More Info About My Practice
The heart and soul of counselling is to help people get better and is prioritised before financial returns.
However, our profession requires a lot of financial investment in acquiring our education and training, and in continuing further certification courses so that we can serve our clients better. Many of these further certification courses are not available in Malaysia and needs to be obtained overseas. As much we want to help, we need to make sure our lives stay afloat as well.
As such, in actual fact, it is fair to say that being on the receiving end of counselling services is more advantageous than being on the practitioner's end. The fees that we charge, as per the Gazetted fee set by The Malaysian Board of Counsellor is hardly on par with the amount that we put into our education and further training.
Unfortunately, we have also learned that most of our clients are unable to afford the fees, even on the minimum.
Therefore, depending on the client's needs and budget, I may refer you to other practitioners who specialize on your issue and who may meet your financial budget.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Depression, Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation. Self-confidence, Trauma, Panic Disorders, Anxiety Disorder, Feeling disoriented and not in reality (Not feeling like myself, confused, can't make simple decisions). These are all signs of some mental disturbance.
Career Development, Mid-life crisis, Self-confidence, self-image, self-esteem, self-doubt.
Issues with friends, parents and family. Issues with relationship.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
I have came across many who think that they can solve their own issues, and do not need to see a therapist. So when is the right time to determine exactly that you need to see a therapist? Is it when you can't solve it on your own anymore? Or when you have a major breakdown that could cause harm to yourself and your loved ones?
Technically, you can see a therapist at any time and any stage of the conundrum that you are going through. But my answer is pretty ironic - It is when you resist to see a therapist, thinking you can solve things on your own, or it will miraculously go away after some time. What's causing that resistance, and the lack of help seeking behaviour could very well be the roadblock to getting issues resolved. Coz we want to hold on to the familiar, we are so afraid of the uncertainty of what and where therapy could bring us. We do not trust that there are somebody out there who know better.
This is something that I would like you to know : A therapist does not know better. You are the expert of your own life. But when you resist therapy, you are denying yourself an opportunity to experience the beauty of creating a special bond with someone, a bond that feels so safe, that the bond itself allows healing to take place. Are you deserving of healing? Do you deserve to be helped by others? When you need help, does that make you look weak and dislike yourself even more? Are you afraid of change? These are all the questions that leads to the fear and resistance of going to therapy.
In my experience, many clients have cold feet before their first session. Some experience insomnia, anxiety and stress before their first session. Please know that it is normal if you have the urge to cancel on me in the 1st session. Because you do not know what to expect. It is pretty stressful, it is a big leap! So all I ask is, please talk to me about your anxiety of coming into session. Then perhaps we can start there.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
To those who have been hurt and harmed by parents, who are supposed to love them and protect them, but instead were lied to, deceived, rejected and betrayed.
The pain that we carry is so deep that even after years of therapy, the wound is still very alive. The rage and the sadness is so much that it can consume our whole day, our weeks, our months, our years and even our physical health. (Yes, there is a groundbreaking research in the U.S called "The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study").
Yet there are a few I know personally who are brave enough to fight the battle, to forgive, to accept and to love again. Some of them went on to become healers.
But it is also at times when this pain becomes too much to bear, there is no avenue for healers to express it. Because we are supposed to help others through this journey afterall, shouldn't we be the experts who understand how to overcome this pain? Why are we still talking about it? How do we then become the role model, to set the example to others if we still show so much anger and sadness?
The answer is no. Healers are only human. And only those who feel are human. And human beings are not immune to pain. And because we understand this deep pain, we can relate to others who are suffering. And to foster understanding and connectedness to inspire them to heal themselves.
Please give yourself a little more understanding. We are trying our best. We are not being immature. We are not trying to blame anyone, we don't live in the past, we want to let go and forgive. But like all kinds of deep pain that we are dealing with, it is often a long, difficult, complicated process. (Think cancer).
And to those brave souls who are in pain but still fighting, you are loved, you are accepted and you are amazing.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
We are built to experience emotional pain and hardship, because happiness and the meaning of life is constructed through the labour of pain. The harder we work through the pain that we experience in life, the more we come to appreciate life itself, and the more we find meaning to our existence.
