What’s the Whack-a-Mole have to do with my emotions?

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

I’m thinking, you’re either a regular reader of my blog or you got curious about the title.

Either way, I’m glad you’re here!

In this post, I’d like to address something that I believe in and that colours the therapeutic work that I do. It also colours my life if I’m completely honest!

I didn’t go looking for psychodyamic theory or its way of working, it kinda found me! (That’s part of my academic journey and for another post, if you’re interested.)

Firstly though, let’s talk about the link I’ve made between the whack-a-mole game and our emotions.

In this classic game, what happens is, you have a mallet and the aim is to hit the mole (sometimes a crocodile or another thing/animal) when it pops out of the hole. You never know where it’s gonna pop out so you’ve gotta be quick! You’ve gotta be on top of it and thinking very quickly indeed!

Our unconscious works in a very similar way.

If we have a situation, a set of emotions, an encounter with someone, or anything that affects us emotionally, it will continue to do so until we address it.

There is no time in the unconscious, so whatever happened 40, 30, 20, 10, 5 years ago (or more recently) will continue to affect us until we do something about it.

So just like the mole, the unresolved stuff won’t stop popping up in different ways in our life, until we look at it straight in the face and work through those difficult emotions and thoughts, and possibly relational difficulties, that it might bring us.

It can get tiring trying to think fast to keep these things under wraps…

Working through the difficult stuff will help in a massive way.

It might take a few months or even a few years, but once the change that happens when we process emotions comes to pass, then you’ll be forever changed.

It might be a massive change or a little change. But change nonetheless will help you live a better life, where you’ll be able to manage those difficult emotions with more resilience and calm than you were able to before you worked through them.

Now the whack-a-mole will forever be popping moles up and down the game. In a similar way, the unconsicous will always be trying to bring stuff up from within the deepest depths of itself.

But once we know what’s there (the mole) and how to get it under our control and it becomes manageable, smaller (through therapeutic processing), its effects will become less taxing or overwhelming in our day to day lives.

For lack of a better analogy, before working through, the emotional “mole” might have been big and overwhelming. After working through, it becomes small enough to hold in our hand, and therefore more manageable.

I tell my clients all the time, that we don’t get amnesia from therapy.

And that’s a good thing, because the things that make us who we are, with the strengths we have now, are sometimes those difficult things we went through and worked through.

Until next week…

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Trust your intuition…

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

I’ve got a few mini-series in mind, and one that’s in progress (Counselling Autistic People), to which I’ll get to in due course.

Today I want to talk about intuition – or what’s also known as our “gut feeling”.

Depending on how we were raised, and the events that we’ve experienced in life, we will be more able to trust our own gut without even thinking twice about it.

Others of us might have more difficulty and need to re-train our minds and bodies to listen to our gut.

As a counsellor/psychotherapist, I’ve been trained to trust my intuition in the therapy room, which generally helps my clients, as what I’m feeling might be a reflection of what’s going on for them.

Call it counter-transference, projective identification, empathy, it all leads back to our gut communication something useful to us.

Trusting our intuition isn’t reserved only for therapists.

It is a tool available for all of us, at one level or another.

So, how do we develop that trust that what is coming up for us, a gut reaction, a “walk away” thought, a “be careful” thought, or goosebumps all over our body, is something we need to listen to, for our own good?

Here are some ways I believe we can develop this important skill:

1 – Start small

Changing our mindsets and the way we do or think or react to things will take time and effort.

Tackling the big things might not be the best idea to start with, as we are not yet able to use our intuition in the best way possible.

Start small…for example: someone asks you for a cup of tea, and your first instinct is “I’m busy, I can’t possibly be making you a cup of tea, this is not the right time for this”.

It might be easier to trust your gut telling you “just say no right now” with something as small as making a cuppa for someone, than it would be something bigger.

The results of saying “No, sorry, I can’t make you that cuppa right now, can you get it yourself please?” will be massive!

You won’t resent your friend/colleague/relative for making you do something you didn’t have time for right now, and you won’t resent yourself for saying no.

Your intuition might have been telling you “if you do this, you’ll resent yourself and them! avoid that resentment and say no.”

I know this sounds trivial but building on this will help you with the bigger things in life.

