What Therapy Is Like (Ft. Professional Therapist) | ZULA ChickChats | EP 82

What Therapy Is Like (Ft. Professional Therapist) | ZULA ChickChats | EP 82

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Hi, I am Belinda. Hi, I am Gab. Hi, I am Jessica. Hi, I am Leah. And this is, ZULA ChickChats! Hi guys, welcome to this episode of ChickChats. And, actually World Mental Health Day
is coming up on the 10th of October, so this episode is kind of timely for that. ‘Cause today we’re gonna be talking about therapy, and, we have a therapist on set, which is Belinda. Hi Belinda. Thank you for having me here. Yes, please introduce yourself to everyone. So I am a counsellor, and a psychotherapist, I am also the founder of The Lighthouse Counselling. Yeah, so she is here to give us real life therapy. Just kidding. Yeah, free session. We are actually here to talk a little about… You know, misconceptions
that people have about therapy, as well as what exactly goes on in a session. ‘Cause a lot of people may not know. So it brings me to my first question, which is, what can you actually expect out of therapy? To be honest, you don’t really have to expect anything, but I guess you will probably
have to just be open-minded, to come here, and just talk about anything you want. I think there are different types of therapy, would you like to educate us
a little about the whole system? Yes, there are a lot of different therapies out there, so there are a lot of techniques. So the most fundamental one would be called the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. So it’s a very standard approach
to ask questions to people, and to help them to understand
their thoughts and behaviour. There are mindfulness-based therapies, and there are also different kinds, like,
solution-focused, emotion-focused. There are all sorts of therapies out there. Then, in that case right, for someone like me, I have
never gone to therapy before. It’s like, how do you know which one to go for? That’s quite true, like, so it’s really up to us to decide what kind of
therapy we want to provide to you. It really depends on your style, your personality, and how comfortable you are with different things. So, it’s a journey, so it’s not really just from day one you would know. But how long would an actual session be? So, typically it would be around
50 minutes to about one hour. Do you need to prepare anything
before you go for your first session? You don’t really need to prepare anything, to be honest. So, I would say… Just be open-minded, and talk about anything you want to talk about. I have a question. Yes, go ahead. What if I have no problems? I just want to talk to someone. Is that still something that
you would offer your services for? Well, of course, yes. To understand- Even when you don’t have anything to talk about, there must be something in your mind, right? So Jess, you have been to therapy before right? Would you like to share a little about your experience? So the bad was really bad. The moment I walked into the counselling place right, the first she said to me was, “Hi, my name is this, okay. Today you are going to come for counselling with me and you have 60 minutes.” That’s really bad. It felt like, the moment I entered,
there was a countdown timer. And the best part was, the entire session, I didn’t hear anything from her. Because I spent 60 minutes talking about my problems, And then she was like, “Your time is up.” I was like, “What?” Cheat my money leh! All I envisioned was my money flying away. I have seen a hypnotherapist, I have
also seen a psychiatrist, and just gone for normal counselling. Basically we went through several exercises. A brief example would be, I never got an apology, from someone about something
that really stuck with me. And he pretended to be that person, and he made me say that person’s name aloud. And then, made me say that I forgive this person. Like, it sounds so corny when you say it like that. But going through the whole exercise, I was like, “Wow, that really helped me.” So hypnotherapy was kinda weird, if you do your research, basically they try to put you
into this like, subconscious state, I don’t know what kind of conscious state lah. So I was actually really, really, really in that state, I was really deep into it. I felt like I could not wake up from it even if I tried to. Actually, did it work? I think… I felt a lot better after that. And I think that, perhaps it was just
feeling so vulnerable that, felt kind of healing at the same time. But I think a normal counselling works better for me. Good to hear. Jess, would you like to share a little about
why you went for therapy sessions? In a nutshell, I experienced
quite a lot of childhood trauma, in terms of various kinds of abuse. You know stuff like that, when you go through as a primary school kid, you don’t really understand it at that point in time. So I think I was not happy at that point in time. But, you don’t realise till like many years
later, and you are like, how much these events that happened so
