All posts by huibee

How to respond to Worrying?

  1. Refocusing Skills: Notice that you’re distracted and refocus back to the present moments. Most of the traditional mindful breathing mindfulness exercises will help developing this refocusing skills. You can try the Benson’s method here.
  2. Observing Worries: If you happen to be in a private setting, try observing your thoughts. You can try leaves on the stream or the mind-train, being the observer of your experience and thought, realise that you have choice and control to not react. It requires some practice, and usually only possible to do it in private, not like when you’re in a social situation)
  3. Rapid Unhooking Skills (noticing, naming, refocusing) notice and name them “that’s my mind worrying” “that’s I’m not good enough story” “that’s something bad will happen story”, then refocus back to what you are doing.
  4. Acceptance of Physical Sensations: Quite often we are pulled to focus on thinking, worrying, being in our head, in order to run away from unwanted feelings and sensations in the body. Notice that you’re pulled into your head, then check feelings/sensations (e.g. sweaty palm, heavy chest, upset stomach, racing heart, numb fingers) in your body then try to allow those sensations.
  5. Use it as a trigger to reconnect with your values: if you’re worrying about your health, then obviously your health is important to you, decide how you want to treat your body, decide the behaviour to improve that, take actions, rather than just thinking about it over and over again.
  6. Reminder to practice Self-Compassions: life is difficult, a lot of challenges, obstacles and loss, acknowledge that it’s not easy and be there for myself, soothing yourself.
  7. Cue to start Problem Solving: Worry = fruitless problem solving. If it’s an important topic and a solvable matter, how about finding a time to sit down and properly solve it?

线上/网上心理治疗

在过去的几个月里,我越来越常被问到关于线上治疗的问题,而且也因为患者搬到海外并希望继续她的治疗,我已经做过一些。我一直有来自柔佛不同地区的患者,以及一些来自沙巴和砂劳越的,很多时候大老远过来就只是为了接受治疗。这些人必须花时间和钱定期过来。而我当然理解,现实的各种限制和拘束会导致其他很多人无法这么做。

所以今天在这里,我想更清楚地表达我对此的看法:

  • 我很乐意进行在线心理治疗,最好是用Skype。我也在Wechat上做过在线讲座,也是可考虑的。
  • 有一个明确的初步条件:我要亲自见过你至少一次(理想情况下是两次),进行评估,可以的话也进行一些初步干预。这对我作为治疗师来说非常重要,能够恰当地评估我的病人并一起决定最佳治疗方案。
  • 这不只是即时文字通讯,而是透过视频通话(我要看到你)。我早就听说过一些病人尝试通过电子邮件或即时文字通讯进行在线心理治疗,但通常效果不太好(尤其是问题相对严重的话)。反正我原本就为我的所有患者提供免费whatsapp / wechat支持

所以是的,如果你在寻找线上心理治疗,或想讨论更好的想法,请联系 017-2757813 或 hello@huibee.com。你也可以在这里留言。

附:我也将从今年(2019年)年尾开始在柔佛州(新山或峇株巴辖)开始作咨询和服务。

Re: Online Psychotherapy

I’ve been asked about this quite often in the past few months, and have done it a bit due to clients moving overseas and wanting to continue with her booster sessions. I have always had clients coming all the way from different parts of Johor, and a few from Sabah and Sarawak, just to see me (or sometimes with the psychiatrist drs in my clinic). These are people who have to spend time and costs travelling regularly. I understand it’s not always possible due to all sorts of constraints and logistic issues for many others.

So in this post today, I’d just like to make my opinions about it clearer.

  • I’m happy to do psychotherapy online, ideally over Skype. I’ve done online lectures over Wechat as well.
  • There is a clear preliminary: I’d like to see you at least once (ideally twice) in person first, for the assessment and hopefully some initial intervention. This is important for me as a therapist, to properly assess my clients and decide what’s best for them together.
  • It’s not just instant messaging, I’d want to be able to see you live. I’ve long heard of others trying online psychotherapy that runs through emailing or instant messaging, but no, it doesn’t usually end well. And I offer free instant messaging (whatsapp/wechat) supports to all my patients and clients anyway.

So yes, if you’re interested, or have better ideas, do be in touch on 017-2757813 or hello@huibee.com. You can also leave a comment below.

P.S. I’ll also be starting my practice and service in Johor Bahru or Batu Pahat from later this year (2019).

What Acceptance is and is not?

I generally try to avoid using the word “acceptance” in my everyday clinical work. I found that people can become resistant when I say “accept it”, normally when I follow it with “allow it to be, let it be, without struggling”, they immediately get it, or at least become more “accepting” to the idea of acceptance.

Acceptance is not wanting or liking. You accept how things are going for you, doesn’t mean you like or want things that way. I accept that my cat has to be put down due to lymphoma, doesn’t mean I like or want him to be put down. I accept the sadness that comes with the loss, doesn’t mean I like or want to be sad.

Acceptance is also not tolerating. They are very different, do you want people to accept you, or tolerate you?

Acceptance is more about allowing things to be that way, accommodating it without struggling (so much) with it. Normally it applies to things that you can’t change directly (external events  which you have no control on, e.g. your cat has lymphoma; but also includes your internal thoughts and emotions, which you can’t simply chuck away like a piece of paper, e.g. sadness, fear, anxiety, thought of “I’m not good enough”).

The Evolution of Human Mind

Why does my mind keep thinking negatively?

Why is my mind always looking for problems and threats?

Why is my mind always warning me when I’m trying to step out of comfort zones, and making me worry a lot?

Why is my brain always predicting the worst?

Why am I always thinking about the painful memories?

Why am I so scared of rejection and not fitting in?

Why is my mind always comparing myself to others?

Why do I never feel enough or contented with what I already have, and wanting more more more?

Watch this cute animation by Dr Russ Harris that might answer your questions, from evolutionary terms:

Did you realise that what your mind does is completely normal and natural? It’s just trying to keep you safe!

Fear & Anxiety: Differences

Most researchers in the field agree that there are differences between fear and anxiety. Here are some of the key ones.

Fear:

  • Generally seen as a response to danger here and now.
  • E.g. the dog is right in front of me, I’m scared.
  • Orientation: Here and now
  • Higher sympathetic arousal, higher level of fight or flight.

Anxiety:

  • Generally seen as a response to a predicted/anticipated threat.
  • E.g. no actual dog here, but at the corner there might be a dog.
  • Future-focused
  • The degree of sympathetic arousal is lower

Of course nobody likes feeling fear or anxiety, we all don’t want to have them. However, both fear and anxiety are not dangerous. They are completely normal and everyone experiences them.

Think about this: Are there times in your life where fear and/or anxiety have been useful/helpful in some ways? Where fear and/or anxiety saved you? Protected you? Motivated you?