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


medium_go_be_kind_art.jpgSunday 17th is #RandomActOfKindnessDay or #RAKDay.

Have a look at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website for more.

I found this awareness day particularly interesting because we take being kind for granted.

In my life, I know I know I do it too.

medium_be_kind_hh_dalai_lamaI might be grateful for someone being kind to me, but I forget to show them how thankful I am, and how much I appreciated it.

Or I might do something kind for someone and not realise how big of an impact I might have made on them.

This post really, is to think about and consider how much we can impact someone’s life with one good word or action.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or cost anything at all.

It doesn’t have to take hours or encroach on our already busy schedules.

one_note_to_selfSome kind things to do that won’t put us out of routine or what we need to do for ourselves:

smile at someone

buy a homeless person a bite to eat

listen to someone’s story (sometimes listening is more than enough!)

compliment someone

be happy for someone else’s achievements and show them how happy you are for them

call someone that you know might feel lonely


invite someone for a cuppa

bite your tongue when something not nice wants to come out (find your therapist or vent about it in another way)

What other things have you done or have you had others do to you that have been kind?

Let me know in the comments!


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How to talk about mental health stigma #TimeToTalk2019

tea-twitter-01This week’s post was prompted by Time to Change, who take the lead in the fight to end mental health discrimination and stigma. So today, I want to join in the movement by writing this blog post, as well as sharing on Social Media to get even more attention placed on this important topic.

Heads Together, a charity set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, is also active in working on removing the stigma around mental health.

There are many other charities and organisations that also deal with this very important topic. Here are links to three of them.


Scattergood Foundation


#timetotalk   #TimeToTalkDay


It takes guts to accept to ourselves when we are not feeling quite right with our mental health. It is even more difficult to accept it to our friends, family or even a therapist.

Drop in the added bonus of being looked at as [insert negative adjectives here] and also discriminated at work or your local community because your illness isn’t visible and you are probably exaggerating or making it up anyway, right?


    • Frees us to be authentic, honest and real with ourselves and others about how we are really feeling and what we are willing to do about it.
    • Challenges others to view mental health problems in a different light, and allowing more conversations to happen
    • From the two above stems the fact that relationships can improve and become more supportive as a result of these difficult conversations
    • Helps challenge the stereotypes that exist when someone mentions mental health problems
      • People with mental health problems are unpredictable
      • People with mental health problems are dangerous
      • People with mental health problems are incompetent
      • You are to blame for your mental health problems
      • There is no hope for recovery
      • (click here to read more)
    • The chance of recovery increases significantly once the person is honest with themselves, and the support system is in place – more understanding family, friends, employers, and seeking professional help even if for a short time.


  • Seeing someone talk about their mental health problems in an open and honest way will help normalise what ill mental health actually means
    • “if my friend has it, and I’ve known him/her all my life, then mental health can affect all of us.”
    • “actually I’ve felt my mental health dwindle in the past but have been afraid to have the conversations”
    • “I know him/her and wouldn’t say they’re unpredictable, dangerous, incompetent or that they brought it on themselves, or that there is no hope for recovery. My friend’s mental health problem challenges my view on mental health.”
  • tttd-2019screensavers07Mental ill health should be a topic of conversation as simple as physical ill health topics of conversation.
    • It is much easier to call in sick at work and say something like “I broke my leg and will need some time to recover” than “I feel so anxious today that I’m unable to get up from bed”.
    • It probably hurts just as bad – physically, psychologically and emotionally – to break your leg than to feel anxious or depressed.
      • The difference is one is quantifiable and visible, whilst the other isn’t.
      • It doesn’t mean that one exists and the other doesn’t or that one should be taken more seriously and with more compassion than the other.


I feel blessed to live in this day and age where, even though mental health stigma and discrimination still exists, it is easier for it to be challenged and views changed about it. There are even laws and white papers created that protect people with mental health issues from being discriminated (See The Mental Health Act 1983 and The Equality Act 2010).

As a mental health practitioner, I value the conversation about mental health and overwhelming life situations that stop us on our tracks and/or hinder our everyday life. It is a privilege to listen to people’s stories and help them work through their difficult feelings, thoughts and behaviours that, so that eventually (sooner than later – it all depends on each person’s individual journey and process) they can get their lives back on track.

tttd-2019screensavers06Whether I see clients for 6 sessions, 3 months, a year, two years, three years or more, I trust that they have the strengths and resources within them and within their support group to help them get back on track. I trust in the therapeutic process and that together in the counselling room we can work through, process, understand, feel and think what needs to be worked through, processed, understood, felt and thought of so the person can move forward.

I believe in allowing our feelings to come out – I often use the phrase “out is better than in”, which is definitely applicable for getting your anger, sadness, upset, and any other feelings, out. Keeping them in might make us mentally ill but also physically ill or make it difficult for us to heal our emotional and psychological wounds.


Something that I find is useful for certain things but not as a therapeutic tool, are mental health diagnoses. I don’t underestimate a diagnosis (such as depression or bipolar disorder), but I won’t treat my client as a depressed person or a bipolar person. I will treat the person as a whole, and talk about whatever they bring on a particular session. I find this is more helpful and has felt like a relief to some clients. Yes they keep their diagnosis and the medication they might be taking, but they are not treated like a part of themselves or like the only thing they are is that depressed or that bipolar side of them.

