HEALTH & FITNESS
BY AMY GREENBURG
As one of the oldest mental health providers in Singapore, SACAC Counselling knows a thing or two about matching patients with therapists. The practice, which is celebrating its 50th year in operation next month, provides counselling and psychotherapy to adults, couples, teens, children and families using a range of modalities to help them cope with their challenges. At the core of successful treatment outcomes, they say, are strong “therapeutic alliances” between the therapist and client. When choosing a therapist, they suggest taking into account the following factors. #1 Professional experience and skill set While many therapists see a variety of clients for various reasons, some specialise in certain areas and have undergone specialised training for them. For example, all work on depression and anxiety but others work on specific challenges like addiction and trauma. Some mental health providers even work only with certain age groups. Whether you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, overcome long-time insecurities or need help coping with a loss or managing your stress levels, therapy can help. Although finding the right therapist may take some trial and error, it can be a worthy investment in your long-term mental health. Here, the team at SACAC Counselling offers some guidance in choosing the best fit for your needs.
There are also many different therapeutic approaches out there – for instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and Art and Play Therapy. Consider the type of evidence-based approach the therapist uses and his or her experience working with similar challenges to yours. It’s a good idea to read up on the therapist, looking at their profile and even getting recommendations. At SACAC Counselling, all therapists are highly trained, have at least five years of experience and regularly undergo further training to ensure that they are up to date with the latest techniques. (You can view the therapists’ detailed profiles at sacac.sg.)While teammembers have their own specialties and approaches, they are all committed to helping clients cope with their individual challenges. #2 Personality fit Therapy is a collaborative process, and your rapport with one another matters – a lot. So, central to your decision is whether you feel comfortable opening up to the therapist with even your most hard-to-talk-about personal matters. You should feel respected, heard and understood, and never judged while involved in the treatment process. #3 Native language skills To be heard and understood is crucial to the process, as is clear communication in the literal sense. So, selecting a therapist who speaks your native language may be a major consideration for you as an expat. Fortunately, there are many multilingual mental health practitioners here in Singapore. At SACAC Counselling alone, the multicultural team collectively speaks over a dozen languages, including English, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Malay, Bahasa, Hindi, Cantonese, Hokkien andMandarin. #4 Scheduling and other practicalities that matter to you Convenience and scheduling flexibility are important when choosing a therapist. The therapist you pick must see clients on the days and times that you’re available. It’s also wise to look into the therapist’s protocol should you need emergency support out of regular office hours. SACAC Counselling, for instance, offers support on holidays and public holidays in addition to its regular business hours (8.30am to 9pm) six days a week.What’s more, the centrally-located practice at Orchard gives most clients appointments within 24 to 48 hours of calling so that they can get the immediate support they need without any wait. In fact, the practice ensures that there is never a waitlist to begin with!
SACAC Counselling #09-04 Thong Teck Building, 15 Scotts Road 6733 9249 | sacac.sg
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