“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…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 email@example.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.
V =非常重要，Q =相当重要，N =不那么重要；并确保至少其中十个是非常重要。
- 亲密：开放、揭示和分享自己 — 情感上或身体 — 在亲密关系中
一旦你将每个值标记为V，Q，N（非常，相当或不那么重要），再回头看看所有V，并选出对你最重要的前六名。 用6来标记它们，显示它们是你的最重要的6个。 最后，写下这六个值，以提醒自己这是你想要作为一个人的立场。
- 例如： 狗在我面前，我很害怕！
- 例如。 这里没有狗，但在拐弯处可能有狗！
当然没有人喜欢感到恐惧或焦虑，我们都不想拥有它们。 然而，恐惧和焦虑都不危险。 他们完全正常，每个人都经历。
想一想：在你的生活中，是否有些时候恐惧和/或焦虑在某些方面帮助到你、拯救了你、 保护你、 激励你？
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”).