The Counsellor’s Ramblings…

~Mr. James Chong

October has been a fruitful month for TLM team in spreading mental health awareness in Singapore.

Our team provided free mental health assessment during the Happiness Initiative’s Screwed Up Moment #8 event on 8 October 2019. We collaborated with Shell on 9 October 2019 (Thursday) to provide an outreach programme for their staff, and presenting a talk on “Coping with Workplace Stress & Burnout” for their staff as well. We have also collaborated with Aileron Wellness,on 12 October 2019 (Saturday) with a seminar on “Coping with OCD”.

In addition, our in-house Wellness Consultant, Ms Belinda Lau, had the pleasure of being invited to the event “WeWorkxEsquire Singapore: A Piece of Mind” event on World Mental Health Day (10 October 2019) as a panelist to discuss on the topic surrounding men and mental health.

As the representative of APACS, I have presented a talk on “The Definitive Guide to Combating Workplace Stress & Burnout” on 24 October 2019 at The 17TH SISO WSHO Conference 2019. The Guest-of-Honour: Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower & Second Minister for Home Affairs, spoke about the importance of mental health care at workplace during her opening speech.

My Co-founder of TLM, Weiren has collaborated with Happiness Initiative and Fabl Productions for a podcast episode featuring his personal issues on stress & burnout. 

Special shout out to Sherman from Happiness Initiative, who is also the Executive Committee Member of the Singapore Film Society, for extending the invitation to us to attend the Singapore premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest masterpiece PAIN AND GLORY  (Dolor y Gloria) on the 29th October 2019 (Tuesday),  jointly presented Shaw Organisation, The Embassy of Spain and the Singapore Film Society

In November, my team will be heading down to IVICT (Singapore) to present a corporate talk on “The Definitive Guide to Combating Workplace Stress & Burnout”, to and Aileron Wellness for another round of wellness talk.

Wishing all an early Happy Thanksgiving!

To read past articles, you may go to The Counsellor’s Corner page.


The Psychotherapist’s Ramblings

~ Ms. Dhivyaasrree Krishnamoorthy

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a mix of two approaches: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Behaviour Therapy (BT). While CT on its own focuses on how an individual’s thoughts and beliefs add on to their negative emotions, BT focuses on how the individual’s behavioural patterns arise and how they could be changed to alter the person’s mood. CBT helps to tackle people’s negative thoughts, actions and emotions by adopting solution-based strategies (Burford, 2019) and exposure therapy (Turner, 2019). This happens by disputing negative thoughts and rewiring cognitive routes in the brain to adapt to new situations (Burford, 2019).
Cognitive distortions
People with maladaptive thought patterns are inclined to adopt unhealthy habits such as consuming alcohol, abusing drugs and smoking. Maladaptive thought patterns could also affect an individual by preventing them from ending relationships that lack a direction because they are afraid. People’s opinions and the fear of failure may stop individuals from trying new things. These maladaptive thought patterns are known as cognitive distortions. The following are a few types cognitive distortions (Poulsen, 2019):

  • Overgeneralization – Forming a general conclusion thinking that one bad experience means every other experience will also be the same
  • Catastrophizing – Assuming the worst for something that has not yet happened
  • Personalisation – Believing that every action of other people is a reaction to them
  • Filtering – Focusing on the negative details and ignoring any other positive details
  • Blame – Either accepting all the blame for every situation or directing the blame on others even if you had a part to play in it
  • Labelling – Thinking that you are a loser or you always make a mistake instead of analysing the whole situation and being fair to yourself

How it works?
The relationship with a therapist in CBT is goal driven. Individuals will be exposed to their fears at a pace that is comfortable for them. After sessions, they usually have homework to do such as being aware of their thoughts in different situations and noting them down on a worksheet that is provided in therapy (Burford, 2019)
Case studies
A therapist worked with a child who was afraid of vomiting. Through exposure therapy, they took small steps that was comfortable for the child. The therapist started with purchasing vomit spray from Amazon and vomit-flavoured jelly beans and they heard vomit sounds through YouTube videos. After reaching a certain level of comfort, they created fake vomit and pretended to vomit in the bathroom. Through these exposures, the girl was able to remain in the same classroom when someone vomited instead of leaving the class like she normally would and then missing school for the whole week due to her fear (Turner, 2019).
CBT Workshop
The workshop provides participants with an understanding of the theory and practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Participants will learn the essential core skills required to practice CBT clinically. Participants would be fully equipped with CBT knowledge and skills upon completing the workshop. Graduates from this programme will be able to handle the various applications of CBT on clients suffering from possible symptoms such as Depression and/or Anxiety. Other psychological issues such as Anger Management, Insomnia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) will also be covered. Upon graduation, graduates may seek clinical supervision with APACS clinical supervisor to further hone their CBT skills, and register themselves as a member of APACS.
For more information, click the link:

Burford, M. (2019). Everything You Need to Know About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Retrieved from
Poulsen, T. (2019). How to understand that you need to change your life right now. Retrieved from
Turner, C. (2019). How To Help A Child Struggling With Anxiety. Retrieved from

To read past articles, you may go to The Psychotherapist’s Corner page.