Maybe you’ll need to trust your gut when driving – Do I go left or right, where is there usually less traffic? which road is safer for me?

Maybe it’s about accepting or rejecting a dinner invitation with someone you know deep inside will make you feel something you don’t want to feel (uncomfortable, judged, belittled, etc).

Why put yourself through things that you clearly don’t want to do and that your instincts are telling you “don’t do it?”

2 – Work it through in Therapy

In therapy, I believe is where we can really put this into practice.

Talking through situations with my clients is something I do on a regular basis.

Going through what happened and seeing things from a different perspective, as well as thinking about what we could’ve done differently in order to get the results we actually wanted…

Sometimes what we could’ve done differently is just listen to our gut…

Developing that keen ear for what we instinctively know is best for us is part of the therapeutic process.

At least when you come see me! Other therapists might work differently.

Listening to our gut is one way where we can learn to meet our own needs, prevent resentment of ourselves or those we love, as well as learning to set clear boundaries that will keep us safe from the things we really don’t want in our lives.

If you want to find out more about this, you can find my book and my facebook group via this link.

Until next week…

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Content Creation for Practitioners in Private Practice – Live Event Tomorrow

Hi! And welcome to today’s blog post, where I will be talking about a topic that I believe will benefit you.

Learning about social media and the business world has led me into a wider world, for my personal life, but also in a big way for my work life.

I am a counsellor in private practice, and as such I’ve had to come to terms with a few things.

  1. Private practice is a business.
  2. as a buisness, I must market it.
  3. Counselling isn’t the same as selling shoes (the title of my upcoming event) – and as such the marketing must be different
  4. I have to find a way to market myself without sounding either patronising or pushy, after all, people come to counselling when they’re ready, not when a counsellor tells them they need it (I wouldn’t dare say that to anyone and I challenge anyone that does! let people come to you)

It’s been quite a mindset change to get to where I am now in my private practice, but putting some things in place, slowly, steadily and consistently, has helped me get there.

In this post, I want to talk about repurposing. This is a great aspect of content creation and social media marketing!

In order to promote our business – private practice – on social media, therapists must be clever about it and think about what the best way to do this will be.

I believe that adding value to our audiene will get us the results we want. And in turn allow clients to reach us, their best choice of therapist!

But we must be consistent and congruent. This means posting on a regular basis, and posting what we believe in and what makes us passionate.

People will know if we’re posting for the sake of it rather than posting because we actually care about what we’re posting!

So what do I mean by repurposing?

In summary, repurposing means using your content over and over and over, in a variety of ways.

Here are some ways you can create, use, and re-use (repurpose) your content (I’ll leave some examples at the very end of the post as I’ve been having issues with my wordpress app today!)

  1. Write Blog posts like this one
  2. Create Podcasts and Vlogs that stem from your blog post or your services
  3. Write articles on LinkedIn based on your original blog post and/or service offers
  4. Images: you can create images to fit all your different platforms. Usually you can use the same ones you create for Twitter and reuse them in Facebook and LinkedIn. There might be particular sizes that fit Instagram (square) and Pinterest (infographic size, for example) better. You can find all of this in free programmes like Canva.
  5. Storyboard Videos: I use Lumen5 for mine, but there are other apps out there and if you have your own images you can even use Adobe products to create them. Videos are becoming even more popular and eye-catching than images, so get on board! It’s a great way to get started, especially if you’re not ready to publish personal videos yet.
  6. Personal videos: These are scary to do at first but once you get used to them, it gets easier and even fun! I’ve embedded videos all over my website, and they’ve made it even better for clients to decide whether they want to work with me, and to give more information in case I can’t reply straight away to a message due to being out or on holiday or any other reason. This is a real personal touch and I highly recommend it!
  7. Infographics: These are the pinterest app’s friend. They are fun to create and you can use your existing blog or service content to add them to your arsenal or first use and repurposed posts!

These are only some ways in which you can repurpose your content.

Contac me if you have any questions or need any help with your content creation!

Whilst I’m here, I want to remind you of the event I mentioned in the title and elsewhere in this post. Click here to join and watch tomorrow morning, Tuesday 23rd July at 8:30am.

