There are ups and downs in everyone’s life. One effective way to deal with a difficult personal situation is by talking to someone trained in helping you work through issues and find suitable solutions. Online counselling or coaching refers to accessing such services remotely through your computer or personal device, be it a laptop, tablet or smart phone.
At Talk Your Heart Out (TYHO), this can be done via video, audio or live chat functions facilitated by the TYHO platform, whatever your preference may be.
Several studies have shown that online sessions can be as effective as traditional face-to face counselling or coaching, with the added advantages of flexibility, relative anonymity, affordability and convenience.
Online sessions provide you with more choice and convenience, allowing you to talk with your Therapist / Coach on your terms – all you need is your personal device. For example:
- You may decide whether you want to talk face-to-face (by video), on the phone, or via text, depending on what you prefer.
- You may find it easier to communicate with your Therapist / Coach from home, office or another private space, and save travelling time.
- If you choose to change your Therapist / Coach, this can be done easily on the platform, without the need for further “shopping” on your part to find someone suitable, or having to explain your history one more time (session notes will be shared with your express consent only).
Talk therapy has been shown to have numerous benefits to one’s overall wellbeing, including improving self-awareness, enhancing interpersonal interactions, and managing certain physical illnesses (eg chronic pain and IBS).
Above all, it allows one to not just deal with their current issue but also learn healthy practices that they can impart to their loved ones and to future generations.
If you are thinking about going for counselling or coaching, you may want to consider the various advantages of doing it online, including:
- Easier access to counselling or coaching, particularly for those who are otherwise busy with work or other commitments, have carer responsibilities, or have reduced mobility for any reason.
- Up to 50 percent more affordable compared with traditional in-person sessions.
- More time efficient as travelling is not required, and scheduling is made easier.
- Overcoming inertia and fear of judgement as you will access counselling or coaching from a private space.
- Express yourself in writing if you prefer.
At the very least, talking with a Therapist or Coach on our platform will unburden you, providing a non-judgemental listening ear and give you another perspective.
As a guideline, online counselling or coaching is not suitable where a person:
- is in a crisis;
- experiences severe or long-term mental health illness;
- is suffering from psychiatric disorder and/or experiencing psychosis such as hallucinations, paranoia or delusions; and
- engages in excessively risky behaviour such as heavy alcohol or drug use.
Persons experiencing the above should consider engaging a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist for a face to face session instead. Psychiatrist are medical doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders and can prescribe medications if necessary.
Psychologists and counsellors (collectively called Therapists on our platform) are trained in providing talk therapy that would help a client improve their mental health and wellbeing.
In most situations, which type of professional you consult is not critically important. This is because there is considerable overlap among them with respect to the training they have received, types of problems they help with, and the approaches they use. All are competent to recognise and help with the more common mental health issues, whether it is mild to moderate forms of depression, anxiety, relationship problems, or addictions.
Having said that, there are some differences between the type and level of support that will be provided depending on the Therapist / Coach you pick. This is because they have all acquired different educational qualifications and specialise in different areas.
Broadly speaking, the different roles are as follows:
- Psychologists have usually studied psychology at a master’s level and are experts in human emotions, behaviour and mental processes. They use evidence-based strategies to diagnose and manage more serious mental health illnesses and disorders non-medicinally over the long-term.
- Counsellors generally have a minimum of a postgraduate diploma, and are highly skilled in applying integrative therapies to assist people in working through their personal and emotional issues. They usually help clients address specific problems. If you would like to talk about a specific issue (eg adjustment to a new job, coping with loss, problems at school), then a counsellor may be more appropriate to approach.
- Coaches are professionals trained to help people identify their personal and/or professional goals in life and assist you with developing an actionable plan to achieve your potential. They generally have professional work experience and a post-graduate certification in coaching. They do not provide talk therapy. Focusing exclusively on the present and future, they help their clients understand their potential. If you would like to assess where you are in your career or life, and set yourself some new professional or personal goals, you may want to consider approaching a life / executive coach.
Not entirely. Your safety is important to us, and hence your Therapist / Coach must be able to contact you in case of an emergency. Otherwise, there is no requirement to share a picture, date of birth, NRIC or other basic details that can identify you. You may also wish to talk to your Therapist / Coach via audio only, or by live text chat if you prefer to remain relatively anonymous.
We uphold rigourous standards for collection, use and disclosure of your personal data, in compliance with the relevant legislation in Singapore including the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). What you say during your sessions will be between the both of you only, unless you would like a request for a change of Therapist / Coach, and you give your consent for the new Therapist / Coach to have access to the first Therapist / Coach’s session notes.
You can talk with your Therapist / Coach about anything at all – there is no such thing as a taboo topic. We ensure strict confidentiality of anything you say during your sessions with your Therapist / Coach.