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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

Collaborations


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

Collaborations


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

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.


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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.


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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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Follow Mayra on Facebook

 


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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Continuous professional development and training Recommendations

I recently attended the European Association for Transactional Analysis foundation course: TA101 Certificate with Helen Davies from Open Space Therapy.

She was a remarkable tutor and would recommmend her courses from this initial experience training with her.

The course took us through two days of both theoretical and experiential T.A. processes. We were only 5, which I think worked well for me as I prefer smaller groups, but I’m sure it would have been interesting and maybe challenging in a different way with a larger group!

I have to say, I have had the book by Berne “The Games People Play” sitting on my reading list for the past year or so, and this course made me want to pick it up! (Will write a book review first and then crack on with that one!)

The way T.A. works is fascinating and also easy to practice in daily life. We had two lovely ladies in our group from other professions, the rest of us were counsellors, so their experience was very valuable. To see them grasp the concepts and start applying them or even just thinking about themselves in T.A. terms was great!

I believe this course will open new interaction and intervention doors for me in the counselling room, new ways of understanding my own relationships and the relationships that my clients bring to the group.

The Drama Triangle and its solution – the Winners Triangle were important learning themes for me as they explain how we can position ourselves as either victim, rescuer or persecutor (Drama triangle), but also allows us an exit via the Winners triangle: the victim can be vulnerable and develop problem solving skills; the rescuer can identify themselves as caring and developing their listening skills; and finally the persecutor can develop their assertiveness skills rather than their persecutor ones.

We learned so much more -from ourselves particularly – from each other as well – and theoretically!

There are many more topics that I’ve not discussed here (ego states, strokes, transactions, scripts, games, rackets and stamps). It would take too long and to be honest I don’t believe I am an expert at T.A….Not just yet anyway!

I encourage you, professional or lay-person, to look into Transactional Analysis and look into your relationships and patterns in this way. Whether you do anything other than think about it theoretically or actually put it into practice, it is interesting to say the least!

Leave a comment below if this was helpful and whether you went to read up on T.A. at all!

Upcoming training I’m attending and reviewing in this opinion space: Ecotherapy at Stanmer Park (Brighton) Saturday 26th August, and BACP Private Practice Conference in September.

Current events in the counselling and psychotherapy profession

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to see a very positive response to my blog posts on practical things to do for looking after yourself and living a more complete, calm and manageable life!

These will be continuing as usual on Mondays (English version) and Tuesdays (Spanish version).

In addition to these, I will also be posting mid-week on a topic that I’ve found relevant, interesting and current. As a member of BACP, BPS and other counselling related bodies, I get to read what is going on in the current counselling and psychotherapy climate, how this affect both professionals and clients alike. Some are beneficial to both, some are detrimental to one or the other. So I would like to shed some light on what is going on that might not be fully talked about in the general news but is a hot topic amongst counselling and psychotherapy professionals.

I might also write about courses I have recently attended and how valuable they have been for me as an individual, as a practitioner and how this might affect the way I practice in a positive way for my clients and supervisees.

If you have an opinion in these areas that you might want to discuss, do send me an email and we can work on a collaboration on my mid-week posts!

I would love for you to leave a comment below each blog post, to ensure I am writing what interests you, what is helpful to you and what you would like to read more or less of!

Enjoy!

Karin

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