I have had the pleasure of knowing Karen Austen for twenty years, as a friend, a colleague and more recently as powerful and highly skilled personal development facilitator, coach and guide.
Karen’s presence, composure, questioning and guidance creates a safe place for others to open to their true feelings and needs. This allows for deep realisation to occur in the individual. From this place Karen’s skill in “holding space” and ability to gently encourage what each of us truly desire, often on a subconscious level, can set us on a new path.
I had recently taken on some course development work at a local College. It was a massive undertaking with an almost impossible deadline. I had been pressuring myself to work long hours while juggling the care of my daughter while my husband was overseas.
When Karen arrived I was in a mess, extremely unhappy, mixed with not wanting to let anyone down and still get the job done!
Over several sessions Karen gently and compassionately asked poignant questions and held space for me to uncover some deep rooted underlying issues that were at play. She allowed me to discover for myself what actions I needed to take and the strength and clarity to call a meeting which I had been dreading.
I truly believe that if Karen had not been with me during this phase I would have had a nervous breakdown. The sense of relief, freedom and empowerment I experience from working with Karen was incredible.
I can highly recommend anyone who is either at a crossroads in their life, questioning or needing answers in relation to relationships, work or life purpose to contact Karen for some sessions and support. It will change your life!
Theatre Director, Facilitator, Course developer, Mother, Wife
Karen is such a professional and got to the heart of a matter that clearly polarized my husband and myself. With out taking sides or blaming anyone she helped us come to an agreed upon resolution. Before, he and I would have a disagreement, become angry at each other and walk away. In working with Karen, we realized that what we really wanted was connection and wanted to be heard by each other. We now are able to do that.
I highly recommend working with Karen. She works fast and very gentle.
50, Mother, Wife, Entrepreneur
Hi, my name is David. I am a sales executive at a Fortune 100 technology company. Over the last 25 years in the industry, I have been both a mentor and a mentee. In fact, I have a passion for mentoring individuals of promise in my industry by leveraging their core competencies, understanding their shortcomings and accentuating underdeveloped skills. Both in my business and personal life, I have sought out individuals that can help me grow into the business leader, husband and father I want to be. Several years ago, I met Karen through my wife. Although very interested in her background and recognizing her surface level capabilities, I did not seek her out as either a formal mentor or someone to assist me in my life’s journey.
Upon reflection, the development that she offered me was immense and very meaningful. As the leader of a multi-billion-dollar business, I always thought that my leadership style lent itself to getting open and honest feedback. I also believed that, when someone had an idea better than mine, I was always eager to get on board. Finally, I thought that the mentors in my life were making a meaningful impact.
As I now reflect on my time with Karen, I have truly started to understand her true talents and how they can impact individuals like me. That is, those leaders who frequently find themselves in an “emperor’s new clothes” effect or have a style that can prevent open and honest feedback in an attempt to grow personally. The most interesting thing about how this all transacted was that I did not even recognize that it was coaching despite being highly effective.
So, I am sure you are curious as to how Karen accomplished this? I would hate to give away her “secret sauce” but the truth is I am not entirely sure. What I can tell you that, based on my experience, what she has is unique. From what I could tell, Karen has a way of approaching a situation with curiosity that prompts both reflection and the possibilities of something else. Karen does it in a way that is subtle yet effective. The proof is in the results: I am a much better leader at work, my relationship with my wife is better than it has ever been and my effectiveness as a parent have increased ten-fold.
Although I could give many, let me offer one example that I think would help with prove my point. For those that have kids, you know the level of frustration when you ask them to do something and they “forget” leaving a parent to pick up the slack. Karen had a ringside seat of me asking the kids to do a task, they would forget, and I would get angry enough to just do it myself and complain. Interestingly enough, this same dynamic happened at work and did not even realize it was happening. I was just angry at kids and employees for small things and came to find out it impacted my effectiveness on the big things.
