FAQs

Partnering with you in overcoming challenges 

to get back to living life the way you want to

What are the fees and charges?

  • Individual Therapy- $250 per session (60 mins)
  • Couples Therapy -$280 per session  (60 mins)
  • Co parenting Counselling – $280 per session (60mins)
  • Family Therapy -$280 per session (60 mins) 
  • Clinical Supervision – $180 per session ( 60 mins) 

At Sylvia Tan Psychology, we understand that some may have financial difficulties and find the fees too costly. As we want to make therapy accessible, subsidized and reduced fees can be offered to genuine cases.

If you would like some help with reduced fees, please feel free to raise this with your therapis

Our terms and conditions on scheduling and cancellation of appointments

To book a session, you may call 8738-9512 or Whatsapp us. Or you can book your appointment online here.

Online booking requires pre-payment of the session to confirm your booking.

Cancelling or rescheduling appointments

24 hours’ notice is required to cancel or reschedule appointments. Any cancellation or rescheduling of appointments with less than 24 hrs, unless accompanied by a medical certificate will incur a full appointment fee.

Counselling psychologists hold a 4-years undergraduate degree in psychology and a 2-years post graduate master degree specialising in counselling psychology. They provide counselling and psychological therapies for a range of mental health issues as well as for those facing relationships difficulties, marital problems, parenting problems and family relating issues. Counselling psychologists are trained to provide individual therapy as well as group, couples and family therapy.

A counselling psychologist, like a clinical psychologist, receive 6 years of university training before they are registered as psychologists. They are both trained in assessment and treatment of mental disorders. The difference between counselling psychologist and clinical psychologists lies mainly with the population they work with. Counselling psychologists generally work in community-based counselling centres, schools and outpatient clinics whereas clinical psychologists generally work in psychiatric hospitals and clinic settings. As counselling psychologists are also trained in couples and family therapy, they generally provide counselling for couples and families as well whereas clinical psychologists typically focus on individual therapy and psychological assessments.

No. In Singapore, to be a registered counsellor, a minimum postgraduate diploma from a recognised course with 600 postgraduate clinical hours is required, whereas to be registered as a psychologist, a minimum of 2 years post graduate degree programme in psychology with relevant coursework and practicum of 1000 post graduate clinical hours is required.

A psychiatrist is a medically trained doctor specialising in treatment of mental disorders. Psychiatrist can diagnose and prescribe medication for patients with diagnosable mental disorders whereas psychologist do not prescribe medication. Psychologists use “talk therapy” as their treatment for mental disorders. Psychologists sometimes work in conjunction with psychiatrists are part of patient mental health management.

Psychotherapists use talk therapy to treat people with emotional or mental health disorders. Depending in their training and their speciality, psychotherapists can be psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers or counsellors. Psychologists sometimes call themselves psychotherapists, but not all psychotherapists are psychologists.

Most people try to help themselves when they are struggling emotionally or mentally. But when their method of coping is not working anymore or when their emotional or mental state is affecting their daily functioning like school, work or their relationships, it is time to see a psychologist.

 

If you are experiencing symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, persistent sadness, lost of motivation, sense of hopelessness, lack of energy, increasing irritability or moodiness, then you can consider seeing a psychologist as soon as possible. Psychologists help people who are struggling with their mental wellbeing, depression or anxiety brought about by stressful life situations like death of a loved one, work stress, divorce, parenting, traumatic event, etc. Psychologists provide treatment for a range of psychological disorders like mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, addictions, post-traumatic stress disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, dissociative disorders, sleep disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders.

Coming for your 1 st counselling session can be daunting and anxiety provoking , especially if you never had counselling before. Thus, in preparing for your counselling appointment, you may want to think about what you would like to achieve in your session. What is your therapy goal? What changes would you like to see and what do you hope to achieve by the end of the therapy sessions. You may need to share with your psychologist what difficulties or psychological symptoms you are experiencing ( eg insomnia, anxiety, low mood, teary etc). Take note of how long you’ve had those symptoms and how those symptoms are hindering your life. You may need to talk about the situations or events that had brought about those symptoms. So, being open to share about the situation will be very helpful.

The frequency of seeing a psychologist depends on the issues and severity of the issue. Usually the frequency is either weekly for those with moderate to severe levels of psychological distress. Once your situation or mood has been stabilised, the frequency of sessions can be more spread out from fortnightly to monthly sessions. You can discuss the frequency of sessions with your psychologist.