As promised, here are some sample images and videos:

Twitter Sized, also can be used on Facebook and LinkedIn
Social Media or Square Sized, Better for Instagram, but also OK for other apps
Infographic: Ideal for Pinterest as this app prefers longer images, but there is an even better pinterest size!
I use storyboard videos for my promotions. This one is for online supervision and I keep reusing it over and over, especially on Twitter (the half life of a tweet is very short)!
This video is for my supervision month I did back in summer 2018. I have lots more like this and I’m looking forward to creating newer versions and new content! They don’t have to be long, and it’s better if they’re between 1min and 2min max.

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New Stuff Coming Right Up!


Hello, hello!

It’s been about 2 months since my last post stating I was taking a break due to health and other reasons.

I’m pleased to report that the time off has done its job, and I’m feeling refreshed and ready to go again!

Since then, I’ve achieved the following:

  • Finished contracted work that was helpful at the time but is now not necessary as running my businesses is taking precedence. (I can still do relief shifts, which I plan on continuing as and when, the fact that it’s my choice now feels so much better!)
    • This means that I will have more time for my self-care, my relationships and my work, which I love (it isn’t really work!)
  • I’m sorting out my health issues, which has meant paying privately to get some answers (for those not in the UK – the National Health Service, NHS is free at point of service – we pay through our taxes).
    • I’ve got some answers and I’ve got something in place, which I’m hoping will help in my day-to-day. Hoping it means the symptoms that have been affecting me (exhaustion, foggy brain…) will be less taxing and life-affecting.
  • Refurbished my website, which seemed crucial for me to be able to move forward, for some reason!
  • I have a plan for what I want to do with my next year in regards to writing (books and blogs), social media, and new services and products I want to offer.


A lot of new things have come up since then, which I actually need to pick up (I’ll send a message out to the relevant parties when I finish writing this post!)

  • Events via
    • I am participating in a few webinar events, presenting topics I’m passionate about. I’ve enjoyed participating in online interviews with John and Saz Wilson.
    • Here is my practitioner page, where you can find 2 past interviews
        • 20 Self-Care Habits – I presented my book (published July 31st 2018), and gave some tips for self-care, alongside my lovely colleagues that also had sessions that day on the Self-Care Conference. I’m hoping to be a part of this year’s conference as well!
        •  Creating a supervision model that works for your practice – I spoke about how I run my supervision practice, and why I believe that my integrated model is relevant for practitioners (one supervision theory doesn’t encompass all, and the 5 that I’ve integrated compliment each other very nicely and add different aspects that I believe are important for a great supervisory relationship).


  • In the next few months, I’ll be participating in 3 more events, which can be viewed for free when they’re being recorded, either on the facebook page or in the Zoom meeting itself (this is sent to you when you book the event).


      • September 3rd 2019 – Supervision “Pain Points”: What To Expect From Your Supervisory Relationship
        • Part 2 of my supervision webinars There is so much to say about supervision that I asked John if I could come back and talk about what practitioners should expect from their supervisory relationship to make the most out of their time and have it be a great, positive impact on their practice, development, and client work, which is the first purpose of supervision and practising as counsellors and psychotherapists.
      • To be announced – 2019 Self-Care Conference



  • Ayanay Events
    • Face to face and online webinars
    • Ayanay is a new membership body that aims to offer Elevated services for their members and other colleagues that might want to attend the CPD services. They also have a novel perspective on accreditation, which won’t break the bank and reinforces the knowledge you’ve already gained. The story behind it is very powerful as well!
    • As part of the webinars and supporting Ayanay with providing clear, transparent and congruent information, I recently interviewed the Founders of Ayanay in a set of 6 interviews, which tell you a lot about the company, their purpose and the future.
    • The Business of Therapy Weekend.
      • In September 7th and 8th, I’ll be presenting a masterclass on Social media and content creation, which is similar in content to the event with onlinevents but I’ll be adding worksheets and other things to take away.


  • Peer supervision groups
    • I find it important to continue to have conversations with colleagues, either through formal supervision or other types of groups, and peer supervision is one of them.
    • I’m meeting with local therapists for general group support, but also online with therapists that work with neurodiversity directly.
    • This offers an opportunity to increasing our knowledge and increasing the way we impact the therapeutic world with knowledge and expertise regarding neurodiversity.


