Psychological Abusers Go For The Strong, Confident, And Successful

Psychological Abusers Go For The Successful

Psychological Abusers Go For The Successful. Victims of psychological abuse are often strong, confident, and successful. This is because abusers are attracted to someone they think will be a “challenge” to break. People with certain personality traits can change in therapy, but narcissists and psychopaths will not, and this can be recognised[…]

Read more
An Unappeasable Boss

An Unappeasable Boss

An Unappeasable Boss. Henry was in severe depression when he turned up, accompanied by his wife, who had forced him to seek counselling, as his depressive state worsened over the months. Well qualified as an events manager in the hotel and catering industry, he had applied for his dream job,[…]

Read more

The 6 Most Toxic Employee Behaviours

The 6 Most Toxic Employee Behaviours. The old adage that “People are hired for their talents and fired for their behaviour” is true. People often fail at work by exhibiting patterns of behaviour that are toxic to the organisation. The following six varieties of toxic organisational behaviour (TOB) top my list of[…]

Read more
Narcissistic Parenting And Childhood Neglect

Narcissistic Parenting And Childhood Neglect

Narcissistic Parenting And Childhood Neglect. A narcissistic parent is a parent affected by narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder. Typically narcissistic parents are exclusively and possessively close to their children and may be especially envious of, and threatened by, their child’s growing independence. The result may be what has been termed a pattern of narcissistic attachment, with the child considered to exist[…]

Read more
God’s Grace In My Anorexia

God’s Grace In My Anorexia

God’s Grace In My Anorexia. If you’d met me 13 years ago, here’s what you’d have seen: A ‘successful’ Christian, newly married to a pastor in training. The leader of a thriving children’s ministry with a bright future ahead. Someone who seemed to have it all together. But there’s one part you[…]

Read more
Spiralling Corporate Crassness

Spiralling Corporate Crassness

Spiralling Corporate Crassness. It was a highly unusual scenario when about a dozen employees of a middle-sized corporate organisation turned up, in drips and drabs, for therapy, over a period of 9 months. All had very similar bitter complaints of being dismissed unceremoniously by the company’s top echelons;  some were[…]

Read more
Hidden Ways Your Language Betrays Your Character

Hidden Ways Your Language Betrays Character

Hidden Ways Your Language Betrays Character. Let’s use both Goldman’s “Big Five” trait theory description of introversion-extroversion (e.g., extroverts as assertive, talkative, bold, etc), and Jung’s “psychic energy” take on the same phenomena (e.g., extroverts feel an increased sense of perceived energy when interacting with a large group of people,[…]

Read more
How To Find The Right Therapist

How To Find The Right Therapist

How To Find The Right Therapist. A decision to select a suitable therapist for oneself is possibly one of the most difficult personal choices. Without a prior one-on-one meeting or the benefit of trial sessions, it remains a confounding selective procedure, and add to it the highly trusting and confidential[…]

Read more
A Deeply Conflicted Relationship

A Deeply Conflicted Relationship

A Deeply Conflicted Relationship. Evie and Jon had known each other for over 7 years and their off-and-on relationship had been demanding and rather toxic. They were not married, but Jon was the father of their child Katherine, who was one year-old. Both adults were staying with their respective parents[…]

Read more
Sexual Harassment In Silicon Valley

Sexual Harassment In Silicon Valley

Sexual Harassment In Silicon Valley. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination and includes any uninvited comments, conduct, or behaviour regarding sex, gender, or sexual orientation. Whether the offence is made by a manager, co-worker, or even a non-employee like a client, contractor, or vendor. If the[…]

Read more
According To Google, Everybody Lies

According To Google, Everybody Lies

According To Google, Everybody Lies. Google Search is a web search engine developed by Google and is the most used search engine on the World Wide Web, handling more than three billion searches each day. As of February 2016, it is the most used search engine in the US with 64% market share. The order of[…]

Read more

The Secret Of A Good Night’s Sleep

The Secret Of A Good Night’s Sleep. Studies on positive psychology have revealed the possible interplay between positive psychological well-being and physiological functioning. Purpose in life is one of the major factors in positive psychological well-being. Purpose in life is generally conceptualised as one’s sense of meaning and directedness in[…]

