Clinical Psychologist in Hong Kong: Finding the Right Mental Health Support for You
Hong Kong, despite all its international flair, glamour, and glitter, is saddled with a depression and anxiety rate at 2.5 times the global average. It’s not a total mystery as to why managing one’s mental health and emotional wellbeing here can be a challenge. On top of complicated historical, cultural, and social influences, Hong Kong’s stressful educational system, cortisol-fueled corporate culture, and impoverished communal support could leave many feeling isolated, alone, and powerless, and vulnerable to psychological distress, relationship and marital problems, and unhealthy habits that end with an "-ism."
Whether you're struggling with what is traditionally known as mood disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety), learning difficulties (e.g., ASD or ADHD), marital conflicts, interpersonal challenges (e.g., narcissism or anger), or what I prefer to call “problems of living,” seeking professional help from a clinical psychologist in Hong Kong can be incredibly beneficial.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
Psychologists can specialize in different domains of psychology such as sport psychology, education psychology, social psychology, etc. Hence, clinical psychologists differ from other psychologists in their specialization: mental and behavioral health care.
Because of their specialization, clinical psychologists’ main tasks are psychological difficulties that affect a person’s life, work, relationships and their relationship to self (sense of self).
What does a Clinical Psychologist in Hong Kong offer?
Many clinical psychologists in Hong Kong, like many other mental health professionals such as counsellors and therapists, tend to have a multi-cultural background which provides a level of understanding and sensitivity that enhances mental health treatment efficacy.
Services offered include:
- Individual therapy: Individual therapy focuses on the wellbeing of a person. Sometimes people bring in concrete goals such as to overcome certain challenges (e.g., procrastination or addiction), or they want to gain relief from distressful feelings and negative mood (e.g., depression and anxiety), or they feel stuck in dissatisfying relationship patterns and dysfunctional family situations and they want change.
- Couples therapy: Couples therapy is a space for couples to address the difficulties in the relationship. Some want to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and improve intimacy. Some come in to work through infidelity or decide if divorce is the right decision.
- Child and adolescent therapy: Therapy is used to support children and teenagers work through social, emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. Parenting support is an integral part of child therapy. With adolescent therapy, the needs of the adolescent will help determine the nature and extent of parental involvement.
- Parenting consultation: Helping parents understand what their children is going through is an important element. Benefits include learning about age-appropriate expectations and strategies, differentiating between helpful and unhelpful responses, and processing how parents' own difficult feelings and triggers could make caring for their children challenging.
How Can a Clinical Psychologist Help You?
Thanks to advanced education and training, a clinical psychologist is equipped with an understanding of the workings of psychological phenomena that is valuable to resolving complicated “problems of living.” A problem well-defined is a problem half-solved.
- My approach to therapy: From an understanding of your internal psychological experience comes an investigation of what maintains the “problem” and the function of such “problem” (these problems are commonly referred to as “symptom,” “mental illness,” “mental disorders,” etc). Psychological difficulties occur in a system of contexts, and so your drinking, procrastination or infidelity, for example, occurs in a context of stressors and unresolved emotional distress that makes drinking/procrastination/straying a solution/relief (e.g., it’s a distraction, a form of coping, a response that helps you in some way) in that system of contexts, rather than a problem.
I am aware I am speaking in very general terms where concrete steps are omitted. That’s on purpose. Because therapy is a highly complicated and nuanced process, each individual’s process and experience will be different. I don’t want to mislead you by making therapy sound like a bunch of mechanical steps that you go through and tick off to get better.
Finding the Right Mental Health Professional in Hong Kong
Research has shown repeatedly that the best predictor of treatment outcomes is your relationship with your therapist. In other words, whether the mental health professional you work with is the right fit for you is the strongest determining factor for success. Visit Working with a Clinical Psychologist to learn more.
Beautiful Mind Therapy and Family Services: An Established Service Provider in Mental Health
Dr. Bertie Wai, a sensitive and experienced clinical psychologist in Hong Kong, is open to referrals from people seeking mental health support.
To further the goal of educating the public about mental health issues, many free resources are available on this website. The hope is that you will find the information provided here helpful, whether you are looking to enter therapy, or looking for other forms of support to help yourself and your loved ones live a happier and healthier life:)
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