What to expect from Supervision – Develop Self-Awareness

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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

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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.


developing self-awareness in supervision

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!

World Autism Month

This month is World Autism Month, and to honour the amazing people that live with Autism Spectrum conditions, I am dedicating this post to them.

I first started working with people with disabilities — different abilities — back in 2004 when I worked as a volunteer, training people with physical disabilities so they could get into the workforce, in Guatemala.

This was very rewarding as I could use both my teaching (IT programmes) and counselling skills (support group), and get to speak to people and hear their experiences first hand.

Supporting people has been something I’ve always wanted to do, and this opportunity was great to start my journey in supporting people with disabilities.

Read more about my journey on my post in support of Common Hope,

and do give if you feel moved to, it’s a great cause!

Move forward to 2008, I started my journey into the world of Autism. I got hired to work as a supported living support worker for people that lived at home with their families.

This job gave me a chance to work with some amazing individuals, some of whom I still keep in touch now – a couple of them came to my Wedding, which was lovely!

I am now crossing over to working with people on the Spectrum not only as a support worker but also as a counsellor.

I’ve learned so much from every person on the Spectrum I’ve met and supported.

  • Taking time to self-care.

    • Something as simple as having a bath to help relax and ease pain and stress.
  • Finding creative and new ways to communicate.

    • Many of the people I’ve supported are non-verbal.
    • Learning Makaton and other communication skills has been part of the journey.
    • Reading non-verbal cues and paying attention to the small nuances and eye-gazes has become routine in my work. I love it.
  • Counselling people on the Spectrum – Aspergers mostly so far, is so rewarding.

    • It’s a chance to bring me – a neurotypical – a deeper understanding of how the “Aspie” mind works, and therefore how to best support someone work through their issues in therapy.

Meeting one’s needs and setting clear boundaries is something I am big on, and it is a great duty of care, responsibility and honour to be able to support people with this.

Part of working with ASD and other disabilities is helping the clients/service users to live in this world as it is – easier said than done!…

….but I also believe a great part of working with this group of people, and getting them out in the community (Social Inclusion) is getting us “neurotypicals” and the general public to understand and accept that there are people among us that deserve the same rights and their needs being met as everyone else.

Understanding and acceptance of difference is a great first step to take, to realise how wonderful each person with disabilities and ASDs is. Everyone is an individual, and this applies here as well.

We forget that we are all individuals. “They are all individuals”.

There is a lot to learn from people on the Spectrum and with other varied disabilities…

The struggles each one faces, and yet they are smiling and enjoying life as best they can.

Autism has its ups and downs, it’s not all smiles and fun.

There are meltdowns and medical emergencies (to say the least!).

There are frustrated, confused and sometimes depressed parents and carers.

The world of Autism is really incredible.

I wouldn’t change any of the people I’ve met, for anything in the world.

They are great as they are. They have a purpose as they are.

let’s embrace the differences each person on the Spectrum brings to society…

let’s embrace the greatness that is within those differently-functioning brains and bodies….

let’s learn from the way they are, the way they themselves embrace life and make the most of it…

Let’s accept and understand rather than stigmatise and isolate.

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Mental Health Media “The sinner” Series – by Holly Tootell


There are a few programmes on TV and Film that discuss mental health related topics in their plots. The Sinner is one of them.

As Holly Tootell describes in this post, it is definitely gripping to watch!

But what is most gripping is the reality of abuse and trauma and how it can manifest in our lives even years after it happened.

The good news, as Holly reminds us, is that there is a way to heal from abuse and trauma in childhood and other stages in life, it just has to be the right way for each individual!

Read more here.


Working with the person, not the diagnosis – by Nathan Gould


In this post, Nathan Gould discusses how uncomfortable, unfair and unhelpful labelling someone with a diagnosis can be.

It can’t be like when we have a physical ailment – a broken arm, the flu, something else. It’s not as straightforward as that.

Nathan discusses this in depth. It is helpful for both professionals but also for people suffering with mental health and feeling disheartened by getting diagnosed and treated as a diagnosis rather than as a person.

