Tag Archives: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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

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.

Values

你想要做个怎样的人?

“价值”(Values)是你心中作为一个人想要表现的最深切渴望。它不是关于你想要得到或实现的,它不是目标;它们是你长期想要行动的方式,你的行为带着的素质。

我们可以列出几百个不同的价值,但在下面你会找到一些较常见的。很可能地,并非所有这些都与你相关。请记住,没有诸如“正确的价值”或“错误的价值”。这有点像我们在点比萨的口味。如果你更喜欢火腿和菠萝,但我更喜欢萨拉米香肠和橄榄,这并不意味着我的比萨口味对,你的错了。这只意味着我们有不同的口味。同样,我们可能有不同的价值观。因此请仔细阅读下面的列表,并在每个值旁边写一个字母:

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。

  1. 接受:对自己、他人、生活等开放和接受
  2. 冒险:喜欢冒险;积极寻求,创造或探索刺激或新鲜体验
  3. (敢言)自信:尊重自己权利并要求我想要的东西
  4. 真实:真实,真诚;忠于自己
  5. 美丽:在自己、他人、环境中欣赏、创造或培养美丽
  6. 关怀:关心自己、他人、环境等
  7. 挑战:不断挑战自我成长,学习,提高
  8. 怜悯:对受苦的人表示善意
  9. 联系:充分参与我正在做的任何事情,并充分与他人在一起
  10. 贡献:为自己或他人做出贡献,帮助或产生积极影响
  11. 符合:尊重并遵守规则和义务
  12. 合作:与他人合作和协作
  13. 勇气:勇敢;坚持面对恐惧,威胁或困难
  14. 创造力:具有创造性或创新性
  15. 好奇心:好奇,思想开明,感兴趣;探索和发现
  16. 鼓励:鼓励和奖励我对自己或他人重视的行为
  17. 平等:将他人视为与自己平等,反之亦然
  18. 兴奋:寻求、创造和参与令人兴奋,刺激或惊险的活动
  19. 公平:对自己或他人公平
  20. 健身:保持或提高我的健康;照顾我的身心健康和幸福
  21. 灵活性:随时调整和适应不断变化的环境
  22. 自由:自由生活;选择我的生活和行为方式,或者帮助别人做同样的事情
  23. 友善:对他人陪伴、友好友善
  24. 宽恕:宽恕自己或他人
  25. 乐趣:爱好玩乐;寻求,创造和参与充满乐趣的活动
  26. 慷慨:对自己或他人慷慨,分享和奉献
  27. 感恩:感谢和欣赏我自己、他人和生活的积极方面
  28. 诚实:对自己和他人诚实,真诚
  29. 幽默:看到并欣赏生活中幽默的一面
  30. 谦卑:谦虚或中庸;让我的成就说明一切
  31. 行业:勤奋,敬业
  32. 独立:自我支持,选择自己的做事方式
  33. 亲密:开放、揭示和分享自己 — 情感上或身体 — 在亲密关系中
  34. 正义:维护正义和公平
  35. 善良:善良,富有同情心,体贴,养育或关心自己或他人
  36. :对自己或他人表现出亲切或关爱的行为
  37. 正念:带着开放与好奇,觉察此时此地的经验
  38. 秩序:有序和有组织
  39. 思想开放:仔细思考问题,从别人的角度看问题,以及公平地衡量证据。
  40. 耐心:冷静地等待我想要的东西
  41. 坚持:尽管存在问题或困难,仍坚决继续坚持。
  42. 快乐:为自己或他人创造和享受快乐
  43. 权力:强烈影响或对他人施加权威,例如:负责,领导,组织
  44. 互惠:建立在给予和接受之间取得公平平衡的关系
  45. 尊重:尊重自己或他人;礼貌,体贴和表现积极
  46. 责任:对我的行为负责
  47. 浪漫:浪漫;展示和表达爱或强烈的感情
  48. 安全:确保我或他人的安全
  49. 自我意识:了解自己的想法,感受和行动
  50. 自我照顾:照顾我的健康和幸福,满足我的需求
  51. 自我发展:保持知识、技能、性格或生活经历的发展,进步或提高
  52. 自我控制:按照我自己的理想行事
  53. 感觉性:创造,探索和享受刺激五感的经历
  54. 性欲:探索或表达我的性行为
  55. 灵性:与比我更大的事物联系起来
  56. 熟练:持续练习和提高我的技能,并充分发挥自己的作用
  57. 支持:支持、帮助、鼓励自己或他人
  58. 信任:值得信赖;忠诚,真诚,可靠
  59. 其它:在此填入您自己的价值:
  60. 其它:在此填入您自己的价值:

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。

恐惧&焦虑

大多数恐惧与焦虑相关的研究人员都认为恐惧和焦虑之间存在差异。 以下是一些关键点:

恐惧:

  • 通常被视为对此时此地的危险的回应。
  • 例如: 狗在我面前,我很害怕!
  • 定位:此时此地
  • 更高的交感神经唤醒,更高水平的战斗或逃跑反应。

焦虑:

  • 通常被视为对预测/预期威胁的回应。
  • 例如。 这里没有狗,但在拐弯处可能有狗!
  • 导向:未来
  • 交感神经唤醒程度较低

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?

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”).