Depending on your issue, your therapy goal and the type of therapy you are receiving, the number of sessions required will vary. The number of sessions can range from 4 to 12 sessions for short term therapy, and from 12 sessions to 50 sessions for longer term therapy. Studies have found that most people will start to feel the appreciable benefit of therapy within 8 to 14 sessions, but some would require at least 14 sessions. It is recommended that clients receive weekly to fortnightly session to receive the full benefit of treatment. To achieve full recovery, most people require about 50 sessions. The outcome of therapy depends on the therapists, treatment modality as well as the therapeutic relationship between the therapist and the client. It is important that you chart your progress with your therapist, so that your therapist is aware of what is working or not working for you. Your therapist can then twig his/her treatment approach if needed.

For individual session, the duration is typically 50-60 mins in length. For couples and family therapy session, the duration for each session can be 60-90 mins in length. You can discuss the duration needed for couples counselling with your psychologist.

Couples counselling can be beneficial for couples who are struggling with their relationship. However, sometimes only one party sees the value of counselling and the other party is unwilling to attend. If your spouse is unwilling to come for counselling, it might be helpful for you to have a
conversation with your spouse to find out why. Could it be that there is stigma around seeking counselling, or could it be that your spouse is worried that the counsellor will be bias and start to take sides?

 

Show your spouse that you understand his or her concerns and assure your spouse that counselling is not going to used as a battle ground for fault finding. Couples counselling is for both parties to work on their own issues and to help both parties to improve on their communication and connection with each other. If you approach it in a supportive and non-judgemental way, your spouse may be more open to coming for counselling and be more motivated to work on your relationship.

Counselling is working if you start to notice changes in your mood, changes in the way you think and the way you feel about yourself. You may also start to see a change in your behaviours and your reactions. Situations, things or people who used to bother you will no longer have much of an effect on you anymore. You may start to feel more energised and feel more empowered. You may feel more confident and your relationships with others have improved.

The initial therapy session is for the psychologist to understand why you have come for therapy and what you hope to achieve in the sessions. The session is also for you to see if you feel comfortable with the psychologist and he/she is a good fit for you. 

 

Having a good rapport with your psychologist is important so you can feel safe, and be comfortable to express yourself freely, including your thoughts and your feelings. 

 

The psychologist usually will start off by explaining the limits to confidentiality, explain how he/she works and then you will share the reasons for why you are seeking help. As you share, the psychologist will be listening closely to you, and asking you questions along the way. 

 

As the psychologist need to know you and get a full picture of what has happened to you, personal questions about yourself like, your family, your work life, your social life and your outlook  in life will be asked. 

 

You may become emotional or teary in the first session and that is normal. If you are feeling guarded, and have difficulty sharing openly in your first session, it is normal as well. Some people do not open up easily in the first session, due to their personality and lack of familiarity with the psychologist. 

 

By the end of the first session, the psychologist will discuss with you the plan moving forward in therapy and how the psychologist would help you in the matter. You are free to ask the psychologist any questions that you may have.

Depending on your presenting issues and your goals of therapy, the psychologist will discuss with you the type of intervention he/she will be using in therapy with you. 

 

Some models of therapy are structured whereas some models of therapy are unstructured. For unstructured forms of therapy, the psychologists will intervene in the moment with you, and help you to process your thoughts and feelings in a safe and respectful way. 

 

You may be asked to recall certain memories in the past, so as to elicit certain thoughts and memories for emotional processing and cognitive restructuring. Typically, the psychologist intervene by doing one of more of these following activities 

 

  • Psycho-education 
  • Emotional processing 
  • Validation 
  • Reflection 
  • Observation 
  • Asking questions 
  • Giving unconditional positive regard
  • Creating a safe space for expression of emotions
Sylvia Tan-Counselling Clinical Psychologist in Singapore

Counselling Psychologist

Sylvia Tan - Founder, Principal Counselling Psychologist, MPsych (SRP Registered)

Sylvia is a Counselling Psychologist practicing in Singapore. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology from Curtin University of Technology ( Perth, Western Australia) and is currently a registered counselling psychologist and a clinical supervisor with the Singapore Register of Psychologists (SRP). 

 

After her graduation in 2002, Sylvia lived and worked in Australia for many years before her relocation back to her home country Singapore in 2014. To date, Sylvia has over 20 years of experience working in a range of settings both in Australia and Singapore. 

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