many years ago still affect you. Gab, for yourself, you mentioned that you want to try? Ya, I have been thinking of going. Now, I am 26 this year. I finally, truly understand what the quarter-life crisis is. What is quarter-life crisis? Maybe it’s more of, I don’t know
where my career is going. I don’t know when I will settle down, in terms of relationship. When I am going to get married, if I can get enough money to
get married in the first place. Is my family okay with the way I am right now? I had a great childhood. I became super spoilt, okay. And I was very used to getting
what I wanted, all the time. If I don’t get what I want, I will probably,
most likely get angry. This anger issue got so big that I have
lost a lot of people in my life. Coupled with the fact that I was an angry kid, and I still am more of an angry adult now. I feel like therapy would be good for me
because it might help me understand, and put myself in other people’s shoes
a little bit better. Okay, so Gab, what’s actually stopping
you from going for therapy then? To me, it was more of, if I can speak to my friends,
and everything, my close friends, why would I want to pay money to go to talk to a stranger? As a man, I thought I should not ask for help. When I grew up looking at my father right, he was always someone who
never told me any of his problems. That’s what I thought I was supposed to be like. All these things became problems for me, which I kept inside because it wasn’t something that, I wanted to reveal to people in general. A common thing for all of us
who avoid going to therapy, is about the fear of being judged. So there is a lot of judging going around in our society. But, I think therapy, counselling, or psychotherapy provides a very safe space. You should take advantage of not knowing me, that you can actually say anything you want. For me, it was, “It is my problem, only I can solve it.” I think similar reason to you, why I
actually haven’t gone for therapy, is my mindset is that, I can just solve this myself. And, I am a very rational person, so I can
just tell myself what I am doing wrong, and I am very self-aware of what I am
doing wrong, then I will try to fix it. But, I don’t know if it means something or not. The thing is, I don’t know if whatever I am telling myself is helping myself, you know. So I might want to see someone to have another perspective on that. Well, first of all, as a therapist, we are not
supposed to give advice to you, we are not supposed to give any solutions to you. And quite often, a lot of problems
have no solution anyway. So, it’s really just about some emotions and feelings, how do we manage it, how do
we regulate our emotions right. A lot of us actually get benefits from
being able to find an extra outlet, to express what we actually really feel deep down. We will move on to our next question, which is, after- You know, like sharing our experiences of
going for therapy, as well as why we want to go,
why we haven’t really gone, I think it’s good to clear up
misconceptions about therapy, so Belinda, you can help us with that. I think the first one you kinda addressed it in the previous question already, which is, “Is the therapist going to give me
a solution to my problems?” We are not supposed to give any solutions, our job is to be as open-minded as we can. Then, we will go on to our second misconception. So the next one is actually that, to go for therapy,
you have to be diagnosed with a serious illness, or a serious mental health issue,
what do you think of this? No, in fact, like earlier when you said, “Can I even come and see you without any issues?” Of course you can, like, you don’t need to have a real mental disorder to talk to me. Really, it’s just about having an outlet to talk. The next question is, I think something
that a lot of people ask. They always say, “Huh, you want go for
therapy, very expensive leh!” Is therapy really very expensive? That’s a very good question because the prices are- there is a huge range of costs, but I think the key point here is to be
aware that it brings you benefits. Is there such thing as a free therapy session, like counselling for free? Like, is there an option like that? Because I think my perception is that, “Oh, cheaper one will not be as good
as a more expensive one.” This is a tricky question, because as I said, I feel that there is a lot to do with connection
between the therapist and the client. So this is kinda like the last misconception is that, “My job will be jeopardised if I disclose
that I am going for therapy.” That’s a good question, to be honest. Because I think back in the days,
it probably would affect, but nowadays I feel that a lot of big
companies and start-ups, are driving towards raising awareness
for mental health issues. We’re all moving towards that sort of stage, to be more understandable for each other. Actually I think I agree as well. I also feel it would really help if people, who are in the same working environment as you, took mental health issues as
seriously as physical health. I feel like a lot of the times, for example, if I am having a really bad