Read more
Heartbroken Mother

Heartbroken Mother

Heartbroken Mother. Jeff was just a couple of months from completing his national service in one of the armed forces units. It was early one morning, as he was making his way back to camp on his motorbike, when a car suddenly shot out from a side-road, hitting him. He[…]

Read more
A Life Unravelled

A Life Unravelled

A Life Unravelled. Helen was in her late forties, and had never held on to a stable job in her life. In between her job description profile were large gaps when she remained unemployed, living off her previous savings or on the largesse of her extended family. She did not[…]

Read more
Meg And Sonya, One Too Many

Meg And Sonya, One Too Many

Meg And Sonya, One Too Many. Meg was in her late-twenties and had been married just over a year. Janice, her friend, accompanied her to her appointment. Her slim, quiet and withdrawn demeanour belied her driven motivation once her mind was made up. Janice was doing most of the initial[…]

Read more
Freaking Out!

Freaking Out!

Freaking Out! Steve was in his first year at university and since the beginning of his initial semester, his anxiety level had skyrocketed. He dreaded particular sessions where the lecturers would randomly pick on students to answer questions in a large class or in a smaller tutorial. It got to[…]

Read more
How Gratitude Changes You And Your Brain

How Gratitude Changes You And Your Brain

How Gratitude Changes You And Your Brain. Robert Emmons, perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, argues that gratitude has two key components, which he describes in a Greater Good essay, “Why Gratitude Is Good.” “First,” he writes, “it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good[…]

Read more
Is Everyone Racist?

Is Everyone Racist?

Is Everyone Racist? Thoughts and feelings are “implicit” if we are unaware of them or mistaken about their nature. We have a bias when, rather than being neutral, we have a preference for (or aversion to) a person or group of people. Thus, we use the term “implicit bias” to[…]

Read more
Traumatised By Khalima

Traumatised By Khalima

Traumatised By Khalima. Sandra was an elementary school teacher who was also looking after her aged parents at home. Being the only breadwinner in the family, to continue working was important to her. She has had the services of house-helps from Indonesia and the Philippines over the years to care[…]

Read more
You Are A Nobody

You Are A Nobody

You Are A Nobody. Kenneth was in his mid 30s when I saw him. He was a reluctant client and our initial sessions were punctuated with long silences and outright challenges to some of my probing. A mutual friend had referred him, but Kenneth did not conclude that his problems[…]

Read more
When Victims Feel Most Victimised

When Victims Feel Most Victimised

When Victims Feel Most Victimised. The world teems with people who are mistreated both as individuals and in groups. But how we react to such misery often takes a strange, irrational course. Consider a person who would contribute $10 to help an impoverished child. Now, suppose that person is asked[…]

Read more
Toxic Attachment

Toxic Attachment

Toxic Attachment. Grace was an orphan. As an intelligent 13 year-old student, she was made a monitor for her class, and soon, became a favourite with her maths teacher, Miss Tan. The latter took a special interest in Grace’s studies and provided her with free Maths tuition lessons after school[…]

Read more
The Lady Biker

The Lady Biker

The Lady Biker. Angel came from a close-knit family of 7 siblings. Being the youngest and the only girl, she said she always found herself competing with her brothers for her father’s attention. She would be involved in all the sports and activities the boys were involved, during their growing[…]

Read more
There Is Blood On The Seesaw

There Is Blood On The Seesaw

There Is Blood On The Seesaw. It was a Saturday morning, and Jasmine was with other children and their mothers at a playground near their homes. The kids were running around the playground equipment and enjoying each other’s company, while the mothers were chatting among themselves a little further away.[…]

Read more
The Science Of Sinning Less

The Science Of Sinning Less

The Science Of Sinning Less. Self-control and science make for an interesting study and outcome. When does spirituality act on its own in the area of self-control, or does science have a part to play in it? Is there a need for us to be intentional about self-control, or do[…]

Read more
I May Have Cancer!

