Counselling, psychotherapy & clinical psychology
We’ll help you find the right support
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
Perhaps you are going through something overwhelming, challenging or traumatic? You may feel trapped by repetitive thought patterns that are eating away at your self-confidence and reinforcing any negative self-image you may have. Maybe life just seems meaningless and your sense of humour, being with the people you love and doing things that usually make you happy, has disappeared. Most of us experience problems like these from time to time – but when talking with loved ones and close friends or trying to sort things on your own isn’t working, getting some professional therapy in the form of psychological counselling can be life-saving.
Consultations are available in-clinic in Hong Kong, or online, from HK, Singapore, or wherever it is in the world that you call home.
In our busy lives it is often hard to find the time to slow down, reflect, and become aware of our feelings and how thoughts affect us. This is where therapy can be so beneficial.
The relationship between client and therapist is one based on mutual trust. Good, skilful therapy is not rushed. It meets you where you are right now, walking alongside - and always at your pace. It provides a supportive, safe space in which to freely express your emotions. It helps equip you with different psychological tools to cope better with difficulties and can even bring more awareness and peace of mind. Then, as the therapy helps you heal and become more resilient, you are able to grow into your full potential.
"A therapist is someone you can talk to openly and confidentially – without any judgement."
- Anxiety, depression, and unresolved trauma
- Self-criticism, anger management
- Stress and panic attacks
- Relationship problems (e.g. separation and divorce, intimacy issues)
- Sexual violence and abuse, past or present
- Eating disorders
- Bereavement, loneliness and isolation
- Self-harm, suicidal impulses
- OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Autism, ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder/attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
- Personality disorders
At IMI, we believe in offering treatments that are tailored to suit a person’s particular needs. When it comes to therapists, finding the right person that you "click with" is key to enhancing your mental and emotional wellbeing. In fact, research has repeatedly shown that as well as skilful techniques and interventions, it’s having a positive, collaborative relationship with your therapist that ensures deep and long-lasting success.
Counsellors, psychotherapists, and clinical psychologists all provide what comes under the common term of "talking therapies". That said, psychotherapeutic approaches often focus on the non-verbal ways of communication as these play a key role in our current relationships as well as how our earliest experiences were formed. While the titles psychotherapist, psychologist, and counsellor are often used interchangeably; different approaches, lengths of training, and qualifications are involved. It’s worth checking the individual biographies of IMI’s therapists to find out more about their areas of focus, membership of professional bodies, and life experiences. This will help you decide which one fits best with you and your situation.
Some problems we find ourselves in are deeply embedded in who we are and how we live and often take time to heal.
- Focus on what’s currently impacting your life – from difficulties at work, home or in a relationship.
- Examine your immediate symptoms and behaviour (e.g. feeling more stressed and anxious) rather than delving deeper into your childhood or past.
- Give you short-term workable tools to help you break out of negative thoughts and habits.
- Have attended an in-person training at least 4-5 years at post-graduate/masters level.
- Like counsellors they work with what is currently impacting your life and sometimes therapy may be short term or solutions focused. However, if helpful, psychotherapists can also explore current issues more deeply with you and past influences in your life, including the effects of early relationships.
- As well as talk therapy, psychotherapists tend to include non-verbal approaches such as body-based or awareness practices, art, play, movement, dance etc as most of our mental and emotional experiences are formed through non-verbal communication and relationship.
- Create a safe, comfortable space for you to open up and bring to the surface buried experiences in order to fully process and ultimately integrate them.
- Provide more continuous support for conditions that have developed over a longer period of time, such as complex PTSD, OCD, and other anxiety disorders.
- Have studied psychology at university, which usually makes their approach to treatment more science and research-based.
- Normally diagnose and treat more complex mental health conditions, such as autistic spectrum disorders, personality and major depressive disorders.
- Often use a variety of assessment methods including psychometric tests, interviews and direct observation of behaviour.
- Trainings in different psychotherapeutic approaches will vary and we advise you check each practitioner’s individual biography.
There are many types of psychotherapy, all of which are based on various theories for how the mind works and particular methods of intervention. Below are only a few examples. At IMI, we can help you decide which type of therapy might work best for you:
Psychodynamic therapy helps you to explore deeper, more unconscious feelings. Analyse experiences and emotions from earlier in your life – and understand how these may be affecting the choices you’re making.
Person centred therapy is a non-directive, empathic approach. It focuses on encouraging and trusting you to find your own way to solutions through providing a non-judgemental space in which to be heard and to explore any unresolved issues.
Mindfulness based therapy helps you develop a greater awareness of mental processes, feelings and their connection to your body – in present time. You may also be given mindfulness tools and techniques to bring about deeper understanding, insight and healing.
Integrative therapy as its title suggests, takes the view that there is no single approach that can treat you in all situations. So your therapist will integrate different therapeutic tools to suit your needs.
Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on how you think and behave. It works by providing techniques and exercises that challenge stuck or negative thought patterns and beliefs.
Adults, children, teens - nearly everybody responds positively to therapy. While talking is central to most forms of psychotherapy and counselling there are other methods used, such as art, music and drama, including play therapy for younger children.
IMI’s therapists usually have specific expertise to work with different age groups, Please read individual biographies for more details.
Therapy can be short or long-term. The number of sessions that you and your therapist will jointly agree on will depend on the depth and complexity of the issues – but it is usually about 6 sessions. Some types of therapy may last for several years, particularly if your goal is to develop greater awareness and deeper healing.
Most sessions are in person, however some are available online. This can be helpful for those who travel or find it difficult to get into HK central.
Related articles and further information
Mindfulness helps Hong Kong children overcome anxiety and school pressures through yoga and hiking – an article featured in South China Morning Post
Depression hurts. It’s the ‘black dog’ of the night that robs you of joy, the unquiet mind that keeps you awake. It’s a noonday demon that only you can see,...