A new year, a new beginning! If you’re looking to tackle some of life’s toughest obstacles with fresh perspective, help is out there with our guide to family resources, counselling and therapy in Singapore
We know Singapore can be both an exciting and lonely place to live, especially considering our high-pressure society and a large expat population living far away from the familiar comforts of home– it can all add up to a multitude of emotions!
Feeling angry, sad, insecure, unsure, frustrated, overwhelmed, or all of the above? Based on conversations and reading posts we’ve seen across online forums on social media, these are a few commonly shared issues that resonate the most amongst women living in Singapore, namely:
- self-esteem and self-worth
- postpartum depression
- pregnancy and infertility
- parenting and family
- relationship conflicts, including trailing spouse stress, infidelity and divorce
- career transitions, such as returning to work after having children
- culture shock
We understand that everyone handles issues and challenges in their own way, but we’re all for reaching out to someone who is trained to help.
Singapore is full of top-notch counsellors and therapists, so we’ve narrowed them down to a list of fully vetted resources trusted and recommended by other women, with many of them describing their philosophy and approach in their own words. We’ve got your back, mama!
This round up is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it’ll be a good start as you decide on a counsellor who fits best for you and your situation should you decide that’s the path you want to take.
The team at Alliance Consulting consists of multilingual (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Cantonese) counsellors and psychologists based in Singapore since 2009. They provide professional support and guidance to men, women, couples, children, teenagers and families by assigning the right therapist for each client so they feel comfortable and able to pause in a peaceful and safe environment. Alliance also offers educational institutions partnering, clinical supervision, corporate workshops and psychological assessments. They are available from 8am to 7pm on weekdays and from 8.30am to 5pm on Saturdays either at Alliance’s office or over Skype.
In addition to offering counselling services, Sassy Mama’s go-to psychologist and couples & family therapist Anoushka has been a great resource to mamas in our Sassy Mama Advice Column. Here’s what she has to say about her philosophy and approach:
“I provide clients with a space to reflect and reconnect with their authentic self. Clients can expect to gain a new perspective and tools to overcome whatever challenge they bring and to leave feeling more empowered and clear about the road ahead. My areas of focus include anxiety, grief & loss, couples counselling and self-empowerment.”
“Therapy is something you and I create together which involves trust, skill, and hard work. Based on your history, we will work together on what you want to accomplish and through the interventions I use, you will be able to make choices to experience more happiness. I am caring and honest in my approach and allow you to explore your feelings so that you can let go of past wounds and find productive ways to deal with difficult situations. My expertise include working with couples, third culture kids, expats, parents, and women (self-esteem, reconnecting to their needs, and loss).”
Huma Durrani is an art psychotherapist, doctoral researcher and part-time lecturer at LaSalle College of the Arts. She has authored ‘Wrapped in Blue’, a book on raising her son with autism and has over 10 years experience working with children with differences.
“I provide art psychotherapy to children and adolescents (no art making skills necessary) with developmental and behavioral problems, psychological and emotional issues including autism, difficulty with social skills, low self-esteem, anxiety, aggression, depression, trauma, bullying and so on.
Art psychotherapy is especially helpful for those who are resistant to talking and may have difficulties in communication. It is a safe way to process difficult emotions in a non-confrontational way. I work with the children, with families and in groups.”
Coloured Canvas, Art Psychotherapy for Children & Adolescents, 383 Bukit Timah Road, Alocassia Apartments,01-06, Singapore 259727, (Located next to Stevens MRT), Tel: (+65) 97694990, [email protected] www.colouredcanvas.net
Elephant Therapy & Training
Led by consultant Clinical Psychologist Adriana Giotta, Elephant is the very first psychotherapy practice in Singapore focused on empowering the community directly through client therapeutic consultations and indirectly through up-skilling Asia’s community of clinicians and the larger population via a pioneering training centre which delivers relevant workshops and seminars. The leading integrative private practice with a pool of highly qualified therapists across multiple methodologies provides an array of treatments such as individual psychotherapy for adults, couples, families and children, as well as group therapy, schema therapy, EMDR therapy, art therapy, organisational consultancy and coaching.
