How is your Psychological Health?

The above are some statements measuring level of emotional distress. They can serve as a guideline that something might start to go wrong in life.

It is a difficult time for almost everyone, whether it is the economy globally, crime rates in the country, personal financial issues or major life events, or day to day stress from work, family, relationships etc. We might not be able to change all these challenging situations, but we are able to change our perceptions to them, and improve our coping abilities and psychological resilience.

I am a psychologist specialised in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am also trained in Problem Solving Therapy and Hypnotherapy. I help people to pick up the role of therapist for their own problems.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me via hello@huibee.com or 017-2757813.

关于自杀的迷思与误解

  • 问别人会不会自杀,会导致其真的去自杀?

这是很多人担心的。但是根据研究(Mathias et al 2012),原本有自杀意念的人,并不会因为被问了而更想自杀,除非问的方法本身有问题(比如带有挑衅、取笑意味等)。

很多有自杀念头的人,被以关心的方式问了后反而觉得“终于有人可以和我谈论这件事”。

  • 会叫的狗不会要人,说要自杀的人不会真的自杀?

研究显示,想自杀的人都曾经透露过与这个念头相关的信息,甚至2007年何金针的一项研究显示,三分之二进行自杀行为的人,一个月前曾求助于专家或助人机构。过半的自杀者在自我伤害前都曾经向他人求助。

当有人表达自杀念头的时候,切记不要将它当成玩笑。

  • 因为怕痛,自杀未遂的人不会再自杀?

这也是错的。多数自杀未遂者、自杀企图者,再次企图自杀,有1%在一年内会自杀(成功)而死,10%在10年内会自杀而死,一辈子来说,有20%的自杀未遂者会再企图自杀而死。自杀未遂后,更需要更多关怀,尤其发生后的三天,到下来的几个月。

自杀未遂者在企图这么做后,更容易有各种身体或心理问题。自杀企图者的平均寿命比其他人短30年。喝酒自伤者容易有消化系统相关的问题,药物滥用者往往与精神疾病有关等等。

Should your therapist give you advice?

“What? Isn’t that what I go to therapy for?”

No… Not really. Psychotherapists and counsellors are normally taught not to give advice (for important decision making) to their clients. We do not want our clients to become dependent on us, instead, we guide them and equip them with the skills to think more rationally, realistically and in ways that are helpful to them.

I remember there are few occasions when clients first came to see me, and they told me about how previous psychiatrists/therapist/counsellors had advised them to do certain things like leaving a boyfriend or a job or moving house etc, how they still ruminating about it today and still don’t think it was the right thing to do. Here, I’m not blaming the therapists or consultants. It’s both ways… Because quite often, clients want quick fix, they want the answer now… And the therapists feel the urgency to help and provide the quick fix.

But there are times when we do give advice, and that’s on severely depressed clients, and on suicidal prevention. We do advice the subject and the family around him/her what to do.

Also, I do provide psychoeducation to family members of most of my severe OCD clients. In a sense, sometimes there are family members who cannot rationalise how they are reinforcing the OC symptoms, then I will just advise them what and what not to do.

So right, your therapist should be there to teach you how to fish (how to solve your problems, how to handle your negative emotions, how to make decision etc), but not to just keep giving you fish. If it’s the latter that they are constantly doing (it’s quite normal to do it in the beginning of the therapy or when your condition doesn’t allow independent decision), at some point you are going to realise that you can’t live without them…

Life Coaching

This young lady approached me around July last year, telling me that she didn’t think she has major psychological problems, but she needed help. When I first saw her, she said she’d like to resit some SPM papers, but really lack the motivation. And it’s been 2-3 years that she didn’t get this done.

I wasn’t used to taking clients/patients who are “well”. Normally my clients score really highly on any depression/anxiety or emotional distress scales. But at that time I thought I’d like a mixture of different clients, so we started to work together, on her problems like procrastination, handling negative emotions like anger and fear, handling worries and negative thoughts, setting up a routine and practice following it through, also some impulsive behaviour issues.

It didn’t take long or many sessions. Most of the therapy goals were achieved. I contacted her recently, she said she’s doing her barista work while waiting for the SPM results.

I realised this is like what I do with many clients towards the end of their treatment (when they are a lot more stable), or when they have been taking medication and are referred to me by the psychiatric consultants (so their symptoms had eased a lot when they first see me). I also think this is what a lot of people need, before they accumulate so many problems that they can’t solve, feeling worse and worse about themselves, and starting to fall into depression or other problems.