There are many of us out there that want to help the person not the diagnosis.

I highly recommend reading his post, and other posts he has written, by clicking here.

Setting Reasonable Resolutions for 2018

calendar freebieFree 2018 Printable Calendar!

We have all been there…we make a list of what we plan to do in the New Year – stop smoking and doing more exercise are favourites.

How many of us break these resolutions on the 2nd of January?

So why not set some reasonable resolutions for 2018?

Here are some ideas that you might actually want to keep, and achieve without much hassle or thinking about:

  • keep life as simple as possible

    • remove those things that cause clutter in your home or mind.
    • think about each situation and weigh wether you want or need to stress about it, and decide for how long to stress about it.
  • Don’t make something a problem unless and/or until it actually is a problem!

    • this is one thing I try to make sure I do in my life to keep myself from getting overwhelmed when nothing is actually happening.
  • Make short-term plans

    • 3-monthly plans seem to work best for many people, and this means that you won’t get overwhelmed with gigantic goals
    • break those gigantic goals into parts and give yourself flexible deadlines to meet them
    • prioritise and don’t try to do everything at once, you will get overwhelmed and most likely not do any of them!
  • Take care of your mental health

    • read up on what worries you or ask a professional
    • go to counselling short term even if nothing major is happening – getting to know yourself better is a great thing and will benefit you and your relationships
    • read my blogs – and others’ blogs – on working through various issues in therapy
  • Other things that might impact positively on your life might be things that I’ve spoken about in my self-care blog posts

    • travel more

    • spend time with people that support and make you happy – spend less or no time with people that you might feel are taking your energy away or are actually toxic

    • read more

    • try new things – foods, activities, tv shows, etc

    • save

    • tweak your diet and exercise routines – or come up with one that fits your schedule and that you will actually achieve!

That’s it from me for 2017, I shall see you around the corner!

2018 here we come!

Have you downloaded my free calendar 2018 yet?

It’s been a learning curve for me since starting my blog this august, I am hoping to improve on what I’ve already done and offer some more freebies, books, and more great content the next year.

If you have any suggestions or comments, do leave them via email or via the contact form.

Have you subscribed to my blog? Make sure you don’t miss a thing this 2018! 

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Introducing: Mayra – Sworn Translator


Dear readers and subscribers,

As you have probably noticed, I publish a blog post in English on Mondays, and then a translation to Spanish on Tuesdays.

Even though translation is something I want to delve into as well, I am finding it easier to delegate the translating task, so I can focus on writing more material for you during the week.

Therefore, I am very pleased to introduce my friend and colleague, Mayra, who is going to be working on the blog with me by being the official translator for Insights…from the desk of Karin Brauner!

So without further ado, I will now leave the stage open for Mayra to tell us a bit about herself:

22773476_10154754695032237_814551237_nHi! My name is Mayra, and I am a sworn translator, based in Guatemala City.

I have worked as a translator since I graduated, but at the same time, I started doing other jobs as Business Administrator.

I established a translation business in 2006, where I used to help lawyers who worked with international cases, and needed legal translations; but it wasn’t until 2015 that my career finally took off. That was when I started having bigger clients, and started working with other colleagues to be able to finish all the work coming from them.

This sudden change made me realize how many potential clients there were out there, so I decided to start with a marketing strategy to get more of them.


In 2017 I launched my new brand, called: “We Translate” or “Nosotros Traducimos” in its Spanish version.

I have worked for many industries. Some to mention are: architecture, soil studies, tourism, armed conflict in Guatemala, veterinary products, international demands, and all kinds of legal documents.

I also participated in the Translation and Localization Conference that took place in March, 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.


I am currently a member of the Translators and Interpreters Association here in Guatemala.

I know there is a lot more to come, so I expect to be able to continue helping others to communicate throughout the world for many more years.

I am pleased to have been asked to work alongside Karin on her blogsite as her official blog translator. I hope you enjoy the translation work, do contact me with your translation needs!



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Read Mayra’s first translation for Insights here. Lee la primera traduccion de Mayra aqui.

English version can also be found here, written by yours truly.

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