What should I expect from counselling / psychological therapy (psychotherapy)? How can it help my child?

Counselling / Psychotherapy provides your child with a safe space to voice out the issues that they are facing without having the fear of being judged by anybody. This aids them to express themselves more and to be able to do so freely. It also helps your child to cope better with their issues & situations by validating your child’s emotions. Counselling / Psychotherapy has been proven to be beneficial to children

In general, about 8 to 10 weekly sessions are required. However, the number of sessions depends on individuals and the complexity of the case.

 

Will I be receiving updates and/or reports on my child?

We are mindful that parents are eager to know the progress of the therapy. Typically, updates are only provided when there is critical information to be informed. Hence, updates are not provided after every session. 

If a report is required, kindly inform your child’s clinician in-charge and we will assist you with the necessary arrangements.

However, you may request for an update from the clinician in-charge after the session and they are able to give you a short debrief on how the session went. However, details from the conversations between your child and their clinician will not be shared due to confidentiality and privacy reasons. It is important for you and your child to trust the therapeutic process for therapy to work.

However, we our clinicians will break confidentiality and inform you when following circumstances are met:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm tendency
  • Intention to harm others
  • Intention to commit a crime

 

What can I do to help my child?

Parents have an immense influence on children’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviour. In fact, you have the biggest role to play in helping to create positive outcomes for your children. In order to achieve the best possible outcome, it is important for one or both parents to work together with our clinician.

You may also help your child by listening to them without judgement whenever they have something to share with you. It is important to note that one should always listen, and ask appropriate questions to encourage them to share more. It is very crucial to refrain from giving advice(s) unless necessary.

It takes time to heal a would. And it may take even longer for a mental wound. Therapy needs time. It is not possible for therapy to work with one or two sessions. Counselling for youths is much more complex and may require more sessions to allow the youth to explore themselves fully. Supportive counselling may take a minimum of about 8 to 10 weekly sessions.

If you believe that counselling is not working, feel free to highlight this to your child’s clinician. Arrangements can be made to ensure that your child receives the highest level of clinical care. But kindly refrain from discouraging your child to attend future counselling sessions as this may be detrimental to them. 

We do understand that mental health is still stigmatised in society and we are also working very hard to educate the public to reduce it. You can help us by not feeling ashamed that your child is seeking help for their emotional issues. Seeking counselling treatment is the same as seeing a doctor for medical help.

 

Can I contact the clinician-in-charge to discuss the state of my child?

It is always nice to have someone constantly available to assist you in your child’s counselling  journey. While your child’s progress is important, there are times when our clinicians are engaging with other clients or performing other duties. Therefore, we hope to seek your understanding that all matters relating to your child has to be discussed within the session. You might want to write it down in a note, and highlight it to your child’s clinician in charge prior to the start of the session.

It would be the best to trust the therapist and the therapeutic process.

 

Can I bring my child to see other therapists (e.g. Counsellor, Psychologist, Art Therapist, Play Therapist, Drama Therapist) while he or she has a session here at TLM? 

It is highly recommended for your child to seek one therapy treatment at one time. Seeing multiple therapists may be detrimental to your child. Different clinicians may have different approaches which may cause confusion to your child.

 

What should I do if my child is attempting suicide, self-harming or harming others?

Should your child requires any immediate assistance, here are some resources you could utilise::

  • Samaritans Of Singapore (SOS) 1800 221 4444
  • IMH Mental Health Helpline 6389 2222
  • Police 999

Do note that safety of your child always comes first. It is highly recommended to check your child into IMH for psychiatric assessment and observation. Keep us updated on the situation and make an arrangement for your child to schedule the nearest available appointment date. 

If you feel that you are affected by this incident, you may consider seeking therapy help for yourself during this period.

 

Should I join in my child’s session?

We would recommend for parents to sit-out of the therapy to allow the therapeutic process to work. However, we are aware that there may be cases where the child feels more comfortable when the parent is around. In such cases, we do allow parents to sit-in to assist our clinician to achieve the best possible therapeutic outcome.

Should you decide to sit-in into your child’s therapy sessions, here are some rules we would appreciate if you could adhere to:

  • Be non-judgemental
  • Keep an open mind
  • Speak only when prompted to
    • Refrain from interrupting your child or the clinician when they are speaking
    • Allow our clinicians to guide your child in expressing themselves by avoiding completing your child’s sentences when they are stuck with what they would like to express
    • Do not express negative body language or presence that discourage your child from speaking their mind up
  • Allow your child to have autonomy over their session

 

Should I go for therapy?

It is important for you to understand your influence on your child’s behaviour and maladaptive coping with their problems. The harsh truth is, often it is the parent’s negative ways of dealing with the child that negatively affects the child’s behaviour further. While it is not possible to undo what is already done, counselling can provide you with an alternative perspective for both you and your child, and be able to assist you with managing your child better for the future. Feel free to approach our clinicians to find out more.

 

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