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The Different Approaches to Psychotherapy Explained

If you were referred by your general physician to the best psychologist in Singapore, you will most likely undergo a form of psychotherapy during your treatment. The psychology center might also refer you to a psychiatrist if you need medication for your emotional or mental distress while working closely with a psychotherapist who specializes in a psychotherapy that can best address your problems.

What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy, because unlike the primary treatment method used by a psychiatrist, a recommended psychologist or psychotherapist is concerned with the emotional and mental well-being of the person (the psychiatrist deals with the physical symptoms of severe mental and emotional illnesses, although they can also perform counselling or psychotherapy). If you were recommended to a psychology center at a hospital for relationship counselling for example, it means that the doctor things you need to be able to deal with issues in your life in a focused and constructive way.

Now, all mental and emotional distress will need medication unless the symptoms interrupt your daily life, that is why people go through counselling for issues related to relationships, work, and painful experiences. Even those without any mental distress can also seek help when they are going through difficult times in their career, marriage, and a stressful condition. One such example is marriage counselling, which will help couples deal with difficult issues such as divorce.

Generally, psychotherapy is grouped into behavior therapy, psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, cognitive therapy, humanistic-existential therapy, and holistic therapy. During your treatment, you might encounter any of these psychotherapeutic methods at the psychology center.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This type of cognitive behavior approach is recommended by a psychologist for patients with suicidal tendencies and borderline personality disorder. The method was developed by Marsha Linehan to help patients manage their thoughts and actions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This approach deals with both the person’s beliefs and thoughts and how these factors affect the mood and actions. You will encounter this method during counselling sessions with a psychologist for addictions. The psychologist in Singapore will help the patients bring awareness to a pattern of thinking or any unhealthy action, habits, and behavior. The term cognitive-behavioral emphasizes the connection between how a person sees things, what he/she tells himself/herself, and the feelings and acts that result from those two.

Interpersonal Therapy. This approach may be recommended by the psychology center for patients with depression, especially when the illness is related to unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships at home or at work. This may be used during a relationship counselling and a marriage counselling, due to the stressful nature of the problem. The goal is to help the patients determine how the bouts of depression can cause more problems and how they are supposed to deal with it through improved communication with other people.

Family Systems Therapy. The psychologist in Singapore will also refer to this as marriage counselling or relationship counselling, although other members of the family are also encouraged to attend the talk therapy. The goal is to change or to nurture the good relationship of the family members. Why should a family undergo this type of talk therapy? It comes from the idea that a person’s emotional and mental well-being may be understood in a larger context instead of looking at the individual only.

By being able to understand the dynamics within a certain group (the family), the psychologist might be able to help everyone who is affected. It’s not about exposing “dirty family secrets” to a stranger, but to address how these issues affect other life aspects of the family members. The psychologist might use different techniques (communication training, genogram, and systemic interpretation) and other talk therapies during the treatment.

Psychodynamic Therapy. This talk therapy is used with other psychotherapy methods to help patients with various mental disorders become aware and to understand their own actions. The psychologist will guide the patient in understanding how the non-conscious feeling can affect their behavior.

Hypnotherapy. This might sound like it’s straight from a suspense or horror film, but clinical hypnosis has been shown to be effective in treating emotional and mental disorders. The psychologist places the patient in a trance-like state to make them focus on hypnotic suggestions to break destructive habits or to help them relax. Don’t worry though, because the psychologist isn’t going to turn you into a mindless doll. The effect is less dramatic than that, because the method only uses relaxation and repetition to help the patient.

Expressive Therapy. As the name suggests, this method helps patients through music, art, writing, drama, and other forms of art. The approach can be used for a variety of problems including learning disabilities and mild depression. Expressive therapy stems from the belief that people can heal themselves through creative expression.

Cognitive-Behavioral Hypnotherapy. This approach uses both the cognitive behavior therapy and hypnosis to help patients deal with pain and trauma. The method is usually recommended for patients with anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, habit disorders, and sexual dysfunction. The use of this method is based on the belief of the cognitive mediation’s role in learning, which means that the person’s pattern of thoughts will determine how he/she will respond to stimuli. By using suggestive hypnosis, the psychologist hopes to help the patient mediate the patient’s belief system and consequently change his/her actions and thoughts gradually.

Play Therapy. You will usually find this approach used by a child psychologist, because play can help the child create a connection with the psychotherapist. Research suggests that it is possible to understand a child’s problem by observing how he/she plays. A child psychologist is well-trained in dealing with children, who are usually more expressive of their thoughts and emotions than adults.

Through a proper diagnosis the psychologist can help the child become empathic, expressive, and respectful in their expressions. This is recommended for children who have experienced trauma, abuse, family crisis, and those who have an illness, learning disability, depression, autism spectrum, and behavioral disorders.

Importance of STD Screening

A lot of people believe that STD screening should only be done if you are sexually active or have more than one intimate partners. But not all sexually-transmitted diseases can be acquired through intimate encounters. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of people getting infected from shared needles and blood transfusion. Some newborns are also infected because the parents are not aware that one or both of them are infected. And finally, there is the stigma of STD testing.

STD Screening is for Everyone

A lot of cases of STD infection are not diagnosed because the person is not aware that he/she is infected. Misinformation and ignorance about the diseases contribute to rise of STDs. STD screening, however, should be treated as necessary as getting annual physical exams in adults. STDs can cause life-threatening complications if not treated early. Some, like most cases of human papillomavirus are common and would disappear after a while. But there are infections that could damage other organs such as hepatitis B and C or expose your body to opportunistic illnesses such as having a sexually transmitted disease called human immunodeficiency virus.

