What is counselling?
When people come to counselling, it is often because something in their life is not working well and they want to make a change. They may want to solve a particular problem, make a decision, or better understand their lives or themselves. Counselling or therapy is not about having the counsellor “solve your problems” or “fix you” but rather about working together with you to help you move toward your valued goals.
What is counselling effective for?
Counselling has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of challenges such as depression, anxiety, life transition, career directions, relationship issues, communication issues, grief and loss, chronic health conditions, panic disorders, OCD, pain management, insomnia, trauma, addiction etc. When counselling is effective, clients report benefits such as greater sense of well-being, more hopeful, more confident, more able to manage stress and anxiety, improved mood, more insights about self and life, increased life satisfaction and relief of various previously troubling issues in their personal life and relationships.
What are some possible risks about counselling?
Counselling in general is safe, and it also involves some risks and discomfort. Making changes in your life is hard work — it may involve experiencing and dealing with uncomfortable feelings, trying out new ways of being; and feeling frustrated or impatient that change may not be as quick as one desires. Sometimes, seemingly desirable changes may bring with it additional, and possibly unforeseen difficulties (i.e., getting the job one desires may bring on the issue of work/life balance). You are dealing with your real life, so there is no absolute certainty or guarantee.
What are your counselling approaches?
Helping you go from being stuck in unworkable patterns to moving toward the life you value with workable tools.
Accepting and Respectful
I start every encounter with curiosity and respect. I strive to provide a safe, welcoming, peaceful and warm environment for you to explore, to learn about yourself, and to change and grow.
Mindful and Present
I strive to be mindful and present during our sessions together. I help you to become more mindful of your body, emotions and thoughts so that you will learn to be free from your mind’s grip and start to enjoy more peace and joy.
Gentle and Firm
With empathy and compassion, I endeavour to build an accepting and supportive base for you. Meanwhile, I am also committed to bringing you back to your values and taking actions to live them even when it involves challenge and discomfort.
I do not see you as a problem to fix (even if you have a diagnosis), but rather a unique human being who experiences challenges and difficulties. I empower you to discover, experience, and live the life you value.
I work with you with a holistic approach. I assist you to build a healthy lifestyle as a foundation to a better physical and mental health, and a life with vitality.
What therapeutic modalities do you use?
The main modalities I use are Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Person Centered therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy.
In therapy process, I also adopt therapeutic techniques that may benefit the clients the most from various therapeutic approaches such as Gestalt Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Existential Therapy, and Solution Focused Therapy.
What is ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy)?
ACT is an evidence-based therapy model that focuses on psychological flexibility and having a valued engagement in life. It is effective in helping people with depression, anxiety, addiction issues, relationship issues, chronic health problems and many other issues. It transforms your life by helping you to be free from the control of your “monkey mind”, to see yourself in a totally different perspective and to take committed action toward a more fulfilling life.
What makes ACT a ground-breaking therapeutic approach?
According to ACT, having “negative thoughts” or feeling ashamed or inadequate doesn’t mean that you are “crazy” or “bad” — it simply means that you have a human mind. ACT takes a refreshing stance about suffering and mental health. Instead of focusing on psychological pathology and reducing symptoms, it acknowledges that human suffering is the normal state of affairs in life.
ACT helps you to be unstuck and start living your valued life now! You no longer need to keep your life on hold because of your psychological symptoms or life challenges.
We also provide telephone counselling services for people who are not able to access in-person counselling. Please note that phone counselling is not suitable for people who are experiencing active suicidal thoughts, who are actively harming self or others, are engaging in any other unsafe behaviours, and are experiencing acute psychosis, mania and other crisis. Under these circumstances, I will not be able to provide you with the counselling services. Instead, I will provide you with resources of in-person counselling alternatives or crisis counselling services.
To get the most out of your phone counselling experience and ensure your privacy, please arrange a quiet, private space that has good phone reception and with no distractions for our sessions. Also during the session, please turn off your computer and any other devices so that you can focus more on the session.
I am dedicated to provide a safe environment for you at our center. Anything that we talk about during our sessions, any tests you take, and the results of those tests are kept in strict confidence. Only with your permission will any of the information be released to a third party. Note that there are some exceptions to this confidentiality. The followings are some situations in which we are legally obligated to share patient information even without patient permission.
1. If we find out from you that you intend to harm yourself or others, we are obligated to take actions to protect your safety and the safety of others.
2. If we suspect that there is abuse or neglect involving vulnerable populations such as children, elderly people, and people with disabilities, we are required to report to the appropriate government authorities or agencies.
3. In some legal proceedings, if a subpoena is issued by the court requiring disclosure of clinical records, we are obliged to follow the order.
4. If a client files a lawsuit or complaint against a counsellor, the relevant information regarding the case will be released to defend the counsellor.
In any of these cases I will make every effort to discuss the situation with you fully before we take any action.