This section contains the following:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about psychotherapy/counselling
- Useful psychology links
- Online mental health resources
- Humanitarian resources
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. What is a clinical psychologist?
I often get asked this question. In a nutshell, clinical psychologists are mental health experts, similar to psychiatrists and counsellors. However, what sets them apart from the other professions is their approach to helping people. Specifically, clinical psychologists use a combination of research findings on human behavior and systematic assessment in order to understand and assist individuals with psychological problems (Nietzel, Bernstein, and Milich, 1998). Clinical psychologists work with people from all age groups – from young children to older adults – and they focus on a wide range of behavioural and emotional issues, ranging from depression, anxiety, and psychoses, to work stress, life transitions, and difficulties at school.
2. What should I look out for when choosing a clinical psychologist?
Some individuals may prefer to work with a female psychologist whilst others may feel more comfortable with a male psychologist. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure that the clinical psychologist has the appropriate training and qualifications, regardless of gender or other considerations like age, nationality, ethnicity, or cultural background. At the very minimum, the psychologist should hold a master degree in psychology from an accredited university, with specialized training in the field of clinical psychology.
An experienced clinical psychologist will show sensitivity to your feelings and demonstrate non-judgmental understanding of your difficulties. Importantly, you should expect the clinical psychologist to conduct him- or herself in a professional and ethical manner, e.g., safeguarding your privacy and the confidentiality of the information that you disclose.
3. What is psychotherapy/counselling?
Psychotherapy/counselling generally refer to the application of systematic intervention strategies designed to alleviate distressing psychological problems. Some people use the terms “psychotherapy” and “counselling” interchangeably. Others may, however, make a distinction between the two forms of interventions depending on the theoretical orientation of the mental health professional and/or the specific treatment method involved (Nietzel, Bernstein, and Milich, 1998).
4. When should I seek psychotherapy/counselling?
It is normal to feel upset, down, or confused when you experience a setback or face challenging circumstances in Life. During this period, you can harness your usual internal and external resources to cope with the problem, e.g., practice self-care, take things one day at a time, confide in a close friend, etc.
At times, however, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or helpless. Some people may also feel “stuck” and alone. In most cases, you will notice that your problems have started to interfere with your daily functioning. For instance, you may lose interest in activities that were previously enjoyable or start keeping to yourself. You may also worry excessively or experience chronic sleep difficulties and physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, unexplained fatigue). Consider seeking psychotherapy/counselling if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.
5. How many psychotherapy/counselling sessions will I need to have? How often must I attend?
Like most things in life – it depends! Typically, the number of required sessions is related to several considerations, including the nature of your problems, the type of intervention strategy, your motivation level, and your goals for treatment. In general, studies have shown that 50% of clients demonstrate noticeable improvement after eight sessions, while 75% of individuals in therapy improved by the end of six months (APA, 2010).
Psychotherapy/counselling is most effective when people attend regular sessions (APA, 2010). A typical session with me lasts for an hour. Do plan on attending weekly sessions when you first start treatment.
6. What can I expect on the first visit? How about subsequent visits?
On your initial visit, I will first take a few minutes to review any necessary guidelines for working together (e.g., consent for treatment, limits of confidentiality). Then I will use the rest of our time to collect pertinent background information in order for me to gain a better understanding of your difficulties. There is no preparation required for your first visit; just bring yourself, a willingness to share, and an openness to change.
On subsequent visits, we will jointly decide on your treatment goals and I will propose an intervention strategy that is individually tailored to your needs. Throughout the rest of the treatment, we will periodically review your progress in order to ensure that you are achieving the changes that you desire.
7. How much are your charges for psychotherapy/counselling?
Please call +65 9642 9491 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for rates on psychotherapy/counselling and other services.
Finally, if you have questions that are not covered by this FAQ, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you!
Useful Psychology Links:
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
- Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)
- Singapore Psychological Society (SPS)
- Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore
- Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York
- Addictive Behaviors Lab, University at Albany, State University of New York
Online Mental Health Resources:
The APA has an extensive online collection of self-help resources and articles related to psychological and emotional well-being. Please visit their Psychology Help Center for more information.
- Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) – an international, independent medical humanitarian organisation
- Medecins Sans Frontieres Hong Kong (MSF-HK) – one of the Asia Pacific-based partner sections of the MSF movement
- ReliefWeb – a humanitarian information service provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- AlertNet – a Reuters news and communications service for emergency relief and aid agencies.