Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For General Public
Yes. All information shared within the session is kept private and confidential. We will not reveal details of the sessions to others without your express consent, except when the law requires it or if you were to pose a danger to yourself or others. In this case, we are obliged to notify the relevant parties.
Achieving a positive outcome would take about 8 to 10 weekly sessions. However, there is no fixed number of sessions for which you need to see your clinician. Also, the number of sessions depends on the individual and the case’s complexity.
Generally, it will start with weekly sessions. Depending on the progress, we will adjust the frequency to fortnightly, monthly, bimonthly, or bi-annually. Feel free to discuss the comfortable frequency with your clinician, as we are mindful that there are individuals with financial or scheduling constraints.
Please be early for your first session as you need to go through the registration process. You will have to fill up the registration form, read through and sign the consent form.
After that, your first session will commence. The first session is an intake session, and it is for our clinician to know more about you, the issues you are facing, and what your needs are. You are encouraged to share any problems or concerns in the session, as that would be useful for our clinicians to assess your condition.
No, counselling is not for life. However, you need to follow through with the counselling processes to ensure the necessary psychoeducation for relapse prevention is covered.
While it seems frightening, be assured that this reaction is common to some individuals. Discovering or revealing particular thoughts and feelings, specifically deep and uncomfortable ones, can be emotional or exhausting, leading you to feel worse after the session. This feeling is sometimes known as a therapy hangover.
Please take note of the feelings you encountered and inform your clinician in your next session for them to process it with you.
You can highlight this during the session so that our clinician can find ways to work with you better.
Alternatively, you can request a change in clinician. You can notify the allocated clinician or contact us through our enquiry channels.
Please inform your clinician as soon as possible so they can address this promptly. While there are many reasons for therapy to stall, please be assured that our clinician will work with you to achieve the progress you need.
Any feedback, good or bad, is welcomed! Please share any feedback with us, as this would allow us to improve ourselves. Also, complaints are vital for us to know how you feel and make things right again.
Counselling, also commonly known as “therapy”, is a form of talk therapy. It allows an individual to openly discuss any issues they face and the emotions they encounter.
Psychotherapy, also known as psychological therapy, is a therapeutic approach used to assist individuals with psychological, emotional, or behavioural disorders.
Counselling is a brief therapeutic approach that mainly targets a specific symptom or problematic situation and encourages awareness and making considered decisions for dealing with it. Counselling tends to be short-term, and wellness based.
Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach for various mental health disorders by identifying and modifying maladaptive behaviours, thoughts, and emotions. Psychotherapy can be short-term or long-term.
We mainly administer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is the most Evidence-Based Psychological Practice (EBPP) effective in managing various mental health disorders. We may use other forms of psychotherapy to complement the session depending on the case’s suitability.
Any mental health professional with specialised postgraduate training in a specific psychotherapy skill set can provide psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is not limited to any particular mental health profession.
Anyone! A common misconception about attending therapy sessions is that only individuals with severe mental health issues need them. While Counselling is commonly associated with mental health, it can be for individuals who wish to explore their self and thoughts.
You don’t have to. Our clinician will administer them according to your needs and case suitability. Leave the worrying to us and enjoy the session.
Yes, and please inform us of your preferred clinician for our arrangement. It is essential for you to feel comfortable with the person you are speaking with.
Counsellors have received postgraduate training to provide counselling services to clients. Most Counsellors in Singapore have at least a master’s degree in counselling. While Counsellors know about psychology, a bachelor’s degree in Psychology is not a prerequisite to being a Counsellor.
Psychotherapists receive specialised postgraduate training in a specific psychotherapy skill set. They do not need to possess a psychology education background.
Psychologists are trained in psychological science to provide a psychological assessment, diagnosis, and intervention. Most Psychologists in Singapore have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology followed by a master’s degree in Applied Psychology. Psychologists may have areas they specialise in (e.g. Clinical, Developmental, Family, Forensic, Geriatric, Industrial & Organisation etc.).
Psychiatrists are medical doctors with advanced training in psychiatry and psychiatric medication. Psychiatrists can diagnose mental health disorders through psychiatric evaluation and prescribe psychiatric medication. Only Psychiatrists can prescribe psychiatric medication.
No, Psychologists are not medical doctors. Hence, they cannot prescribe medication.
We do not prescribe medication as we do not have an in-house psychiatrist. Clients deemed required can approach any clinic or psychiatrist for medicine.
Counselling or psychotherapy does not provide a mental health diagnosis. You will require a psychological diagnosis or psychiatric evaluation to have a diagnosis.
We are mindful that parents are eager to know the progress of the therapy. Typically, we only update when critical information such as the following is to be informed and not after every session:
- Suicidal ideation
- Self-harm tendency
- Intention to harm others
- Intent to commit a crime
However, you may request an update from the clinician in charge after the session, and they can give you a short debrief on how the session went. The debrief duration is part of the session, and prevailing charges will apply.
We seek your understanding that we will not share details from the conversations between your child and their clinician due to confidentiality and privacy reasons. You and your child need to trust the therapeutic process for therapy to work.
Parents greatly influence children’s beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour. You have the most significant role to play in helping to create positive outcomes for your children. One or both parents must collaborate with our clinician to achieve the best possible result.
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 share more. It is crucial to refrain from providing advice unless necessary.
Recovery from an injury takes time, and healing mental wounds can be a longer process. The therapeutic process requires time and cannot yield results after just one or two sessions. Counselling for young individuals is often complex, and it may require additional sessions to allow the child to fully explore their thoughts and feelings.
If you believe that counselling is not working, please highlight this to your child’s clinician. We can make arrangements to ensure that your child receives the highest level of clinical care.
Having someone constantly available to assist you in your child’s counselling journey is always lovely. While your child’s progress is essential, there are times when our clinicians are engaged with other clients or performing other duties. Therefore, we hope to seek your understanding that you must discuss all matters relating to your child within the session. You can write it down in a note and highlight it to your child’s clinician in charge before the start of the session.
It is important for parents to respect their child’s need for privacy. You can communicate with your child about the intentions of doing so and what information they are comfortable for you to reveal. While our clinician will take note of the information provided, whether our clinician will work it upon depends on the therapy progress.
There can be many reasons for their resistance to attending therapy. For a start, you can discuss their reasons for doing so and what alternatives are acceptable to them.
We recommend that parents sit out of the therapy to allow the therapeutic process to work. However, we know there may be cases where the child feels more comfortable when the parent is around. In such cases, we allow parents to sit in to assist our clinicians in achieving the best possible therapeutic outcome.
Should you decide to sit in on your child’s therapy sessions, here are some rules we would appreciate if you could adhere to:
- Be non-judgmental
- 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.
- Please avoid completing their sentences when they are facing difficulty in communication.
- Refrain from expressing negative body language or presence that discourages your child from speaking out
- Allow your child to have autonomy over their session
Should your child require any immediate assistance, here are some 24-hours resources you could utilise:
- Samaritans Of Singapore (SOS) – 1800 221 4444 / 1 767
- IMH Mental Health Helpline – 6389 2222
- Police – 999
Your child’s safety always comes first, and checking your child into IMH for psychiatric assessment and observation of critical cases is highly recommended. Kindly keep us updated on the situation and arrange for your child to schedule the nearest available appointment date.
If you are affected by this incident, please consider seeking counselling for yourself during this period.
It is crucial for you to understand your influence on your child’s behaviour and their maladaptive coping methods with their problems. The harsh truth is that often it is the parent’s ways of dealing with the child that affects the child’s behaviour. While what happened in the past cannot be altered, counselling can provide an alternative perspective for you and your child and assist you with managing your child better for the future.
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