Supervisor Spotlight: Karin Brauner

Karin Brauner supervisor BACP

Karin Brauner is a U.K.-based therapist with more than 16 years of experience in a variety of settings and life issues. As an Accredited Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), she believes in providing a safe space for both her clients and supervisees to talk about anything that might help in both their personal and professional lives. 

As a clinician and supervisor, Karin believes there’s scope to develop and integrate theoretical models, as she did during her training which she says has been helpful in her practice. Learn more about Karin in this Q&A.

I believe that regular supervision is essential. It is a space to keep accountable to ourselves, our colleagues, our clients, and to keep our profession intact and in good standing. It shouldn’t stop after a few years of training as there’s always a lot to learn and a lot to process in our day-to-day work with clients.”

Tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming a therapist? What made you want to pursue a career in mental health?

“I started off in med school but it was clear after the first year that it wasn’t for me. I had a class called ‘culture and personality’ which sparked my interest. The way the tutor was teaching the class was really motivating and interesting too. When I was choosing what to do if I were to leave medical school, psychology/counselling was the only one close to what I was aiming to do, which was to help people.

“The first lesson I had once I’d transferred was life-changing! My tutor – who was also the dean – was so passionate about what he was teaching (history of psychology) that I was just fascinated by it all. I also had some psychodynamic teachers from Argentina (renowned for being one of the best countries for psychoanalytic thinking) that made me realise that that’s the path I wanted to take.”

Where did you do to school?

“I did an International Baccalaureate (highschool and grade school) in Guatemala, at a Montessori School. I then went on to get a BA and Licenceship at Universidad Francisco Marroquin (Guatemala City). 

“I moved to the U.K. in 2006, and finally did my post-graduate diploma once I felt more settled in the country, and finished in 2009. I started my private practice in 2013, adding a post-graduate certificate in supervision to my bow in 2015, which is when I started offering supervision to practitioners in private practice. I’ve also done a variety of other courses: Celta, interpreting, telephone counselling, accreditation, and on-the-job training (first aid, food hygiene, manual handling, autism, etc).”

What’s your clinical specialty, and why did you choose to work with this particular population?

“My niche is very general in some respects, as I enjoy working with helping people with varying issues with setting clear boundaries and meeting their needs, as we work on the main issues they bring. I work with autistic clients, so I guess that’s sort of a niche, as well as working with clients that are Spanish speakers.” 

What are your top 3 values when it comes to your practice as a supervisor?

“I could give you 15+ but I’ll stick to three. 

  1. If my supervisee is looked after well, then so will their clients be. 
  2. Provide a safe space to talk about anything that might help the supervisee with their clients but also in their personal lives. 
  3. Remember that I don’t know everything and it’s ok to say ‘I’ll check with my own supervisor’ or ‘I’ll research it and get back to you’

“It’s important to note that here in the U.K., we have regular supervision as a requirement, it doesn’t stop after getting licensed, which I imagine is very different in the U.S. and from state to state!”

How do you help therapists become more aware of counter-transference or self-of-the-therapist issues through supervision?

“Self-awareness is essential in supervision. Noticing my reactions to clients stories or my supervisee’s reactions to their client’s stories and how they relay them to me, will give me hints and insights into what might have gone on in the session, and what the supervisee might have picked up and continued to carry from their client. Asking questions like, ‘and is this a familiar feeling?’ or ‘is that making you feel something about this client or issue?’” 

What’s the best piece of advice you remember receiving when you were in supervision, or along your path as a therapist?

“When in doubt, reflect. You don’t have to resolve everything in one session, and just providing a space where the client can talk and feel heard is good enough. More will come as the relationship builds.

“I write lots of blog posts (check out Karin’s blog here) on a variety of topics, including supervision, self-care and mental health related topics that might be helpful for both practitioners and the general public.”

Who are some of your biggest professional influences? Why does their work/message resonate with you? 

“Sigmund Freud – I am psychodynamic at the base of all I do in the counselling and supervision room, so his theories and ways of working really resonate with me. Also his followers such as Fairbairn, Klein, Jung.

“Irvin D. Yalom – his books The Gift of Therapy and Love’s Executioner are fantastic and show a depth of work that you don’t get in many places, due to the confidential nature of our work. The way he writes and how he works with clients is inspirational. I had the opportunity of sitting in a zoom meeting recently where he spoke to Windy Dryden, and it was fantastic!”

How did you learn about Motivo and what are your thoughts about the future of clinical supervision online? 

“I asked someone on Instagram about their supervision service, and one of your colleagues got in touch and mentioned checking the Motivo page out. I think the future is already here! I do most of my supervision sessions online, including my own.” 

Think Karin might be the perfect supervisor for you?

To get in touch with Karin, or learn more about her work, visit her website. We’d love to introduce you to Karin through a free, 30-minute video call. Click here to let us know if you’re interested in connecting with her or one of our Motivo team members

Lauren Patrick

Lauren Patrick

Lauren is the Head of Marketing at Motivo. She's here to help spread the good news about Motivo to as many mental health professionals as possible. You can make her happy by following @WeAreMotivo on social media and telling your network about Motivo.

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