Case Study A—Living in the Present vs Fearing the Future
Mr Loh is a 53 year-old Chinese Singaporean man with three children and works as a part-time receptionist.
He was diagnosed with a mental illness when his wife was pregnant with their youngest child Eileen. Eileen is now 15 but suffers from a more severe form of her father’s illness, and this has left her father guilt-ridden for “passing” his illness to her. He is also fearful no one will care for her after he passes on.
The more I listened to his concerns the more I saw how his responsibility as a father was also an important value hiding beneath his guilt and anxieties.
After nine sessions of journeying with Mr Loh, he thanked me for helping him recognise his value as a father. He understood he was already doing his best in the present and this made him worry less about the tomorrow. I think he experienced insight, gratitude and acceptance.
I’ll never forget the lightness in his walk as he left the counselling room for the last time.
Case Study B—Mourning the Past vs Moving On with Confidence
Aishah is a 37 year-old Singaporean Indian mother of four who just ended a nine-year abusive marriage. She was overwhelmed with emotions.
I first addressed her fear for her children whom she thought was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. (They witnessed the abuse) I then addressed her anger and sadness for losing a companion and the marriage. I also started each session by talking to her children, which allowed me to enter her world and earn her trust.
Despite her roller coaster of emotions, I saw a gung-ho, independent spirit trapped inside a busy mother and fearful wife. With the marriage now over, I helped identify her single most important responsibility and value—a single mother now determined to provide for her children and a free woman determined to fulfill her early potential and ready to start loving herself and her family again.
I’ll never forget how her tears gave way to relief and self-belief.
Case Study C— Living for Others vs Self Belief
Desmond is a single Chinese Singaporean man in his mid 30s. He grew up with a domineering and perfectionist parent who saw his early potential. Sadly he succumbed to the pressure and met with an accident ending all hopes of becoming that trophy son for his parent.
Desmond and is family are products of a results but fear-driven society that values status above everything else. He lives in anxiety, desperately seeking validation he no longer gets.
I worked with him for close to one and a half years to help him find new value and meaning and saw glimpses of a man gifted with a good heart and a giving spirit. He is also spiritual and we worked at looking to his maker for approval and validation instead.