpful to people on the Autism Spectrum and those around them.


The topics will be around issues that “mainstream” folk might also struggle with, so this will still apply to everyone, but I will be putting the emphasis on the added different situations that might creep up for those on the Spectrum.


I might not be able to tackle every individual situation that might arise – with that I mean that each person on the Spectrum will experience the same situation in a different way and might need a different way of working through it.

For example, loud music might be a problem for one individual but not for the other. So, having a noisy neighbour who plays loud music all the time might be Ok for the first person but might be causing all sorts of problems for the other. One might need some support in dealing with anxiety and stress of the noise, whilst the other might be blissfully unaware of the noise that’s going on.

Do let me know if there’s any particular situation that you’d want me to talk about in the series, and I’ll be happy to include it.


2This week I want to talk about a topic that is a peeve of mine as a member of society.

I have spoken about this before (read my post on the should, must and have to’s), and it’s something that I am passionate about challenging.

It causes more harm than good, in my opinion.

Especially to those of us who do not meet the stereotypical or the average lives that are expected from us.

The stereotypical or average lives usually include something like this:

Be born

Go to school

Go to university

Get a job (possibly for life, even if miserable!)

Get married

Have children

Retire

Die

Ok it’s very general and there might be some more or less in that list according to your individual culture and society, but this should look familiar to everyone to a certain extent.


3


What happens when we don’t fit into that stereotype?

When we do something different like go the entrepreneurial route rather than the employee route?

What if we decide to not have children?

What if we never buy a house and move around the world often?

The list goes on…

Well that’s usually met with judgement and tut tut’s from our loved ones and others we might cross paths with.

Or it might be met with acceptance, well done if you’ve found those open minded people in your life!

This is just what us “neurotypicals” have to deal with.


4


People on the Spectrum might have to deal with that and the added bonus of having to deal with difficulties as the one I describe above about the noise issue.

I say difficulties, let me correct myself and say differences.

Yes it’s difference not difficulty.

We all learn to adjust and deal with circumstances with the tools and abilities we have been given.

This is no different in someone with Autism.

It in fact becomes more important and part of everyday life.

Maybe someone on the spectrum will not be able to have a job that their neurotypical counterpart might have, but that doesn’t mean they are not a valued member of society.

5

Could they have skills and abilities that gives back to society in a way that doesn’t meet the stereotypical working style?

Yes!

We just need to allow the space to develop this and not judge what we don’t understand.


There are other aspects of life, other than work, that need reviewing for both neurotypicals and people with Autism.

For people on the Spectrum and those of us around them, it might be even more pressing to challenge these society imposed life milestones, and allow for more flexibility and creativity in how things are done and how lives are lived.


6

Acceptance is one step…

Acquiring knowledge and understanding is another…

Living and letting live, whatever it looks like for whomever we are talking about – neurotypical or autistic – is, in my opinion, the greater step.


Have you got something to add to what I’ve said so far? Do let me know and I will make sure I add it to the next post.

Would you like to guest post in this series? Write to me and we can arrange it!


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New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – Update to my blog and website privacy terms

Dear readers,

This week I want to talk about new data protection legislation that will come into force this month.


There is a lot of buzz going around about GDPR and the changes that businesses have to make to their privacy, cookie and contracting policies.

I am working hard behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and that you are not affected by any changes to legislation.


From May 25th, I will need to let you know how I use

your information and details, which I have started writing in my

draft Privacy and Cookies Policy.


In regards to subscribing to this blog, there will be no changes to how I use your email details when you signed up.

In brief, your details are kept in the WordPress subscriber log and won’t be passed on to any other parties.

I will continue to send blog posts in the same way, so you don’t need to change anything.


I do need to give you the option, through this post, to keep your subscription as it is, or remove yourself from the list if you wish to do so – I will miss you if you decide the latter.

I will possibly be sending another post to remind you of this before the 25th of May. I am still working on what I need to have in place. I am nearly there but want to cover all my bases! 


Here is the Information Commissioner’s link to the GDPR guidance, and the link to my draft Privacy and Cookies Policy.

As a member of BACP, I also leave you this link – Article by Peter Jenkins and how new GDPR legislation will affect those of us in private practice.


***I am a member of the ICO, as I hold data on

clients for my counselling practice, as well as subscribers to this blog***


Please send me any questions you might have, and I will do my best to answer them.

Be patient with me though, I am also learning as I go!


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