I May Have Cancer!

I May Have Cancer! Anthony was in his late 20s. His anxiety level when he first presented himself was high, and he attributed it to his suspicion that he may have cancer. He was still under investigation by an oncology specialist. An unexplainable recurrent stomachache started this series of assessments.[…]

Read more
The Last Crane

The Last Crane

The Last Crane. The terminal phase of a life threatening illness may be defined as one where curative treatments are not applicable, but palliation is given. There is evidence that children, even young ones, are usually aware that they are dying. They may pick up these cues from parents and[…]

Read more
Unseen Victims Of Sex Trafficking

Unseen Victims Of Sex Trafficking

Unseen Victims Of Sex Trafficking. This short article profiles for us the unseen victims of male sex trafficking. About 2 percent of victims of commercial sexual exploitation is male. Are these 400,000 men and boys being overlooked? As awareness of male victimisation has increased, so has recognition of the plight of[…]

Read more
My Father’s Crime

My Father’s Crime

My Father’s Crime. Hank was a 40 year old counsellor. He self-referred after we met at a professional counselling seminar. He said he had anxiety issues since he was a young teenager, but could not recall exactly when it started nor the circumstances behind it. What he was able to[…]

Read more
What Is An Uppgivenhetssyndrom?

What Is An Uppgivenhetssyndrom?

What Is An Uppgivenhetssyndrom? This is a very long read by Rachel Aviv for The New Yorker, but a truly interesting article on how refugees give up living as they face the trauma of deportation. Diagnosed as an uppgivenhetssyndrom, it happens only in Sweden. By all accounts, these children are[…]

Read more
The Midnight Driver

The Midnight Driver

The Midnight Driver. Alice was in her mid 20s and it was her aunt, Gladys, who referred her for counselling. Alice had been living in Canada with her father since her mother passed on, when she was very young. After completing her high school education, she arrived unannounced in Singapore[…]

Read more

Healing Victims Of Human Trafficking

Healing Victims Of Human Trafficking. Article 3, paragraph (a) of the United Nations Convention on Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines trafficking in persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,[…]

Read more
A Double Whammy!

The Uncertainness Of Life

The Uncertainness Of Life. Mary was in her late 50s and married to Peter, and they have two adult daughters who are themselves mothers, with their respective young kids, whom she doted on. In her 20s, Mary had been a schoolteacher, but made a career switch after 8 years, becoming[…]

Read more
Disconnected, Why We Need To Unplug.

Disconnected, Why We Need To Unplug

Disconnected, Why We Need To Unplug. Writing in The New England Journal of Medicine, a team in Britain outlined the case studies of two women who went to a clinic complaining of temporary blindness in one eye, early in the morning and late at night, respectively. The doctors figured out that what was going[…]

Read more
Imagined Abandonment

Imagined Abandonment

Imagined Abandonment. Tim and Mavis had been married for 15 years, and they have two boys, Jon was 12 years old, and Greg, 6 years of age. Mavis was the first to be referred. The initial interview painted a picture of a rather rebellious Jon, who would not hesitate to[…]

Read more
The Samurai Bodyguard

The Samurai Bodyguard

The Samurai Bodyguard. Able was in his mid-20s and in his final year at the university. He was an above average computer science major, but was a loner, with hardly any close friends among his own cohort. Coming from a single parent household, he financed himself through his studies by[…]

Read more
Everybody Is Against Me

Everybody Is Against Me

Everybody Is Against Me. Madge was 45 years old, married to Ian, and they had three teenage children: two girls and a boy. Her lawyer, who knew me, and had taken her case as Ian had filed for divorce, referred her to me. Jenny, Madge’s lawyer, informed me that the[…]

Read more
Childhood Trauma And Depersonalisation

Childhood Trauma And Depersonalisation

Childhood Trauma And Depersonalisation. Depersonalisation is often related to childhood interpersonal trauma and dissociated identity disorder. Sometimes, it is used interchangeably with the term derealisation. It occurs when you persistently or repeatedly have the feeling that you are observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things[…]