“I was trained in cognitive behavioural therapy in Germany, with 10 years of experience and fluency in German, Romanian and English. Coping with life transitions such as expatriation, parenthood and divorce is an essential part of my work. I also have counseling experience around psychological issues, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and emotional instability.”
Singapore’s Comprehensive Mental Health Practice Since 1973
“We provide counselling and psychotherapy support to children, adolescents, couples and families. We also offer a wide range of psychometric and personality assessments for both children and adults. Our highly qualified and experienced team of professionals with varied expertise, includes clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, counsellors and social workers. We are multi-cultural and speak English, French, German, Dutch, Arabic, Bahasa, Hindi and Mandarin.
We work very closely with the wider community including many international schools. We also coordinate and help facilitate the Singapore International Schools Counselling Network (SISCN) a forum for counsellors in Singapore. We are an active provider of EAP services to a number of corporates including multinational and local companies.
We are centrally located and in walking distance from Orchard MRT as well as The American Club and The Tanglin Club. Sessions are conducted from 8am till late in the evenings and administrative support is available from 9am to 6pm from Mondays to Saturdays.”
“I offer counselling and mediation to couples and adults on relationship issues such as infidelity, managing conflict, trailing spouse transition, communication breakdown, sexual issues, separation and divorce, anxiety, depression, past trauma and addictions. Drawing on my training in emotionally focused couples therapy and Gottman method couples therapy, we work together to unpack and process emotional wounds, build intimacy and closer connections and develop new ways to interact that draw you closer instead of pushing you further away.”
International Counselling & Psychology Centre
“We are a counselling and psychology centre at the heart of Orchard road offering services that will promote and maintain well-being in mental health. We are a professional team with over 40 years collective experience providing supportive mental health services in an international environment, both to the expatriate and local community and within the region. ICPC’s team understands, as professional therapists and from their personal experience of working and living internationally, the challenges faced by children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.
We work with a variety of mental health issues that may interfere with satisfying interpersonal relationships in the general environment such as home, in school and in the workplace. Life, growth and relationships can be stressful and maintaining one’s well-being can mean preventing more significant concerns in the future.
“I have been a counsellor for 15 years and I specialise in marriage relationship counselling. I would say women usually reach out to me for counselling based on relationship issues such as financial dependency, physical and emotional loneliness, lack of empowerment and betrayal. During sessions, I focus on two aspects: helping my clients regain control of their lives and re-educating them about marriage itself. I encourage both partners to attend sessions so I can help them renegotiate the terms of their relationship and redesign their life together for a healthier relationship.”
“I am a postpartum support international coordinator and co-founder of the free support group for mothers, Mindful Mums. Counselling is adapted to each woman’s individual needs and resources – not a ‘one-size -fits-all’ approach. I provide a safe, supportive and compassionate space to work through current difficulties and effect change. Sessions often include mindfulness skills and, when appropriate, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). I specialise in pre- and postpartum depression and anxiety, pregnancy loss, birth trauma, complicated pregnancy, difficulties with bonding, relationship adjustment, anger management and parenting issues.”
All in the Family Counselling
Tammy Fontana is a US-trained mental health therapist specialising in relationships. She successfully helps individuals and couples with relationship issues ranging from pre marriage, marriage, parenting, sex and divorce. With her clinical training in attachment and trauma, she helps the underlying issues that affect individuals and their relationships. Ms. Fontana has trained with some of the powerhouses in the mental health field to help her clients, including Dr. Marty Klein, USA sex therapist, The Gottmans of Gottman Therapy, Dr. Denisa Legac and many others. Now, she has developed the only online portal to help clients achieve successful and get 24×7 support at www.mynewbeginningclub.com.
