Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for counselling & psychotherapy

FAQ for child and teenager counselling

FAQ for couple & marriage counselling

FAQ for  psychotherapy assessment

FAQ for counselling & psychotherapy

FAQ for child and teenager counselling

FAQ for couple & marriage counselling

FAQ for  psychotherapy assessment

FAQ for Counselling & Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy/Counselling is often referred to as ‘talk-therapy’ where a client consults a mental health professional, such as a psychotherapist or counsellor, on various issues involving emotional, thoughts and/or behavioural difficulties. It can be one-to-one, group or couple meetings. The aim of psychotherapy/counselling is to provide a safe and comfortable space for the client to express their thoughts and emotions, to facilitate clients to gain new insights into their difficulties, develop better coping skills and to improve the client’s overall functioning. In this segment, the term counselling is used to refer to both psychotherapy/counselling.

Counselling is for anyone who is going through a period of sadness, worry or stress. People can also seek counselling to work on changing harmful behaviours and thoughts or to gain better awareness of themselves. Common problems where people seek counselling are (but not limited to) mood and emotional problems, anxiety and worries, grief, romance relationship issues, family, social, parent-child, work related stress, addiction and other behavioural problems, decision making or adjustment issues, etc.

Anyone below 18 years old is required to obtain consent from their primary caregivers before the initiation of counselling.

Each counselling session takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. On average, the counselling process would take about 6 to 12 sessions; however, it could be longer depending on the nature of the client’s problem, their need and resources.

In the first session, the counsellor would work to establish an initial impression of the client and his/her problems. The client would be asked to share about their difficulties and personal background information.

In cases of clients below 18 years old, caregivers would usually be approached to share relevant information related to the client’s problem. The client or caregivers may also be asked to discuss their goals in counselling as well as the tentative treatment plan. Counselling goals and treatment plan may be modified or refined as the therapeutic process develops.

In most cases, client may feel sense of relief after talking to the counsellor during the first session but in some, they may feel a sense of discomfort as they have to relive their problems while speaking to the counsellor. Clients are advised to speak to their counsellor if they have this concern.

The counsellor take responsibilities in ensuring all clients’ information are held as private and confidential. Information related to the client will only be released to any third party with the client’s consent. However, confidential may be breached if the counsellor in-charge of the case has reason to suspect that the client may be at risk of harming themselves or others (i.e. suicidal/homicidal disclosure, child or elderly abuse) or if ordered/subpoenaed by the court to do so.

FAQ for Child and Teenager Counselling

Child and teenager counselling is all before the age of 18 year old. The counselling session is for psychological related issue or referral from school or doctors. Parent and caregiver have to present together with the child. Consent is to be given by parent or caregiver. The session might involve interviewing with parent and caregiver for better understanding of the child conditions.

First session child will be assessed via observation and interaction. Parent and caregiver will be interviewed by the therapist to obtain more information. Therapist will then discuss about the findings and intervention recommended with the parent or caregiver.

Depends on the recommendation, child may attend to counselling session individually for intervention, and parent to be updated about the progress in each session. Some cases, parent will be invited to join the session for some intervention.

A child that comes for counselling must be accompanied by parent and caregiver (adult), and being present throughout the whole session.

FAQ for Couple & Marriage Counselling

Both”couple” and “marriage” term are used when the counselling is provided for couple to work on the issues in the relationship. Your partner or spouse will be in the counselling session, and together will discuss and work through issuess and challenges faced in the relationship.

Couple / Marriage counselling is for people that faced unresolved issues, problem or conflict in the relationship. The counselling session is for couple to realize what the “real” issues really are. Counsellor will also assist couple to work toward a better relationship.

In the first session, usually the counsellor will assess the issue and conflict level of the couple. After gathered enough information and problem area, counsellor will then suggest ways to work with the identified problem. Communication will be facilitated and couple will have chance to face the issue differently. Counselling goal and aim will also be formed during the first session.

Yes, you can. In some cases, the spouse or partner is not ready to attend the session. There is a saying ” One with the insight will change first”. There may be painful emotion or situation that you felt need a change, so attending counselling and talk about relationship challenges alone is consider helpful and relieving.

We will usually suggest talk to your partner about the purpose of coming for counselling. Also communicate about the possible outcome that you wish to obtain through counselling. However in many occasion, partner and spouse will be able to understand and accept the invitation to a couple counselling session, when the purpose and possible outcome is explained clearly. In the end, if your attempt to invite your partner or spouse to come for session failed, you can always come alone first. When you experience change and your partner noticed, and curiously ask, you may then re-invite him/her to the session.

Many come to counselling hoping that the counsellor will “fixed” and “salvage” the marriage. The truth is the fixing and saving does not come from the counsellor. It is the effort of the two people in the relationship, counsellor is to facilitate understanding, enhance communication, increase acceptance and form a relationship that will last through obstacles and challenges. So the simple answer to this question is “No” fixing and saving, but “Yes” in making the relationship better in many ways.

In some situation, although rarely, report can be requested for the counselling session done. This request should be communicated early with your counsellor and abide by the reporting standard of the respective therapist. Your counsellor may or may not agree to provide you a report, depending on the need of your request. There will be a fee and charges for the report requested.

FAQ for  Psychotherapy Assessment

Psychological assessment, interchangeably termed as psychological testing, is usually conducted by a psychologist to gather information of an individual’s behaviors, abilities and overall functioning. The focus and structure of an assessment may vary depending on the purpose for assessment. In general, an assessment may utilize clinical interviews, observations and formal testing to gather information of an individual.

There are various reasons as to why an individual would require a psychological assessment. The psychological tests provide a measure of characteristics and abilities, which includes aptitude and intelligence. It looks into clarifying a diagnosis, re-assessment from previous testing as well as identifying underlying factors that maybe impacting an individual’s relationship or functioning. Information gathered from the assessment would help form a complete picture of an individual. Hence, providing important information to redefine the problem or as a basis for recommendations of treatment and future interventions.

An initial consultation would take place to discuss client or caregiver’s concern and to gather pertinent information (i.e., developmental, family, education, medical history and etc.). Based on the information gathered, the psychologist would determine the best course of action, and whether the client would require a formal psychological assessment. Assessments are usually conducted in a quiet and conducive setting.

These assessments may vary from 1-to-1 testing sessions, to parent, teacher or caregiver questionnaires. The assessments are then scored and interpreted. Assessment results would then be evaluated and integrated with the information obtained, to answer the referral question (i.e., reason for seeking assessment). Findings and personalized intervention strategies would be presented to client via verbal feedback and/ or a psychological report. A full psychological report may be requested at the end of the assessment.

The assessment process can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, and may span across several sessions. It depends on the nature of concerns, the individual’s age as well as a number of other factors.

The cost for a psychological assessment varies with the extent of the evaluation (i.e., number and types of tools utilized). A range of expected cost would usually be provided because it is difficult to know in advance the extent of the required assessment (i.e., what and how much to be assessed) until the initial appointment where detailed information regarding problem/ difficulty is obtained.

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