Through very subtle coaching with what Karen observed, she helped me self-discover what I was doing and then start visualizing something that would eliminate the anger and increase effectiveness where I wanted it. It sounds small when you talk about kids and tasks. However, when it impacted my relationship with them and spilled over to my behaviours at work, the effect was in the billions monetarily. Through Karen’s coaching, the scores of my internal evaluation metrics at work have never been higher and the relationship with my kids has changed in a very positive way (not to mention those small tasks are getting done without friction).
Right now, you are reading this testimonial because there is something in your life that is missing. No matter how successful you are or are not, there are gaps in you becoming a better you. Trust me, if you have connected with Karen, you are on the verge of a.) finding out what is preventing your full development and b.) connected to the person that can prompt change. All you have to do is take that first step. Einstein once said that the definition of true insanity is trying the same things and getting better results. Enlist Karen’s help or find a way to get her in your life. Trust me, it will be worth the investment.
Previously, I had been dealing with ongoing symptoms of emotional burnout and exhaustion as a result of caring for my parents who both battled cancer and passed away within a few short years of each other, while also having the responsibility of caring for my younger brother who has an intellectual disability. In addition, I experienced loneliness and isolation, due to lack of natural support structures and understanding by friends and extended family.
From working with Karen and encountering her methods, I was able to overcome the emotional blocks that had been in my way of achieving healing. I gradually gained a balanced view of my life situation, resulting in newfound joy and happiness that allowed me to rekindle my passions and interests. I started to participate in group activities and overcome feelings of isolation. As my energy levels returned, I organised non-for-profit events, including a community afternoon tea party for people with a disability and their carers.
In Karen's workshops I experienced a deep sense of connection to my authentic self (as distinct from transitory thoughts and feelings) and satisfaction from a new ability to approach interactions with people, without any fear of what they might think of me.
I would recommend Karen's program to people who are interested in personal growth and development, boosting their effectiveness and those who wish to understand how they can reach their full potential by achieving their goals in life.
I feel that it's important to consider the area of life that this training can impact, as well as the type of emotional, mental and physical challenges that can be overcome. I would be interested in learning specialised methods that have worked for others to achieve results where traditional methods have not.
I have benefited greatly from the quality of Karen’s presence and from her ability to hold and witness me.
Karen has been there for me in times of need and has the capacity to receive extreme emotions with grace and calm. Through a Skype session with Karen, I was able to continue on and keep hold of my identity and some degree of hope at an extremely difficult time.
She had the insight to name the fact that I was not in a safe space at that particular time, and that I needed to be before undertaking any trauma release work. I found this connected yet objective insight very valuable and reassuring, because it named something I was feeling without having the words for it.
The more general impact that Karen has had on me over the years is down to her presence and her ability to relate at a deep level, with openness. As a result, I feel more connected with myself and more interested in asking more essential questions. She has been supportive and affirming, and that has been key for me. Finally, something I really value in Karen is her humour and lightness of touch when required, her obvious joy in life and her laughter.
Translator, Writer, Mother, Wife, Activist
I saw Karen for a number of sessions to learn TRE for personal therapy. I found Karen to be incredibly grounded, supportive and such a keen and curious observer of my body's process during TRE which helped me to become more curious and attentive in myself. Karen's workshops on consent and presence have been really valuable to myself and my partner in creating more clarity and honesty in our dialogue. I'd thoroughly recommend Karen and her offerings as a rich support on anyone's journey.
I’ve known Karen for over 10 years and in that time she has supported me on numerous occasions, both professionally and personally. Her greatest asset is her ability to be fully present when interacting with those around her. Some people can inspire simply by being themselves and Karen is one of those people.
She cares deeply about the people she is with, whether working with them or just being sociable. When I had serious problems to deal with recently I called her and she helped me hugely just by asking the right questions.
50, Translator, Yoga Teacher, Husband, Father
My name is John and I am a medically retired Senior Sergeant of the NSW Police Force. I served 23 years in General Duties policing as well as 20 years of duties in the NSW Police Rescue and Bomb Squad. As a 57 year old man, I would describe myself as a man of simple words with a basic education and mainstream beliefs.
