These are some curiosities that many may have before getting into the process of therapy. If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact us via whatsapp, email or phone call and we are happy to help!
Therapy for individuals
How does the therapy process work?
Therapy is a collaborative process between you and your counsellor/psychotherapist. It provides a psychologically safe space where you can openly express yourself to someone who is nonjudgemental and trained to support you to work through the challenges you bring into the space. Through this collaboration, you can identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that may be hindering you from thriving in your daily living.
How often and how many sessions do I need to attend?
The initial session (or first few sessions) allows the counsellor/psychotherapist to better understand your needs and concerns. The therapist will then work with you to establish the goals of working together. Based on this your needs and goals, they will recommend the frequency and number of sessions. If you feel the need for more or fewer sessions, this can be discussed and adjusted accordingly. Ultimately, our aim is to help you thrive beyond the need for counselling/psychotherapy!
Therapy for Children and Adolescents
How will therapy help my child?
Research has found that the human brain only fully matures at about 23-25 years old, and the brain matures faster in the limbic system (emotional brain) than in the prefrontal cortex (thinking brain). This is why we sometimes experience children or teenagers behave in ways that could appear to be emotional, illogical or lack consequential thinking. Because of this, experiential learning is important for children and teens to learn new ways of behaving and expressing themselves in the world.
A therapy session can look very much like play and activities, however, the trained therapist facilitates the child to learn about themselves and about different ways of problem-solving, emotion expression and social interactions through the activities and interactions with the therapist. Scientifically, these experiences will rewire and/or strengthen neuron pathways in the brain to promote self-esteem, confidence, mental wellness and more adjusted behaviours.
How is the process of therapy like?
As every child is different, there is a need for the therapist to spend some time to understand the child’s background and current struggles with the caregivers in the initial session. The next 3-4 sessions will be used to assess the child (individual child sessions) to understand and identify the child’s needs and difficulties, and at the same time get to know the child and build a therapeutic relationship with the child. After the assessment process, the therapist will come together with the child and parents again to decide the course of intervention, before focusing sessions on the intervention.
Why does the assessment take so long?
Children like adults have natural defensive mechanisms that help them to survive in this world. These defence mechanisms help to block off scary and painful emotions to allow them to continue to perform their daily tasks on the surface. In order for these scary emotions to emerge and be worked on, the child has to first build a safe relationship with the therapist to be able to trust the therapist with these scary thoughts and feelings and this relationship may take some time to build. It is also important for the therapist to get to know the child and caregivers in order to more accurately assess the areas where intervention is needed rather than provide a blanket solution.
How frequently does my child have to attend sessions?
It is recommended for the initial sessions to be weekly so that the relationship between the therapist and the child can be established, the assessment can be formed, and intervention can proceed. Frequency in sessions will help in the continuity of the work being done between the therapist and the child and provide structure and routine for the child to be ready and expectant to do the work in therapy.
How many sessions will it take to address my child’s problems?
The number of sessions needed may vary from child to child based on factors such as the child’s strengths, weaknesses and personality, the problems raised to be addressed, support in the environments that the child is in (i.e. home, school, etc.), frequency of sessions.
My child has attended counselling before, why does he need to attend again?
It is quite normal for children and teens to come in and out of therapy at different developmental time points as they may only be able to work out certain facets of their experiences based on the development of his emotional and cognitive abilities.
How is this different from the counselling received in school?
Different schools may provide different forms of counselling. You may want to check with the school on what the school counsellor is specifically working with your child on before deciding if more support is needed for your child and the family.
In general, counselling in the school context focuses on difficulties in school such as behavioural issues or peer relationship problems. Due to limited resources as there are few school counsellors serving the mass pool of students in a school, the school counsellor may not have the time to address deeper, underlying emotional difficulties that children and adolescents face which may be fueling the problematic behaviours we see such as school refusal, anger outbursts, relationship problems, low motivation, hyperactivity, etc.
Private therapy can help with these issues through working with the child and parents in a different space that is catered to the pace and needs of the child. Addressing the underlying issues help children and teens to better adapt to the challenges they face in different situations and respond in more appropriate ways in future situations.
Therapy for Couples/Families
How does the therapy process work?
The fundamental process of couple and family therapy is similar to individual therapy. However, in this context, the dialogue involves multiple voices, which can make interactions more complex and emotions more intense. Our counsellors/psychotherapists are trained to facilitate and redirect these conversations to create a safe and supportive environment during the sessions. Through this collaboration, you/your partner/family member can collectively explore and transform thoughts and behavior patterns that might be impacting the relationship or family dynamics, and to work towards in creating a more fulfilling connection.
How often and how many sessions do we need to attend?
During the initial session (or first few sessions), the counsellor/psychotherapist will assess your specific situation and goals as a couple or family. Based on this assessment, they will recommend the frequency and number of sessions. Couples and family sessions generally span longer durations compared to individual sessions due to the intensity and involvement of multiple parties. There may be times when you or your partner/family member will have individual sessions in addition to the couple/family sessions, as recommended by the counsellor/psychotherapist, to facilitate further processing and progress.
Your journey to wellness begins here…
© Safe Expanse Pte Ltd. All rights reserved. UEN202211595M