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Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Sengkang General Hospital provides psychological assessment and intervention services for various health and mental health issues.

Our team of Psychologists focus on helping patients learn skills to manage their mental health and emotional challenges, as well as to handle stressful life events better. Our psychologists aim to help our patients live fuller, healthier and more meaningful lives.

The department is able to support patients with conditions such as anxiety, depression, trauma, chronic pain, sleep disorders and more using psychotherapy. Please refer to the list of conditions below for more information. In addition, the department provides neuropsychology assessment services for dementia, intellectual disability and other neurological conditions (e.g. post-stroke).

Our Clinical Services

The department provides psychotherapy, as well as neuropsychology assessment services.

What is Psychotherapy?

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. Please refer to "Our Treatments" for some of the types of therapy we provide.

What can I expect at my appointment?

At your first appointment, your psychologist will ask you questions about yourself. These may include questions about your background and current difficulties, as well as your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. You may be given questionnaires that measure your mood and/or difficulties. 

Your psychologist will work with you to understand how your difficulties came about and/or are maintained. Your psychologist will also discuss with you the goals you would like to work on during your subsequent psychotherapy sessions.

How long and frequent are psychotherapy sessions?

Typical psychotherapy sessions last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. They may occur on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The total number of sessions required depends on your needs, e.g. the types of difficulties you face, your goals, the things going on in your life and how fast you make progress. Typically, patients attend between 8 to 12 sessions of psychotherapy before discharge.

How do I prepare for my appointment?

To make the most of your session, prepare a list of the things you would like to discuss and work on in psychotherapy. You may bring a notebook to write down any useful information during sessions. 
More importantly, keep an open mind so that you can use this opportunity to learn more about yourself.


Is what I share confidential?

Yes. Information shared in our sessions are confidential. You do not have to talk about anything that you are not comfortable with sharing. While your psychologist will record information relevant to your care in your hospital notes, the only people who can rightfully access these notes are your doctors and the treating team. 

In some special circumstances, your psychologist may be duty-bound to break confidentiality. These circumstances will be explained to you by your psychologist at your first session. 

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.


What is a neuropsychology assessment?

A neuropsychology assessment examines a patient's cognitive (i.e. thinking skills), emotional and behavioural functioning through a detailed interview and standardised tests. Psychologists play a crucial role in helping doctors diagnose and monitor how a disease is progressing. Through the neuropsychology assessment, psychologists can identify your profile of strengths and difficulties, and help you adjust and adapt to possible challenges in your day-to-day living.       

What can I expect at my appointment?

Your psychologist will ask you questions about yourself and your current difficulties.  You will complete tests and questionnaires that evaluate your cognitive abilities and mood.  On some tasks, you may be asked to write or draw, while for other tasks, you may be asked to listen and answer questions.  You will be given instructions before any task. Your psychologist will check your understanding of the tasks before beginning. 
Your appointment will last between 2 to 3 hours.  Short breaks (e.g., toilet break) are provided if required. Sometimes, a second appointment is necessary. Your psychologist will let you know if this is needed.

How do I prepare for my appointment?

  • Bring along your reading glasses and hearing aid (if any).
  • Ask a family member or close friend who knows you well to attend the appointment with you, if possible.
  • Set aside enough time in your day (between 2 to 3 hours) for the appointment so there is no rush.
  • Be punctual for your appointment.
  • Have a good night's sleep.
  • Have a meal/small snack before the appointment as the assessment can take quite long. Doing so may help you focus better during the session. 

Who can come with me to my appointment?

You may wish to bring along a family member or close friend who knows you well.  With your permission, your psychologist may see you and your family member together, or speak with your family member/ friend alone to find out more about your difficulties.  During testing, your family member may sit in the waiting area.

What happens after my appointment?

Your psychologist will prepare a report for your doctor.  This report will outline how you performed and include some recommendations that your doctor can share with you at your next appointment.
If you prefer to discuss your report with your psychologist directly, let your psychologist and/or doctor know so we can arrange a feedback session. During the feedback session, you can ask questions and talk about your concerns.

Who gets the results of my assessment?

Your results are confidential. The only people who can rightfully access your hospital notes are your doctors and your treating team. 

Other services:

The department also works within multi-disciplinary teams with doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals in the management of patients with various health-related issues such as:

  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Pain
  • Sleep-Wake Disorders
  • Weight Management

Our Treatments

Depending on your presenting issues and goals, your psychologist will discuss with you the best approach to manage your mental health difficulties. This includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    • ACT helps patients learn new ways to manage their thoughts and emotions so that they can take committed action to enhance their well-being. The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life, a life guided by a patient's' personal values.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) 
    • CBT focuses on the relationship between patients' thoughts, feelings and behaviour. One main aspect of CBT is to help patients identify and change unhelpful ways of thinking that can lead to improvements in their mood and behaviour.
  • 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. Practising mindfulness can help patients to better cope with their day-to-day experiences.
  • Schema Therapy
    • Schema Therapy focuses on patients' emotional and thought patterns (schemas) that have developed since early childhood and have been reinforced in their lives. The goal of Schema Therapy is to help patients reduce the impact of unhealthy schemas in their lives and to develop healthier coping strategies.

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Conditions We Treat

 Psychological Disorders
o   Adjustment Disorder
o   Anxiety Disorder
o   Bipolar Disorder
o   Depression
o   Insomnia
o   Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
o   Panic Disorder
o   Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
o   Phobias
o   Somatic Symptom Disorder

Other Psychological Issues
o   Anger Management
o   Grief and Bereavement
o   Relationship Issues
o   Stress and Burnout

Health-Related Issues
o   Adjusting to/Coping with Illness
o   Chronic Pain
o   Diabetes
o   Irritable Bowel Syndrome
o   Weight Management

Neurocognitive Disorders
o   Dementia
o   Stroke
o   Traumatic Brain Injury


Treatments Offered


  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Schema Therapy