  • Facebook groups
    • I run a couple of groups that I’ve set up from my interests, and a few others that have stemmed from collaborations with colleagues and organisations:
      • Counsellors working with neurodiversity – Set up as a resource and a meeting place for UK counsellors to share their knowledge, expertise, events, CPD courses and/or workshops. In the areas for example of Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD; although not exclusive to these aspects.
      • 20 Self-Care Habits – Self -Care group – this group came about as a result of my book and my desire to add even more value to my readers and those wanting to develop their self-care activities in a supportive environment with like-minded people.
      • Content creation group Grow your private practice through adding value on social media platforms and promoting your services in an ethical and professional manner (linked to the events and services described elsewhere in this post)
      • Ayanay Open – a group designed to peak your interest in the membership, and be a part of it while you decide to join, or just to be in the loop if you decide not to join at this point. Social media posts are shared here, which will benefit everyone that shares.


  • New services coming soon!
    • I’ve set up my directory of services, which encompasses everything I do and want to do, now and in the future.
    • Do have a look via this link to read a brief description of what’s yet to come (work in progress!) and what I already offer at this point.
    • The Dream to Reality service is one that I want to work on first, alongside writing, because I believe I can meet you right where you are, even if there’s no fancy ready-made programme to support you. A sounding board session or a few sessions might be what you need to get you back on track and clear about the topics I can help you with.


  • Books to looks forward to!
    • I am really looking forward to putting my head down and writing. I write because I enjoy it and benefit from doing research and putting my ideas into paper. But I also enjoy adding value to the people that I can reach via my books and other stuff that I do.
    • You already know about 20 Self-Care Habits and my blog posts. I am looking forward to offering books on the following topics
      • Self-Care (part 2) – Responsibility issues 
        • I’ll say more as I develop the ideas
      • A non-fiction novel based on a recurring dream I used to have (as a psychodynamically based therapist, dreams are very important and telling, and the value I got from working through the dream in therapy is something I believe will benefit everyone, not only myself)
      • Content Creation – a practical guide to social media marketing, based on what I’ve learned so far and what has worked for me
      • Supervision – A compilation of the information I’ve gathered and found useful for my own practice and for my supervisees and all the clients that this has impacted upon
      • Children’s books on mental health topics – if we have good mental health from the start, and are able to be self-aware and work through our emotions with clear understanding and support, we are less likely to struggle as much as adults. The topics will be around every day stuff (I work with clients working through everyday life issues, so this makes sense and is congruent with how I work)


In regards to this blog, in the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about the following topics:

  • Continue the Counselling Autistic People series
  • Content Creation Blog series
  • Supervision blog series
  • ad hoc posts as things come up for me, the mental health world, or other current events I might want to discuss from a therapist’s perspective

I am really excited for the next half of 2019 and the whole of 2020! 

I am hopeful that things will be much better health wise and with more time to look after myself, to engage more in my meaningful and close relationships – both friends and colleagues -, as well as giving my businesses the time they deserve and that I want to give them, that it will be a great time from now onward.

I’m not saying it wasn’t good or great already, but sometimes life gets in the way, and I wouldn’t be being congruent with myself or the people around me if I avoided talking about it or addressing those issues so I can better look after myself.

I practice what I preach, which is something I’m pleased about.

Until next time…

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It’s time for some Self-Care – Normal posting will resume in June

cropped-fullsizerender.jpgDear readers, and those following me on Social Media.

Due to some health issues I’m going to take some time away from my regular posting schedule, both via this blog and via social media.

Don’t worry, it’s not serious, but it does mean my energy levels are depleted some of the time, it varies week by week, some weeks I’m fine, others it’s awful!

That means that I am saving up the little energy I have to give 100+% to my counselling clients, supervisees and tutoring students. 

I am not happy about not being my usual self in regard to social media posting and blogging, as I love what I do here, so this is very frustrating and sad, but it is also necessary.

I talk about self-care – heck I wrote a book about it! – and I must be true to what I’ve learned and also practice what I preach. 

I do have an arsenal of posts that you can browse through while I get myself back on track.

