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Understanding therapies and how it works

There are a variety of therapies available to help us better manage mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Better management can be achieved by building insight into why we feel a certain way and learning practical skills to tackle the unhelpful emotions. Your psychologist will collaboratively discuss and tailor the best therapy approach to enhance your ability to manage mood-based disorders. By doing so, we aim to help your life be more fulfilling. Therapy approaches include (but are not limited to):

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT targets unhelpful thoughts and emotions by helping patients open up and obtain acceptance of their situation, and to develop value-based committed action to create a rich and meaningful life.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It helps patients identify then challenge unhelpful ways of thinking to forge new strategies leading to improvements in these areas.

Mindfulness-Based Interventions
Mindfulness-based interventions guide patients to be attentive to their experiences in the present moment, without judgement. Mindfulness helps to create space between a patient's emotions and actions which can provide more awareness to help better cope with their day-to-day experiences.

Schema Therapy
Schema Therapy focuses on maladaptive emotional and thought patterns (schemas) that have developed since early childhood and have been reinforced over time. The goal is to help patients reduce the impact of these schemas to develop healthier coping strategies.


Psychotherapy provides a safe and supportive environment for patients to talk openly about their difficulties. Psychologists help patients understand the thoughts, emotions and behaviours that keep them from feeling their best. Patients will learn new skills to better cope with challenges that they currently face and that may arise in the future.

Typical psychotherapy sessions last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. They may occur on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis depending on your psychological needs and your availability.

How does Psychotherapy benefit me?

In psychotherapy, patients' wellbeing is considered from a holistic perspective. It is helpful for our patients to learn more about themselves – their moods, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We will work with you on managing challenging life situations, and guide you to cope in healthy ways. No one's life is perfect; everyone has struggles.  Sometimes, we need extra help to make sense of and cope with these struggles. Seeing a psychologist could be the first step in paving the road to a richer, fuller and more meaningful life.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
There is a strong interpersonal focus in this modality, where significant others are involved. The therapy focuses on strengthening your social support by improving your coping and relationships. For example, role-plays based on communication analysis are used to help you communicate better with your significant others. 

Solution Focused Brief Family Therapy (SFBT)
This therapy is brief and focuses on strengths and solutions rather than the problem(s). Collaboratively, with you and your loved ones, we will work on goals. We believe that small changes can snowball into bigger, better changes.

What do I need to do in therapy?

We will provide you with a safe and supportive space to openly share any mood difficulties.

At your first appointment, we will ask some background questions relevant to the mood difficulties, as well as questions on your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. We will work with you to understand how your mood difficulties came about and are maintained. Your goals for future session will also be noted.

What does it require of me?
Research and experience tell us that therapy benefits those who are able to commit to regular sessions. We may start with weekly or bi-weekly sessions and proceed with less frequent sessions. Our 45-60 minute sessions are offered during weekday office hours. Depending on the approach we collaboratively choose, the presence of your loved ones' will be helpful in all or some of the sessions. To help you in your recovery, homework may be assigned between sessions.

How does it benefit me?

Often, we see a dynamic relationship between mental health and social support. By targeting the improvement of social relationships we aim to improve your mental health and coping which will, in turn, improve your social relationships in a virtuous cyclical manner.