Frequently Asked Questions
What to expect from Encompassing sessions
It is normal to feel anxious about starting work with a new therapist. Here I have laid out some of my philosophies on therapy, what you can expect in each session and what I expect from you in order for each session to be productive for us.
New Client Information
I will guide you through the following, which may take one to two sessions. During this time, I will give you an understanding of what the counselling and therapy process is like. I’ll discuss with you why you are at the session and your goals for therapy. Most importantly, I will offer you space to raise your concerns on anything around counselling.
This is a good explanatory video of what to expect in your first session.
It’s difficult to know until we have had a couple of sessions. In fact, the most important part of your healing and development journey will be your relationship with your therapist.
The key thing to remember is that you can always openly discuss how you feel about your therapist with her/him. This is important as your relationship with him/her may reflect your struggles with relationships outside the therapy room. There is no shame in saying that you don’t click with your therapist and would like to terminate!
Have a chat with your therapist on why you feel that you’re not a good fit. There could be a range of reasons. Perhaps it’s about a misalignment of goals or that you do not like the style of the therapist.
For whatever reason, it’s good to talk about it with your therapist. Talking about it may provide your therapist with a better understanding of how you are feeling. Ultimately, if you end your relationship with the therapist, your therapist will be in a better position to refer you on to someone whom he/she thinks is more suitable. Feel free to ask for resources. It’s important that you know that if there’s something wrong with the fit, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. This is a relationship, it takes two hands to clap and come to a decision together.
Only you can decide whether you wish to try counselling or psychotherapy. Just talking to someone confidentially who is not a friend or family member can make all the difference.
Counselling provides a regular time for you to explore your feelings and talk about any problems you’re experiencing. A counsellor can help you develop better ways of coping, allowing you to move forward and get the most out of life.
This will depend on what your issues and goals are. It typically takes about four to eight sessions to see any real change.
Each counselling session is 50 minutes.
Absolutely. I adhere strictly to the requirements of the Data Protection Act and the ethical framework set out by the Association for Psychotherapists and Counsellors, Singapore.
All information disclosed in the therapy room is private and confidential except in extenuating circumstances where there is risk of serious harm to you or others.
Appointments typically are on a weekly basis. Your counsellor will discuss your appointment with you. If you have committed to a block of sessions, then to get the full benefit from counselling, it is important that you attend them regularly.
Typically, you will start with a block of 8-10 sessions. Sometimes, it takes a while to reap the benefits of counselling so we will usually encourage you to go through the block before deciding if counselling is effective. Longer term sessions can be arranged upon discussion.
We will strive to give you good notice if we need to cancel or change the timing of our sessions. In turn, we too ask that if you find it necessary to reschedule or cancel an appointment, to please inform the counsellor at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to do so will result in you being charged for the session.
The healing process is often a long one which will be difficult at times. It requires commitment to work. We ask that you prioritise your counselling session to fully benefit from therapy. This is why 80% attendance is encouraged, and if it is not possible, we will discuss whether it is appropriate for counselling to continue.
If you arrive late for an appointment, the counsellor will not be able to extend the time of the session.
Encompassing’s clinic is situated at 78B Pagoda Street, 3rd floor, Singapore 059237.
You are required to pay at least 48 hours before your appointment. We currently accept payments Visa and Mastercard. PayNow, PayLah, cash and NETS are not accepted.
Psychotherapy is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, to help a person change behaviour and overcome problems in desired ways.
There are several approaches to psychotherapy — including cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal and other kinds of talk therapy — that help individuals work through their problems.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a therapist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and non-judgmental. You and your therapist will work together to identify and change the thought and behaviour patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
By the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
Because of the many misconceptions about psychotherapy, you may be reluctant to try it out. Overcoming that nervousness is worth it. That’s because any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, psychotherapy can help.
Some people seek psychotherapy because they have felt depressed, anxious or angry for a long time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still others may have short-term problems they need help navigating. They may be going through a divorce, facing an empty nest, feeling overwhelmed by a new job or grieving a family member’s death, for example.
Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:
- You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
- Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
- You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
- You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
- Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Therapists generally draw on one or more of these. Each theoretical perspective acts as a roadmap to help the therapist understand their clients and their problems and develop solutions.
The kind of treatment you receive will depend on a variety of factors: current psychological research, your therapist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation.
Generally, people seek counselling because they find they need help with an issue or problem. There are many reasons why people seek counselling, and no matter what your reason is, for most people, it takes a lot of courage to take the first step. After this stage, it requires you to commit yourself to the process of counselling. For this reason, it is vital that you find a therapist in whom you can trust and work with.
We are committed to doing the best we can for our clients in a non-judgmental and empathetic way. We will explore your concerns, and walk with you as you process the many facets of the issue at hand.
Counselling is a place for you to explore any feelings, behaviour, thoughts, values and relationships which may be troubling you. It can help you develop deeper personal insight and awareness and better ways of understanding and, cope with problems and improved relationships.
You should know, however, that counselling sometimes requires that you be willing to explore uncomfortable emotions. These times may be scary for some but your counsellor will be journeying with you through this time and hope to be able to provide a safe space for you during this time.
If you are concerned with anything in counselling, you have the right to discuss your concerns with your counsellor directly. If my counsellor feels that our work together is not effective in helping me reach my goals, she is obliged to discuss it with me and, if appropriate, terminate sessions. In such a scenario, the therapist may refer you to another counsellor who might be a better fit for your needs.
This will depend on the client’s needs, goals, complexity of issue and available resources (finance and time). To see good results, it’s good to have consistent weekly therapy at the beginning. Could move on to every fortnight or monthly if you only require check ins.
Have a discussion with your therapist at the beginning. To see results or to know if therapy is right for you, you need to invest at least 6-8 sessions. This doesn’t mean that goals that were agreed in the beginning of sessions cannot be changed in the middle of therapy. We are always in a dialogue
At Encompassing, we believe that as long as we are living, we will face dilemmas in life. We don’t aim to remove your problems but we strive to provide you with the resources you need to live a meaningful live. These resources will help you to deal with issues when they arise again, for example, social skills, skills to recognise your coping mechanisms, skills to make good choices for yourself and others and recognising your strengths during times of difficulty and stress. So you can move on to less frequent sessions if you think you are better equipped.
What’s most important is to always engage in a dialogue with your therapist. Clients with the best outcomes are the ones who take charge of their own sessions and are open to discussing about their progress (what has gone well and what needs to be improved/ what they’d like to focus on more in sessions etc) with their therapist. take agency in their own work.