Rates: $200/50 minutes, packages available
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am – last session 6pm
Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Relationship & Clinical Sex Therapist, All in the Family Counselling, 11 Collyer Quay, 17th Floor, The Arcade, Raffles Place MRT, Singapore 049317, Tel: (+65) 9030 7239, [email protected], Skype ID: tammy_fontana, www.allinthefamilycounselling.com
“We are a multinational group of counsellors, therapists and psychologists in Singapore working as a team to provide the best level of care, support and guidance to help you through difficult times. Our approach is empathetic, non-judgmental, discreet, confidential and always professional. Communicate with a therapist who speaks your native language – we speak English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Cantonese and Mandarin.” –Alliance Counselling team
Almagaia Counselling is made up of a team of mamas devoted to the emotional wellbeing of mothers. Whether you’re looking for individual sessions, couples counselling, life or career coaching, their experienced therapists are equipped to provide professional care and support in English, French and Flemish. The practice specialises in working with women and men across various social, spiritual and cultural backgrounds and is ideal for those experiencing issues such as women’s issues, anxiety, depression and stress management, relationship problems, issues with self-esteem and confidence and more.
Body with Soul Healthcare Network
At Body with Soul, we provide a holistic approach of wellness including counselling and medical and nutritional support, such as for hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies. During a counselling session with our clinical psychologist, Shrimathi Swaminathan, women will receive psychotherapy support for conditions such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and issues relating to relationship, parenting, relocation and adjustment. Shri uses a scientific, integrated model based on neuroscience and tailored to client needs, drawing on the strengths of different approaches such as cognitive-behaviour therapy, attachment theory and positive psychology.” – Body with Soul team
Incontact Counselling & Training
Incontact is made up of a team of experienced and trained counsellors accredited by the Singapore Counselling Association, who offer confidential counselling and training services to individuals clients in Singapore. Specialising in professional counselling and psychotherapy, they work in complete confidentiality with individuals, couples, families, children and groups undergoing transitions at different points in their lives. They take pride in their lead counsellors, who provide qualitative counselling by clinically registered counsellors. With immense practical knowledge in the field of human psychology, they have experience working with both local and expat communities in Singapore. Incontact adopts an integrative and holistic approach incorporating Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, Hypnotherapy, and Transactional Analysis, among others.
The Center for Psychology
“We have worked with many women at The Center for Psychology for the past 11 years. We provide a culturally and gender-sensitive approach to counselling across a diverse range of women’s issues. We value the importance of respect and therapeutic support for our clients to help them make needed changes at their own pace.” – Kit S. Ng, PhD, Director, The Center for Psychology
The Counselling Place (TCP)
“TCP is a team of international psychologists, therapists, and life coaches specialising in issues affecting women in all life stages, including stress & anger management, anxiety & depression, infertility, pregnancy, postpartum depression, adoption, relationship conflicts, weight management, self-esteem, trauma, grief and more. We take an integrated approach, drawing from established therapeutic approaches, including acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), family system therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The focus is on fitting what works best for each particular client and issue.” – Ho Shee Wai, TCP Director and Registered Psychologist
The Counsellors: Expat Psychological Services
“At times, life can feel tough. Sometimes it feels like the hardship never ends. Our team of psychologists work together to provide non-judgemental, empathic, and discrete, professional support, whatever your situation is. We have experience with a diverse range of people and their experiences, offering confidentiality and a client-centred approach to all.” – The Counsellors team
Fernhill Psychology and Counselling
“When you seek counselling at Fernhill we try to match you with the best possible therapist for you and for your problems. We are an empathetic, mature group of therapists who have all, at some time, been a trailing spouse, living and adapting to family life in foreign cultures. We offer many different therapy styles, but we treat each person as an individual with unique problems, challenges and needs. – Jill Bromley, Director of Fernhill
AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research)
AWARE is Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group, providing counselling services as well as advocacy and training. Anyone can call AWARE’s helpline at 1-800-774-5935 (open Monday to Friday from 3 – 9:30pm) for emotional support and direction to external resources.
Family Services Centres
Family Service Centres (FSCs) are a key community-based support centre for individuals and families in need. FSCs are staffed with social workers and other professionals to provide a helping hand. Anyone, regardless of age, race, language or religion, can benefit from FSC services. There are currently 43 FSC’s in Singapore – read more about them here.
“Postpartum mood disorders are serious, but common and treatable, illnesses. Yet, all too often, it is shame that prevents new parents from seeking help.” Special mention goes to Sassy Mama Pooja for putting together a comprehensive article for mamas struggling with postpartum depression, including research, resources and support groups.