So I have decided to write this piece on “life coaching”, as it can work almost like a prevention, using hypnotherapy, mindfulness-based CBT and ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy).

Do leave a comment or get in touch (email hello@huibee.com or whatsapp 0172757813) if you’re hoping to achieve some of those:

  • Becoming more confident generally
  • Becoming more confident in a specific area/situation
  • More motivation to study/work
  • Clarifying your goals in life/career/future
  • Tackling procrastination!
  • Solving specific problems in your life
  • Becoming a better problem solver generally
  • Clarifying your life values/directions
  • Starting to take actions towards your goals
  • Becoming more emotional resilient
  • Handling negative emotions and thoughts and worries
  • More focus and better control on your attention (expanding your attention span)
  • Better communication
  • Better expression of emotions and feelings
  • Being accountable to your fitness and diet plans to maintain or lose weight
  • Tackling all sorts of fear (e.g. talking to boss/authority, darkness, height, dating etc)
  • Speaking up your mind & defending your rights
  • …and more

Becoming a Hypnotherapist? (Online Course!)

Many of you might be aware that I was trained by the UK College of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy back in 2012 and have a diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy. There used to be some readers messaging me to ask about taking the same course. And now! It’s launched! The online diploma training is now available!

Click the following link for more information about this Online Hypnotherapy Course.

And you have two options to take this training:

    1. Tutor supported (15 hours)
    2. Self-led

Why do I recommend this and not any other course? Not because I took this or I knew the director/principal/trainer of the College (he doesn’t even know that I’m writing this!), but because this is the only place that provides the most scientific and evidence-based hypnotherapy training, no bullsh*t! The course content is all based on experimental and clinical research, and still, you can become a hypnotherapist after completing the course.

Let me know if you have any questions about it. Or, go to the College’s website to find out more.

ACT Malaysia

Most readers of my blog know my passion on ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and I’ve always felt quite “lonely” here as when I first came across it, I was in the UK, and when I practice it here in Malaysia, I have no one to talk about it with. So I’ve written this post about 9 months ago, paging for ACT Therapist in Malaysia.

I guess luck is on my side, few months ago Dr Eugene Koh from UPM contacted me. A group of them, who are psychiatric consultants cum ACT practitioners, are forming an ACT group.

So here is the website: https://www.actmalaysia.com/

These are some other ACT therapists in Malaysia: https://www.actmalaysia.com/?page_id=299 (if you would like to join us, please write to actinmalaysia@gmail.com)

That’s me on the website: https://www.actmalaysia.com/?page_id=367

Utterly grateful with their hard work of putting things together and connecting us! Looking forward to this community growing stronger and better together, supporting each other.

锚定技术:如何在极端情绪中让自己平静下来度过它?

这是一个简短的“锚定”(dropping anchor)录音,适用于当您感到强烈的情绪并希望将自己引导到当下、此时此地的情况,并很好的面对/充分利用您所处的情况。(理想情况下,您必须已经和我在会谈中做过这个练习。)

5分钟锚定录音

基本上是以下几个步骤:

  • 注意并承认您的痛苦想法。你在想什么?头脑说些什么? (“我注意到我在想我不够好,我是失败的人”)
  • 注意并确认您的感受和情绪。您的身体感觉如何? (沉重的胸口?肩膀绷紧?头痛?麻木?手冰冷?等等)
  • 回到您的身体,坐直/站直,感受脚下的地板在支持着你;将指尖放在一起,舒展一下,呼吸几下。
  • 用您的感官与外部环境建立联系。您能看见什么?你能听到什么?您可以触摸/品尝/闻到什么?(比如:识别您能听到的五个声音?)
  • 行动:既然您已经处于这种情况下了,那么您可以做些什么来更好的利用此时此地呢?

请注意,没有必要完全遵循这些步骤。当我练习时,我并不会跟着步骤进行。有时您可以快速执行,甚至在30秒内重复几次。

重要的是要注意,疼痛并没有消失,但是不管头脑在说什么,您的感觉如何,您仍然可以注意到还有很多其他事情正在发生(痛苦是整个环境中的其中一部分,可以选择不把所有注意力放在痛苦上),并采取有效行动朝着更有意义和充实的生活迈进。

English version of Dropping Anchor