day right, you can’t just tell your boss, “I am having a bad day and I don’t want to turn up.” But at the same time, you don’t wanna tell him about- why you have depression
or what you are going through. If you really need to take time off, take it first. Because if you force yourself to be at work intensely, you’re not going to perform, you’re not
going to be able to be yourself anyway. We will move on into resources, and you know, if someone wants to go for therapy,
where can they start? I think right now you can really just simply Google, and find all kinds of people out there. So, take your time to find who you want to see. If you want to have the low cost option, then you probably can go to a family centre, or maybe there are tons and tons
of non-profit organisations. Alternatively, the private practice would
always be an option as well. So, I think the good thing about private
practice is they are flexible for you, meaning that they really dedicate a time slot for you. Just take your time to find out the profile
and see whichever you can relate to. The most important thing is
to realise the benefit out of it. So how I started going for my
first therapy session was, the most classic way of doing anything, just Google. Hmm, ya. I think I had to Google something maybe like, “psychiatrist” or “counsellors in Singapore”. And that’s when I realised there are
different types of people you can see. So I think maybe the first step is for
people to ask themselves is like, what do they hope to achieve out of this session. So maybe if you have no idea where to start,
you can start with basic counselling. But let’s say, you are still considering, you
know, going for therapy, like a lot of us, we don’t know if we even want to go for one
because we don’t know what to expect. Is there any way or any kind of self-care
tips that you may have, to guide someone who is maybe going
through some tough times now? To be honest, I don’t think there is always
a need to attend to a therapist, it’s only one of the options. I think self-care is very important, so whichever way that you can
inspire yourself to self-help, it’s already a good start, right? But having said that, two heads
are always better than one, so you can always find
another person to talk to, someone that you can trust. And, practise more empathy, and practise a little bit more listening skills. So I feel that a lot of us are not
really actively listening. So what actively listening is, I think we are all guilty of, sometimes
when we listen just to prepare for a response, so try to practise with your close friends, and try your best to see if you can listen
as much as possible, and truly understand what they mean. And it’s extremely important to remember- there are so many important things in your life, so don’t lose your routine. I think routines are very important. Identify what healthy habits that you get
to have and stick to it. Don’t let one thing intrude all your life and
just let yourself fall apart. There are always different things that I should not lose- family, friends, lifestyle, hobbies, relationships. That’s damn true. I was like, oh my god, advice. I will use it. Ya. And I will let you know if it works. If it doesn’t work, I will just come to her. Okay, so on today’s episode of ChickChats, we talked about therapy and what it is like to go for a first session, as well as some good and bad experiences,
and clarified some misconceptions. And actually, Belinda would be on a panel, upcoming on the 10th of October at WeWork, so Belinda would you like to
share a little bit more? Thanks for promoting me, so like, I am going to be at the panel for this WeWork event, and it’s co-organised by Esquire as well, on the 10th of October. So other than the panel discussion- where we are all gonna talk about mental
health awareness, issues, and all that, I am gonna host a breakout session as well. So there will be chances for people to
actually come to me for a speed therapy. So I would love to see everybody there. Ya, and it’s also free, by the way,
so you can just go attend. And I will put the link in the description box below. So if you guys are keen on going for a therapy session, please feel free to do so, or you can just
attend Belinda’s panel to see what it’s like. And also if you like this video, feel free to leave a comment down below
and tell us what you like, and let us know what else to talk about next time. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. Bye!

5 thoughts on “What Therapy Is Like (Ft. Professional Therapist) | ZULA ChickChats | EP 82”

  1. Hope you guys found this video about therapy helpful! Here are the timestamps of the topics covered during this episode:

    0:53 What to expect from a therapy session

    1:07 Different types of therapy

    2:48 Jess shares her experience

    4:53 Gab shares his take on therapy

    6:41 Leah shares her take on therapy

    7:29 Therapy misconceptions

    10:04 Resources for therapy first-timers

    11:14 Self-care tips

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