I would like to take you on a journey that will enlighten you all as to my special relationship I have with Karen. I first met Karen in 1987 in Nowra NSW through our respective career choices. Myself as a police officer and Karen as an Officer of the Courts. I instantly knew that Karen was a very special and unique individual
As expected, 23 years of policing has impacted adversely on many parts of my life and Karen has a great understanding of my experiences and the inherent problems that they create. I have comfort and peace of mind knowing that I can talk to Karen about anything and her ability to just listen is remarkable and on most occasions just her listening is enough to help me heal.
On other occasions her insight, thoughts and suggestion are both honest and helpful in trying to navigate through the problem at hand. Karen has a subtle, almost covert manner in providing advice without you really knowing that’s what she just did. There has never been a time that I can remember where I did not feel in a better place after interacting with her.
Since re-connecting with Karen in October 2017, she has been a constant source of help and guidance as I navigate my way through some personal relationship issues, some recurring PTSD, Anxiety and depression issues.
My life’s experiences had me closed off in so many ways, including my thinking on alternate treatments and therapies. It was Karen who opened my thinking and thoughts up to non-traditional, non-main stream alternatives. Through her insight and knowledge I have experienced and benefited and opened up into new ways of being.
I value Karen’s presence in my life and trust her judgement implicitly so much so that when my 15 year old daughter lost her way, Karen offered some ideas and suggested a specific form of therapy. Karen provided me with the information I needed as a father to make a decision that was completely foreign to me. The result it enabled me to get my daughter the help that she needed. I was so impressed with the therapist and her results that I too have taken Karen’s advice and commenced long term specific therapy to assist with my PTSD and depression.
As a practitioner, Karen has a remarkable ability and gift for being able to help others. She possesses a depth of compassion and caring that I have not seen in any other person and this makes her a very special person. Her skills in coaching, in trauma and tension release, along with her abilities in deep listening and presence will take you on a journey to create and meet your goals in life if you allow her into your life.
As an individual, I do not possess the vocabulary of words that can describe just how remarkable a person Karen is. What I do know is that her infectious desire to help people, to bring out the best in another human being, her abilities and self-belief to be positive and successful will be the qualities that will change your world if you decide to commit to her programs .
If you are living life in a circle, just going around and around, or you are looking to expand and better yourself and your life, or you are just struggling with so many of life’s pressures, and you’re really willing to put in the work and effort, then I can only recommend that you throw Karen the keys to your life, buckle up, look ahead and enjoy the ride as you travel to your own new destination.
Hi, my name's Chery.
My 3 under-teen children were processing a number of significant life stressors within a 2 month period i.e. relocation interstate, life-threatening illness of a significant family member, family breakdown, leaving friends and close support network behind, and starting at new schools within a different education system.
There had been no debriefing opportunity for the children to relieve them of the ‘crisis’ energies they had recently experienced and it was essential to assist them to integrate the events, release the trauma holistically, and begin to create, for them, stability for moving forward.
During Karen’s Interplay exercises with them, they moved their bodies in structured and fun ways, loosening tension, opening their bodies, putting the emotional state at ease and building their confidence to participate. They then placed socks on one hand, and each child took turns sharing their own sock’s feelings and thoughts about the events that had occurred. The opportunity to tell the sock’s story, revealed where the children's’ confusions, griefs, misunderstandings, questions, and fears lay, in a non-threatening way.
This informal, fun, non-confrontational exercise provided validation of their experiences, and enabled the space for beneficial conversations, assurance, and comfort for them, tailored specifically to what each child shared.
Utilising Interplay techniques to release and/or integrate trauma is not age-specific and Karen’s capacity to hold safe space for this release and/or integration to occur would definitely benefit anyone
Mother, Counseller, Practitioner
What if you could transform the “I’m not good enough” into “I am enough” in both your personal and professional life?