My Therapeutic Interests

There are a few schools of therapy which I find congruent with my personal values and philosophies of therapy. Rollo May, the father of existential psychotherapy, has beautiful writing that helps me look at the essence of a human being. You would have realized that I have put some of his quotes on the sidebars on this website. Another important therapist that had influenced my work is Abraham Maslow, who talks about the hierarchy of needs and self actualization. One must not forget Mihaly Czikszenmihalyi, who proposed the theory of flow.

I had been most attracted to the work of Carl Whitaker, and is drawn by how he does therapy. It is only much later when I read about his work in detail, that I realize my work is very much like his, except that his work is done with a family instead of an individual. Nowadays, as I get become more acquainted with Gestalt Therapy, I see myself thinking more about contact boundaries and the I-Thou relationship in the here and now.  It gives me great pleasure to finally come close to naming what I had been doing so far, for I had found great angst and difficulty in trying to place my work that is relational, experiential, creative and intense at the same time. I currently identify myself as a Gestalt Therapist, and devote time and energy to grasp the theories, practice and processes of Gestalt Therapy, as well as interact with other Gestalt Therapists in the community in Singapore and internationally.

My Therapeutic Orientation

Although I base my therapeutic work on the psychodynamic and existential models of therapy, I tend to be relational and use experiential methods in interacting with my client. This is because I use myself and the therapeutic alliance as the most important tools in therapy. As a result, the sessions are often intense, intimate and energetic, and quite unlike other forms of therapy around. I see my role in therapy as a coach, cheerleader, and a strong, firm, frank, secure, safe and nurturing figure who is neither scared of terrible truths or scars we need to deal with, nor will support my client to submerse himself/herself in depression and self pity. I may point out your incongruent behaviour with your speech, I may point out what exactly you are thinking/feeling that somehow no one ever seemed to understand, I may tell you exactly how your behaviour is affecting me, we may discuss and validate our views of how the world works, we may sit together to weather the storm of grief or trauma, we may laugh, play with ideas and risk making changes in life, we may practice and rehearse the difficult speech that you had to make; these are just some of the things I do with my client in therapy. Maybe this is not what you like, or the kind of therapeutic relationship you are looking for because it's too close, too threatening, and too easy for you to discover that there is more depth and strength in you than you knew. That's all right. In that case, you may want to look up other therapists practising therapy using other modalities. Hope you do find what you're looking for :)

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Creativity is not merely the innocent spontaneity of our youth and childhood; it must also be married to the passion of the adult human being, which is a passion to live beyond one's death.

- Rollo May