I am in the process of freeing more time for myself, so in the near future (Bring on June and July!), I will have more time allocated solely to social media and blogging, which will be great!

Until then, I need to take it easy.

Feel free to ask me any questions or comment in this post, and others I’ve written in the past.

There’s series on therapy related topics (from your first therapy session, to anxiety, to spring cleaning!), relationships (more to be added in due course), autism (miniseries to continue in June), self-care (looking after yourself series), supervision content, and more!

Do have a browse in the categories or do a search and see what comes up, I might have written about it already!

If not, email me or contact me via the contact form and I’ll write one up in the second half of 2019.

I’ll probably do the odd post or re-post some of my oldies but goodies, but it will be much less than you’re probably seeing from me!

I know my readers and socials followers are lovely and understanding, so for that, I thank you, and I’ll see you soon!

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Ayanay brought together two great minds: Windy Dryden and Irvin D. Yalom, and I was there for the ride!

twitter - Ayanay Windy Dryden and Irvin D Yalom Blog Post

Hi, and welcome to this entry of my blog.

This is going to be a bit different, as something absolutely brilliant happened last Thursday evening.

It could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing for everyone involved, and for all of you out there that we can bring this video interview to.

Where to start?

This is too big for words, but I’ll do my best…

A few weeks ago, I joined Ayanay, and had a chat with one of the founders, Siobhain (Vonnie) Crosbie.

We used Zoom Meetings at my request. Vonnie was worried as she’d not used the technology before. (check out my content creation service page)

Luckily it all went well. We had a lovely chat and found lots of things in common!

I also had the chance to be coached/mentored by Ayanay’s co-founder, Dave Sleet, who was great support during a tricky week in regard to some work I’m doing.


That was the start of what I believe to be, already, a great relationship.

It’s still early days but I’m seeing how wonderful it is already to be a part of this great enterprise, and bring my knowledge,experience and support to a very knowledgeable, experienced and supportive team!

Fastforward to last Wednesday evening (20th March 2019).

I get an urgent messenger call from Vonnie and Dave, asking if I could help with setting up a Zoom Meeting between – get this – Windy Dryden and Irvin D Yalom!

They were nervous that they wouldn’t fully grasp how to use the programme before Thursday evening, so they asked for my support.

As you can imagine, a lot was going through my mind and body at that point.

Happiness  – to have found these two great people to work with and get to know – Vonnie and Dave – and to be chatting to them once more on Wednesday night.

Humbled – to ba a part of such a great thing, and to be in the presence of Windy Dryden and Irvin D. Yalom!

Gratitude – to be “the one” asked to help with this; to be seen as an “expert” and someone able to help sort out a problem and bring the event to pass.

Awe and nerves – at the thought of being in the same virtual space as those two greats, which have been a part of my Psychology and Counselling studies.

Excitement  – at what we were going to achieve the next evening!

I couldn’t sleep that night, or the night after for that matter, but I was so happy and over the moon with it all!

Thursday evening was amazing!


I will now handover to Vonnie and Dave to tell you a bit more about how they got Windy Dryden to talk at their recent retreat, as well as to agree to interview Irvin D. Yalom.

(((watch the whole interview here)))

They’ll also tell you about their journey of talking to Irvin D. Yalom and getting 3 dates to talk to him in April’s “An Audience with Irvin D. Yalom”.

Lastly, they’ll let you know a bit more about Ayanay and what it’s all about.

Over to you, Vonnie and Dave!

Wow What an Intro!

Thanks Karin, well I guest first off let’s get the name questions out the way.

Ayanay pronounced ‘A an A’. It is a word found in many ancient languages from all over the world and throughout human history.

It has always held a theme, wherever it has been used. Torchbearers, Teachers, Leaders, Mavericks.

Both of us have always fallen in to these groups, throughout our careers. Vonnie as a Therapist and Dave as a Coach.

Our Ayanay story is born, after Vonnie received a diagnosis of cancer in January 2018. The diagnosis, treatment and recovery meant Vonnie’s private psychotherapy practice (APS Psychotherapy & Counselling) went into suspended animation.

