What Counsellors Do And Where Do They Work In Singapore?

October 11, 2022

What Counsellors Do And Where Do They Work In Singapore?

Growing Demands in Career for Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Singapore

Growing Demands in Career for Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Singapore

The counselling professions include a range of different titles and specialisms, with practitioners working in settings ranging from healthcare and education to workplaces or voluntary groups. Psychotherapists and counsellors are essential to enhancing the health and happiness of our society. They support people in talking about their emotions, reflecting on their decisions or behaviour, and making life-improving adjustments.


How to Become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

How to Become a Counsellor or Psychotherapist?

It’s a major step to begin a profession in counselling or psychotherapy. It can be difficult on a personal and emotional level, it will require a lot of time and effort, and it will cost a lot of money. You must consider how it will impact both you and your family.

But once you’ve qualified, the benefits and happiness will surpass the start-up expenditures if it’s the appropriate vocation for you.


Personal Qualities 

A counsellor assists people in better understanding their social and psychological needs by working with families and caregivers. Counsellors support clients with a variety of concerns, such as poverty, disabilities, addiction, delinquent behaviour, marital issues, and mental health issues, by assisting them in developing skills, gaining access to resources, and utilising support services. Counsellors must possess the following qualities.

  • Being able to interact and collaborate with people from all backgrounds.
  • Gaining people’s trust and making them feel at ease requires being friendly, compassionate, and warm.
  • Tolerant, empathetic, and impartial, without passing judgement.
  • Dependable, discrete, and with a strong sense of morality.
  • Tenacious and self-aware, able to evaluate one’s own thoughts and feelings and recognise one’s limitations.
  • Life experience is valued in counselling, which is frequently a second or third career.


What Counsellors Do

Counselling is sought out by people to address their emotional, psychological, and interpersonal problems. Clients may be going through traumatic or upsetting life situations, like divorce, bereavement, health issues, or employment issues. Or they might experience more widespread anxiety or life dissatisfaction. By assisting clients in finding their own strengths and fortitude, counsellors assist those in need in making their own decisions and conquering challenges.

Some clients feel secluded and have no one else to share their feelings with, but even those with caring loved ones may find it challenging to share their anxiety or depression with those close to them. They could discover it more convenient to discuss personal difficulties with a qualified, independent therapist.

In a sequence of structured sessions, the therapist and the client discuss the client’s problems and emotions. Even brief therapy usually entails six to twelve sessions. The meetings occur in a “safe” setting where the client and therapist won’t be eavesdropped on or disturbed at a regular, predetermined time.


Types of Therapy

There are numerous approaches to working with clients, commonly known as “theoretical approaches” or “modalities.” These can include behavioural therapies utilised for certain phobias and anxieties or Freud’s psychoanalysis, which is based on personal growth and self-development.

Therapists typically receive training in a single style of therapy, but they may employ different methods when they believe a client may benefit from them. Or they might employ particular strategies for particular problems.

Talking about life events, emotions, relationships, mental models, and behavioural patterns may be part of therapy. The therapist will actively listen, support, and empathise with the client while also challenging them to consider their problems from new or different angles.

Counselling is not a casual discussion with a friend or a forum for offering thoughts or suggestions. The therapist assists the patient in developing a deeper understanding of who they are and in developing their own coping mechanisms.


Where Counsellors Work

Therapists can offer counselling in-person, over the phone, online, or in groups. They can also work with individuals, couples, families, or organisations. They can work in a variety of places, including private practice, addiction treatment centres, GP offices, hospitals, schools, universities, and colleges.

As you practise as a counsellor, it’s important to find the niche that you enjoy working in the most. Explore various opportunities and zero in on the one you find most rewarding. Some examples of places where you may work as a counsellor include:

  • Children’s homes
  • Community health centres
  • Daycare centres
  • Family service centres
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Retirement homes
  • Schools
  • Senior community centres
  • Student care centres

Therapists may focus on particular areas, like relationships or addiction, or they may assist clients with a variety of problems. Some counsellors perform multiple functions, such as those of a teacher and counsellor, a welfare and advice worker and a coordinator and nurse. Numerous helplines are staffed by individuals with counselling experience, while others run entirely on a volunteer basis.


Salary Guidelines for Social Service Sector (with effect from April 2022)

The salary ranges offered are a representation of the market compensation for positions that are frequently found in the social services industry. It is advised that social service organisations use the recommendations as a guide for making pay decisions while taking into account their unique organisational demands and structures. The sector compensation recommendations are periodically evaluated, and they have adjusted annually as appropriate to account for trends in overall pay.

Salary Guidelines for Social Service Sector (with effect from April 2022)
Source: https://www.ncss.gov.sg/docs/default-source/ncss-documents-and-forms/sector-salary-guidelines/fy2022-salary-guidelines---ncss-website.pdf


Education Requirements

Education Requirements

It is advisable to have a minimum master’s degree in counselling or psychotherapy. The University of Roehampton Master of Arts in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, one of the master degree courses in Singapore offered by Aventis Graduate School, is a rigorous programme with two specialisations that is founded on a deep understanding of the complexity of human behaviour. It provides an in-depth understanding of why we think and act the way we do, as well as strategies for empowering people to act differently.


Supervision for Counsellor

Due to the covid 19 pandemic, Counsellors in Singapore are facing burnout and high demand as more individuals seek therapy to cope with mental health concerns and stress related to employment and family relationships. It is vital to remember that when working with clients, counsellors and psychotherapists should be supervised by another certified professional. Students must get a minimum of 1.5 hours of supervision each month on BACP-accredited courses. For every eight hours you spend working with clients, you should receive at least one hour of supervision.

A supervisor is not a manager; rather, they serve as an experienced mentor who offers emotional and psychological support while assisting the supervisor in honing their abilities and adhering to best practices.


Personal Therapy

Some courses require students to have received therapy or to continue receiving therapy while enrolled. This helps you develop personally and enables you to deal with the problems and emotions that are brought up when you are counselling others. It also allows you to experience therapy from the perspective of the client. Membership in the BACP is not contingent on receiving personal counselling.


Mid Career Switch in Singapore – Searching For a Counselling Job

Although there are chances for full-time employment in the counselling area, there are still inadequate jobs for all qualified candidates. Numerous positions are volunteer or part-time.

After training, we do not advise entering private practice right away. For freshly licensed therapists, it is more cautious to practise in a setting where they are guaranteed suitable clients and peer support. Check out our suite of psychology master’s degrees and graduate diplomas in counselling and psychotherapy.

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