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Counselling for Students

Does your child’s grades stagnate or decline no matter how many tuitions you send him for ?

Is he/she appearing listless and uninterested in studies?

The problem may not lie in your child’s lack of academic capability or even the tutors’ inability to teach. Recent studies show that a whopping 12% of Singaporeans suffer from mental disorder of some form that takes a toll on their performance in life. It is especially so for kids of this generation who have to cope with intense competition and increased amount of stress.

In many cases, a student’s grades drastically improve when a psychological burden is lifted, and he gains the motivation and passion to study, irrespective of his learning ability.

Counselling is the process which is carried out to allow students to remove the heavy stone holding them from academic success to achieve their fullest potential.  Your child will regain happiness and confidence to soar in all areas of his life.

 

Counselling for Children

Childhood is meant to be a time marked with fun, laughter and happy moments.  However, in reality, many children experience various challenges in the process of growing up.  For instance, they may be struggling with school work and consistently poor academic results.  They may feel that they do not really fit in at school, or are being bullied.   Some children may feel alone and angry, thinking that no one is listening to them or giving them the attention they crave for.  They may have very low self-esteem, become withdrawn or engage in self-harm behaviours.  Other children may also experience distress when dealing with issues such as peer pressure, school transition, grief, problems with opposite gender, or other developmental difficulties.

Often, many children find it difficult to express their worries and concerns.  They may lack the language skills to gain appropriate support.  Hence, many children frequently respond through behaviours that appear challenging to adults, including school refusal, attention seeking, aggressiveness, temper tantrums, conflictual sibling relationships, anxiety or depression.  Further, they may also struggle in understanding and managing their own emotions and behaviour.  The underlying issues beneath these behaviours, when left undetected or unresolved, can lead to significant challenges in future.  These children would benefit from additional support in the form of counselling or therapy, in order to prevent the formation of longstanding emotional and behavioural challenges.  Having a professional to support them through their challenges will aid them along their journey in life.

 

Common signs which indicate that a child may benefit from counselling:

  • Social withdrawal (for instance, stops interacting or playing with peers)
  • Constant feelings of sadness or depression
  • Anger, violence, temper tantrums or other aggressive behaviour
  • Feelings of responsibility for separation or divorce
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or increased sleepiness
  • Being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
  • A significant drop in academic performance
  • Heavy attachment to parents (for instance, cries and refuses to separate, clingy)
  • School refusal or frequent absenteeism from school
  • Self-harm behaviour and threats of suicide
  • Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Mood swings (for instance, happy one moment and sad the next)
  • Problems in transitions (such as relocation or change of schools)
  • Difficulty in coping with bereavement
    • Physical complaints (for example, stomachaches, headaches, despite a normal physical examination by the doctor)
    • Anxieties and various fears

How Counselling Benefits Children

Counselling is useful to address issues that cause the child to feel distressed.  It involves helping children to identify and recognize their strengths, and to understand their feelings and thoughts in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental environment.  The children are also equipped with adaptive coping mechanisms to express themselves and to manage various challenges.  In addition, through the counselling process, the self-esteem of the child can be enhanced, and the ability to manage life’s challenges is increased.

The Counselling Process for Children

Similar to adult counselling, counselling for children involves the development of a trusting therapeutic relationship between the child and the counsellor.  The child is given space to tell his or her own story without any fear of judgment, in an emotionally safe and reassuring environment.

However, unlike adults, many young children often may not be able to fully express their difficulties verbally.  Hence, various methods such as art, play, stories, or other therapeutic activities will be helpful to encourage children to express themselves.  Older children may prefer to express themselves verbally or a mixture of both.  Different age-appropriate methods will be employed to tailor to the specific and unique needs of each child.

The first counselling session is usually conducted together with the child and the parents.  It is generally an interview session, in which the counsellor develops an understanding of the needs of the child and the expectations of the parents.  Following this initial interview, the process of intervention is discussed with the parents.  Once the child and the parents feel safe and comfortable with the counsellor, individual counselling sessions may be conducted with the child, without the parents.  This provides a safe space for the child to share about their feelings and thoughts, without the fear of reaction of the parents.   Nevertheless, working with parents and the family of the child is definitely important when counselling children.  It is recommended that the counsellor meets the parents regularly, to educate about the therapy process.  Parental support is vital, in order for therapy to be effective.

 

Counselling for children is confidential.  However, the counsellor may deem it necessary to share certain important information with the parent.  This includes situations where the counsellor is concerned that the child is at risk of harming themselves, harming others, or being harmed by others.  In such instances, the child’s permission to breach confidentiality is first obtained by the counsellor, in order to maintain trust.

Not sure if your child needs counseling ?

Fill in the form below or drop us an email at info@frankltuition.sg with the challenges that your child is facing and we will be happy to provide assistance as well as professional advice on what can be done!

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About our Counselling Psychologist

Joy Hou has a keen passion in working with children and adolescents, and takes a special interest in the mental health of young people.  Her work experience includes providing counselling for individuals who seek emotional and psychological help.  She has worked in both clinical as well as non-clinical settings, including schools, voluntary welfare organisations and the Institute of Mental Health.

Joy is a Registered Psychologist. She holds a Master of Arts (Applied Psychology) from Nanyang Technological University, and is a Full Member of the Singapore Psychological Society.

Joy believes that each child is unique and precious, and is able to achieve anything that he or she sets his mind to.  She hopes to create a safe space where each child is free to express themselves, accepted for who they are, and, above all, respected as an individual.

Joy is fluent in English, Mandarin and Hokkien. She currently offers home visits to cater to the busy schedule of school-going children and their busy parents in Singapore.  Alternatively, she can conduct her sessions at a mutually agreed neutral venue in the interest of the privacy of the clients.

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Contact Us

237 Alexandra Rd #04-10
Singapore 159929
(By Appointment Only)
Phone: (+65) 3158 4759
Website: http://www.frankltuition.sg
Email: info@frankltuition.sg
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