Read more
Lessons for Caregiving

Lessons For Caregiving

Lessons For Caregiving. Long-term caregiving of the mentally ill can be particularly onerous, and this American Psychological Association article in its February 2017 issue of Monitor on Psychology gives us some understanding and handles in caring for our loved ones. A quote here from the National Alliance for Caregiving gives[…]

Read more
Face-To-Face With Mortality

Face-To-Face With Mortality

Face-To-Face With Mortality. Adrian was 35 years old and married to Janice. They were into their third year of marriage and had a son, Tom, barely two years old. At the encouragement of their pastor, they first came for counselling when a biopsy taken from Adrian’s stomach was positively malignant. He[…]

Read more
Take Back Your Brain From Social Media

Take Back Your Brain From Social Media

Take Back Your Brain From Social Media. Humans are creatures of habits, and that is how our brains learn once we have accommodated a routine that appears comfortable. The flip-side to this also explains the addictive capacity of certain cognitive and behavioural processes; at times driven unrelentingly by our unconscious[…]

Read more
Adulterous Traumatisation

Adulterous Traumatisation

Adulterous Traumatisation. Meg, in her 40s and a homemaker, was married to Heng. He was with a large UK multinational company, and had been in working Singapore for the last five years. They had two teenage boys living with them. Once every couple of months, Meg returned to Penang, in[…]

Read more
The Dispenser Of Gold

The Dispenser Of Gold

The Dispenser Of Gold. Peggy, a 35 year-old accounting executive, walked around the shopping centres close to her home each evening, and handed to a perfect stranger a gold bangle, to another a gold pendent, and yet to a third, a set of gold ear-rings. They looked at her quizzically,[…]

Read more
The Silent Sufferer

The Silent Sufferer

The Silent Sufferer. Through a mutual friend, Thomas, news of Audrey reached me three months before I actually met her. Several of her classmates and close friends had fed back to Thomas their contradictory experiences of Audrey. They had sought to direct her towards getting counselling help, but she resisted,[…]

Read more
Microsoft Safety Moderators Suffers PTSD

Microsoft Safety Moderators Suffer PTSD

Microsoft Safety Moderators Suffer PTSD. Just watching others being injured, tortured or murdered, without participating in it, or surveying its gruesome aftermath, or being continually exposed to such incidents, can result in vicarious traumatisation. And when the symptoms are beyond the acute stage, it is categorised as post-traumatic stress disorder[…]

Read more
The Physical Source Of Human Consciousness.

The Physical Source Of Human Consciousness

The Physical Source Of Human Consciousness. Scientists at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre at Harvard Medical School think they may have unearthed our innate awareness of consciousness. A small region in the rostral dorsolateral pontine tegmentum was significantly associated with coma-causing lesions. In healthy adults, this brainstem site was[…]

Read more
The Young Narcissist.

The Young Narcissist

The Young Narcissist. Jimmy was 20 years old and was on the Dean’s list in his university cohort. His opening remarks to me in our initial session were, “I don’t know why I am here, but my dean suggested that I find a psychologist to help me with my EQ.[…]

Read more
How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds.

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds. This fascinating article explores the borders of manipulation of our decision-making processes. With an increasing dependence on the use of technology and applications tailored by questionable algorithms, it becomes increasingly impossible to determine whether we really have a choice or are we being forced to[…]

Read more
Trauma And Recovery

Trauma And Recovery

Trauma And Recovery. The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is[…]

Read more
The Pathology Of The Smartphone.

The Pathology Of The Smartphone

The Pathology Of The Smartphone. Smartphones are stealing our time, and according to Marcus Gilroy-Ware, he would like to claim it back this new year. I totally agree with him as our fixation and attachment to it sometimes makes it appear obsessional, creating an anxiety syndrome that perhaps the next[…]

Read more
An Umbrella Attack

An Umbrella Attack

An Umbrella Attack. Griffith was the CEO of a successful construction conglomerate that his father started, while his wife, Jenny, helmed her own medical consultancy firm. They were not a young couple, when Andrew was born. They had been at odds which parent Andrew ought to follow to church, as[…]

Read more