5This resulted in time to create and develop ideas, around how the Therapeutic industry can unite, grow, and develop, ultimately for the service of those that seek the support of Therapists, Counsellors and Coaches. (The Clients)

Ayanay work to provide the best possible package of support to the therapeutic community, through Elite Membership and Elevated Learning Retreats.

Not only to develop their own best practice, through increased awareness, but also to grow their business capacity through: facilitation of Elevated Learning Modules, Effective Networking, and Introductions to additional revenue streams.

This means members also have the opportunity to promote their own workshops and presentations and ultimately, to be paid for delivering them to Ayanay Elite Members.

We should highlight that in the world of Ayanay, Elite is NOT Superior, Elite pays respect to those that are self-aware, open, and client centred.

Our relationship with Windy Dryden…

Both of us, believe in the power of connectivity. Shaking someone’s hand, having a conversation, meeting a person face to face and supporting each other grow.


So, when we were planning our 2nd Retreat, we were delighted to be approached by Windy Dryden, offering to support our fledgling endeavour.

The conversations that flowed from that point, lead to Windy becoming the guest speaker at the Retreat, which took place earlier this month, (March 2019).

The journey that linked Ayanay with Irvin D Yalom, was somewhat different.

Almost a month after Vonnie’s surgery, an attitude of Carpe Diem ruled.

And with nothing to lose, Ayanay reached out to Irvin and asked if he would like to be involved in some events with us, in the UK.

Following a nail biting 24 hours, with website hits showing Stanford University, Vonnie was invited to speak to Irvin directly.

With ever reducing travel and public speaking, it was decided that a live video link to the UK would be the best option…

…that would allow Ayanay to be supported by, quite possibly the greatest living psychological expert of our time.


The sheer adrenaline and excitement felt at that time, can’t be put into words.

But this was topped earlier this week, when Irvin and Windy both agreed to support Ayanay again.

This time with a short interview.

Facilitating 2 of the greats is not something either of us had done before (No one else had either) so in the spirit of supporting our members, we reached out to Karin.

What an Interview it turned out to be…

…Irvin D Yalom, confirming that the 3 events in April would be his farewell addresses.

No Pressure.

And here we are.

Tickets are available from

This might be my last events... (1).jpg

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Colección de blogs en español

Blog en Español


En esta entrada, quiero dejarlos con una lista de mis blogs, escritos desde Agosto 2017 hasta la fecha.

Estaré publicando cada uno en Twitter, Facebook y LinkedIn también si desean seguir mis cuentas sociales.

Espero que disfruten leyendo o re-leyendo estos posts y que les sean de mucha utilidad!


Mi primer blog post – publicado en Agosto de 2017


La creatividad como motor del crecimiento en la relación terapéutica


Book Cover


Practicando el Autocuidado


Es a partir de esta serie que nace mi libro:


20 Self-Care Habits




Límites sanos

Honra tus sentimientos

Reconecta con la naturaleza

Pasa tiempo a solas, en tu compañia

Pasa tiempo con tu familia y amigos

Mantente activo



En Terapia:


(Blogs traducidos por Mayra Alarcón)



Baja autoestima (parte 1)

Baja autoestima (parte 2)

Baja autoestima (parte 3)

Ansiedad (parte 1)

Ansiedad (parte 2)

Ansiedad (parte 3)

Pérdida y duelo (parte 1)

Pérdida y duelo (parte 2)

Pérdida y duelo (parte 3)

Tu primera sesión de terapia (parte 1)

Tu primera sesión de terapia (parte 2)

¿Qué hacer con nuestros sentimientos cuando cometemos un error?

Enojo (parte 1)

Enojo (parte 2)

¿Qué hacer con los debería de y tengo que?

Aceptando el cambio

¿Qué puede hacer la psicoterapia por ti?

Desarrollando la autocompasión y la compasión por los demás (parte 1)

Desarrollando la autocompasión y la compasión por los demás (parte 2)

Limpieza de primavera



Blogs en colaboración

Escritos por Lara Knaggs

Comentarios por Karin Brauner



Autocuidado como forma de revolución

Para abrazar la alegría, aprende a abrazar la tristeza

El cuerpo necesita amor

Queridas canas, quereros es quererme

La importancia de no ocultar aquello que te gusta


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Blog en Español

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