1. ISN’T THERE A STIGMA ATTACHED TO COUNSELLING?
Counselling is nothing new but started in churches of Singapore as far back as 1965. The profession has been associated with schools, the courts and prisons where clients are sent for mandatory counselling to “correct” behaviour, hence the stigma. Moreover, Asians also don’t like to air dirty laundry in public, lose “face” and prefer resolving issues within family and friends.
But the signs of a fractured society both reported and unreported are sobering.
According to a NUS study, globalisation and technology have challenged Asian values in the face of new social trends and behaviours. Visits to IMH are up and so are the 190% jump in young Singaporeans seeking help. I also find our overuse of mobile technology troubling because people don’t talk anymore, much less listen to each other. In late 2017 the Singapore government gave the biggest endorsement to counselling when it funded the first voluntary welfare organisation to provide counselling to the workplace, perhaps signalling a growing concern for anxiety in the workplace.
But more importantly I have also experienced how friends and family are not always the best people to confide in. Despite their best intentions, they can appear prescriptive and hurt more than heal.
2. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT IN A COUNSELLING SESSION?
Each session lasts for up to 60 minutes in a private and safe setting.
The first session allows me to listen and identify your primary needs and recommend how I can best address them. Depending on needs, an average of six to eight sessions is required to meet shared goals.
After expressing your true emotions you should expect to experience relief and a sense of hope that you are not alone on this journey.
3. HOW CAN I BE ASSURED OF CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY.
The profession is guarded by a codes of ethics and best practices to protect the client’s privacy, as defined by the Singapore Association of Counselling. Unless there is a danger to self and others, guarding the dignity and respect of the profession and clients is non-negotiable and sacrosanct.
4. WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE AT OUR SESSIONS?
Building rapport is a priority because it enables the development of trust, but I also realise that people react differently to different personalities. I am happy to make referrals to other counsellors or psychiatrists because it’s more important that you get the best help possible even if it’s with someone else.
5. DO YOU OFFER NON FACE-TO-FACE COUNSELLING?
There is nothing quite like a face to face exchange to build rapport and trust , but please email to explore SKYPE and other means of e-communications.