There are a few things that definitely won’t work and will do more harm than good when talking to someone that’s telling you about their difficulties with their mental health:

  • “go have a nap or a bath, you’ll feel better after”
  • “I’m sure it’s not that bad, you’re a bit dramatic”
  • “Aw, just get over it”
  • “you are just doing it for attention”
  • “you have mental health problems, therefore you are weak and broken”
  • “it could be worse”
  • “someone is worse off than you”
  • “I know exactly how you feel”
  • “go do something to distract you”
  • “stop being lazy”


I want to end this post on a positive note. So, how can you support someone with mental health problems? It doesn’t have to be a massive thing. As you can see above, words can have a massive impact. Try these:

  • “you are not alone, I’m here for you”
  • “I’m listening”
  • “what can I do to help”
  • “have you tried talking to a counsellor”
  • “I understand if you want to be on your own, but I’ll be here when you’re ready to hang out”
  • “I believe you, I believe you are struggling”

I hope this post has been helpful and has challenged you in regards to mental health stigma and discrimination. Do share this post and the links I’ve left around the post, so others can have this conversation as well!

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Mystery Blogger Award

20170810_114447I’ve been nominated By Dr.Tanya for a Mystery Blogger Award and I’m very happy and honoured!

It’s nice when things like this pop into your inbox and it’s one of the first things you see when you wake up in the morning.

Dr Tanya writes about a variety of topics that affect or touch us all in one way or another.

Go check out her blog and find out more about her amazing posts!



What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

‘An award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.’

– Okoto Enigma, Creator of the Mystery Blogger Award

Some general rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.

4. Answer the 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.

5. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

7. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

8. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

9. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).

10. Share a link to your best post(s).

directory of services (1)3 things about myself


  1. I am very passionate about life and the things I enjoy doing. I will give it my all and make sure it’s the best it can be. I strive to do this in every area of my life, whether it’s work, having down time, or spending time in nature or with other people that mean a lot to me.
  2. I am from Guatemala, but also have German heritage which comes out now and then even though I’ve never lived in Germany before! I have recently become British, due to the current situation, but it’s nice to have the nationality of the place I now call home.
  3. I enjoy doing many things, so I’ve decided to incorporate them into a lifestyle and businesses – tutoring, content creation, counselling, supervision, writing (books and blogging), self-care coaching. I don’t like to just put all my eggs in one basket, and I am happy developing the different areas I’ve chosen to work on in self-employment. I also do part-time care work with kiddoes with special needs and autism, which is great and rewarding. I am doing much less of that as my businesses are growing, but I still enjoy it.

Dr. Tanya’s Questions to me

1. What was the main motivation behind your blog?

The main motivation for writing my blog was using my writing skills to add value to people reading and looking for information and tips about mental health, self-care, supervision, and more.

2. How do you see the future of blogging? Do you think blogs will still be around in 2025?

As with anything, blogging will change. We are already seeing VLogs appear (video versions of blogs, which I’m going to start getting into soon too!). I do hope the written word doesn’t get bypassed or forgotten.

Writing is a creative endeavour and it is also a therapeutic way of expressing what is inside of us, what we love and what we want to share with others that might not come out the same in any other way.

I think blogs will still be around in 2025, I just don’t know what the arena will look like yet. Things are moving quicker and quicker. It’s only 6 years away but technology moves so quick and trends do also.

3. Are conventional/printed books becoming obsolete? Am I the only dinosaur who does not possess a Kindle?

Book Cover

I love the smell of books! I still own some books, but I have to admit that I’ve started buying more kindle books lately. It saves up space and prevents clutter, but I’ll always have books around. They are comforting and great treasures!

There’s a different feel between reading a physical book to reading a kindle or online book. My book (a product of blogging) is in both Kindle and Paperback versions. I couldn’t let go of the paper version, still old fashioned like that I guess!

4. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be? (funny/weird question).

Oh the toughest question 😉

I wasn’t born in Britain so missed out on The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s child. So having read both recently, and watched both films on Christmas day, I’d say I’d love to be the mouse!

He’s feisty and doesn’t think his size limits his ability to be in the world. I love that!

5. What kind of blog posts, and of what length, do you like to read?

Anything that’s well written, informative and interesting. I don’t like them to be that long (my posts are between 700-1000 words, so possibly around that length too!)

My Questions

  1. Where do you get your inspiration from to write?

  2. How does blogging add value to your audience?

  3. What superpower would you choose if you had the chance? (Funny, weird question)

  4. What puts you off reading a blog post?

  5. Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?

I Nominate these bloggers whose work I admire:

Josephine Hughes at The Good Enough Mum

Jane Travis at Grow Your Private Practice

Sandra Wilson over at Get Social with Saz – Therapist’s Social Media Coach

Karin Sieger, Therapist and Writer

Erin Stevens, Therapist and Blogger

Nathan Gould, Therapist and blogger

Ian Pittaway, Therapist and Vlogger

Paula Newman, Therapist and Blogger

Becky Stone, Therapist and Blogger

Hannah Paskin, Therapist and Blogger

Some of my favourite posts

Relationship Success Series 

Autism Series

Supervision Series

In Therapy Series

Blog posts en Español: En Terapia, procesando

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Christmas Meditation

Christmas meditation

Hi, and welcome to the Christmas edition of my blog!

Christmas means many things to different people.

I’m not going to try to figure it out as there are many, many different ways to celebrate and ponder on this time of year.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a few words, their meanings (from Google Dictionary), and a quote (in the image) for you to meditate on.





Freedom from disturbance; tranquillity.


Mental or emotional calm.





A strong feeling of affection.


A great interest and pleasure in something.





A short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal. Smoothness and elegance of movement.


(In Christian belief) the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.





Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.


A strongly held belief.





 Stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake.

No longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake)cancel (a debt).

Used in polite expressions as a request to excuse one’s foibles, ignorance, or impoliteness.


I hope you enjoyed thinking about and meditating on these words.

See you next week for the last post of the year!

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Christmas meditation

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