We often see negative emotions as something bad, because it does feel pretty bad, and normal human conditioning makes us want to quickly get rid of pain. That's how addiction starts. We distract ourselves either with substance, medication, Netflix shows, games, drugs, gambling, drowning ourselves in work, in relationships, in food, in sex, in extreme workouts, getting more money, more power, more knowledge, looking more young and beautiful, some people are even addicted to self-sabotaging behaviours, self-victimising and endlessly blames the world for being evil because it gives them an emotional high - All in the attempt to rid off negative emotions and bring in the positive emotions that we want. But it doesn't bring any peace or fulfilment. We end up needing more and more for a temporary relief, and it's never enough. Love is never enough. Money is never enough. Beauty is never enough. Sex is never enough. Because first, we give away power to an external source by depending on it, instead of mastering how we feel. Our self-confidence unconsciously chips away every time we reach out for a distraction. The guilt adds up. We feel lousy and need more. Secondly, while it may bring us good feelings temporarily (Good feelings are great, there is nothing wrong with good feelings), it does not attend to our core that we are in fact suffering some kind of pain. Pain gets worse when it is not seen, that is just how it works. So we need a higher dosage to numb the pain. Don?t feel worthy of love - I'll get more plastic surgery, be more successful, earn more money, be more skinny. But these are just bandaids. Once you rip it off, what you see inside is ugly. It's infected. It's bleeding.
Without taking the difficult steps to walk through the dark tunnel of pain, we would not find that light at the end of the tunnel. We will always stay in the dark, and then we would feel hopeless, useless, unworthy. And then we distract ourselves again, and again using those methods mentioned above, and we get stuck in a vicious cycle. Well, anything for a momentary relief right? I just want to get rid of the pain now, right now! Short term relief is better than doing the hard, time-consuming work of facing our pain to build our resilience. It takes too long, it's too much work, it is too scary, it is too painful, too expensive. The reasons can be endless.
Quoting Mark Manson, only by going through the pain of training in the gym, that we come to appreciate our fitness, strength and vitality more. In turn we also take better care of our body, and feed it with nourishing food. We feel alive and we like ourselves better too because we know we put in the hard work to make it happen. We also feel more confident every single time we managed to push through, coz then we also realize that we have the ability overcome more challenges in the future. Is it difficult and painful? Yes. But it sure feels good the moment u walk out from the gym.
Although pain in life is inevitable, suffering is optional. So if you are experiencing emotional pain, make pain your ally, instead of your enemy. Your first instinct may be to immediately get rid of it, but instead try to sit with it, understand it, care for it, give it love, so that it can heal. The act of caring for emotional pain itself gives us great meaning in life, and we are at peace with ourselves because we know deep down, that we are doing the right thing. We heal so that we can rise from surviving to striving.
And this is where I come in. To help you look within, to discover and face the pain together, to walk alongside on this journey to healing. To let you know that you are not alone. As one of my favourite researcher, Judith Herman puts it, "Healing cannot occur in isolation, it can only happen in the surrounding of relationships."
Remember that Happiness - the big H word that everyone is after, it is only a byproduct of our appreciation towards a meaningful life.
What Makes up a Problem?
2019 has been a really challenging year, the hardest learning for me is to let go and to forgive, for the sake of freeing myself. I have made some peace with myself that yes people did hurt me, but if I hold on to that anger, I am only reaffirming to myself that I deserve to be hurt again, and it will definitely happen again. Our thoughts creates our feelings and becomes our reality.
It is also through my own darkest side and thru the people I have hurt, I gain a new perspective that people (including myself) are not bad or evil, just wounded people who are trying to survive through their pain. People who have been hurt often inflict pain on others. I started accepting the choices that others make in life which may hurt me, but that doesn't mean I allow it to happen. And as a matter of fact, their choices have nothing to do with me, and has everything to do with what they have experienced as a person. Yes it hurts, but I don't need to hold on to that anger, I forgive others to free myself. I have a choice of being at peace.
Because I also started practicing compassion and forgiveness for people who have hurt me, I was able to reconnect with the deepest parts of myself, the parts who are loving, trusting, kind, genuine. The parts who are not fearful of others. The part that don't self hate. The part that likes people. In return, that helped me to regain trust and connection with others. Nowadays, I start to reaffirm to myself that people love me and support me, and its amazing to see how even people I just met respond to my thoughts and beliefs.
At the end of the day, the most important instrument that we need in order to heal lies at the deepest corner of our heart and soul. Compassion. Forgiveness. Love. Once we have awaken to the fact that we indeed do have a choice and we are in control, we become grounded and at peace while dealing with the adversities of life.