Early STD Treatments

What is scary about STDs that you need to check at a STD screening test at Singapore is that a lot of them often don’t show symptoms unless the disease has caused permanent damage. Some show symptoms similar to other conditions. That is why the only sure way to know if you are infected is to get an STD screening. A lot of them a curable too. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea can all be cured if the person undergoes STD testing early. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women and epididymitis in men. There is also a greater chance of becoming infertile. Herpes simplex virus and HIV are both incurable but early detection can help reduce the symptoms. There are treatments for both herpes and HIV available in Singapore hospitals and clinics today.

Getting Infected

Not all STDs can be prevented by using contraceptives alone such as condoms so you and your partner should both get an STD screening. Sometimes contact with sores on an infected person is all that takes. You don’t even have to have genital to genital contact to get infected. There are only three ways to get infected. STDs can also be transmitted through contact with infected blood and blood products or it can be passed on from mother to a newborn. You will not get infected, however, by simply touching, hugging, kissing, sharing food utensils or talking to an infected person.

Recommended Testing

How often should you be tested for STDs? High-risk individuals or those who are involved with more than one intimate partner should undergo STD testing regularly. Adolescents aged 13 and above should also get tested especially if they are sexually-active. But that’s not all. You need to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, medical history, and risk factors so he/she can recommend the type of test that you will need and how often you should be tested. You should be screened once a year for the following STDs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV. Expectant mothers or women who are planning to have a baby should be tested for hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. If you have shared needles or drug injection tools, you should be tested for HIV.

STD Testing at Home

You could buy STD testing kits at pharmacies. Experts advise to ask about the method from your doctor first. That is because there might be factors that could affect the result of the tests such as your medication and the type of test kit you purchased. The doctor will also recommend a second test at the clinic if you have tested positive in your home testing kit. There are test kits for chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and HIV that you can purchase from STD testing clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers in Singapore.

STD Testing at Clinics or Hospitals

You should set an appointment at an STD screening clinic in Singapore. Before an STD test is done, you will be interviewed about your medical history, lifestyle and sexual practices, and previous cases of any sexually transmitted disease. You will have to share information regarding the barrier methods or contraceptives you use, if your partner has a history of STD, if you are experiencing any symptoms, how many intimate partners you’ve had and which body parts were used during the act. The doctor will then do a physical examination to check if you have symptoms. You have to be honest with the doctor when you’re providing all the information. This could help make the diagnosis and treatment much easier.

Treating HIV-Positive Pregnant Woman

Ideally, couples who are planning to have a baby will be advised to undergo HIV testing and STD testing, but some individuals may not be aware that they have contracted HIV through methods other than sexual contact. In such cases, a pregnant woman will be advised to include an HIV screening during her first prenatal visit and another during the third trimester.

The goal of treating a pregnant woman with anonymous HIV testing in Singapore is to reduce the risk of transmission to the infant during pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing stages. The treatment used for adolescents and adults are like those recommended for pregnant women. There is no risk of having birth defects from taking HIV medication, but care must be taken when selecting the best HIV regimen to reduce life-threatening side effects.

Diagnosing STDs

One barrier to STD testing is the expense. The only affordable testing methods used are for HIV and syphilis. That is why you have to talk to the doctor about the symptoms so that he/she can recommend the best method available. The testing is usually done more than once especially if you are undergoing treatment. You should treat the expenses as necessary because it could save you o or your partner’s life. If you’re planning to have a baby, you have to get tested. There is no one STD testing for all types of STD. The tests are done to look specifically for the presence of the virus, bacteria or parasite in the samples. There will also be indications in the samples such as the presence of antibodies that target the specific infection.

STD Treatments

Most STDs can be treated. Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea which are bacterial infections are treated using antibiotics. Trichomoniasis, which is a parasitic infection, can also be treated using antibiotics. Hepatitis B is treated using antiviral medication and immune system modulators. HIV and herpes are treated using antivirals, but they cannot be cured presently.

Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack: What’s the Difference?

The terms cardiac arrest and heart attack have been often interchangeably used by a number of people in Singapore, but these two conditions differ from each other. While a great number of heart attacks do not necessarily lead to a cardiac arrest, having a heart attack is one common cause of a cardiac arrest.

What is a cardiac arrest?
Ask any cardiologist and they’re likely to let you know that a cardiac arrest is more of an ‘electrical’ problem. The condition happens when the heart begins to malfunction and unexpectedly stops beating. Your heart specialist would say the condition is caused by an electrical malfunction in the heart, which is the reason why you have an abnormal heartbeat or Arrhythmia.

Since the normal pumping pattern of the organ is disrupted, it cannot pump enough blood for the lungs, brain, and other organs for their usual functioning.

What happens during a cardiac arrest?
When a cardiac arrest happens, the patient turns unresponsive and may even stop breathing or only gasp. It can also be fatal, thus immediate treatment by a cardiologist from Singapore must be provided to the victim in order to prevent serious complications. Knowing the nearest heart doctor or cardiology center helps in such times of emergency.

What should you do?
You don’t need to be the best cardiologist in Singapore to provide assistance to a victim suffering from cardiac arrest. As a matter of fact, the condition can be reversible if it’s treated immediately within the first few minutes. Don’t forget to call emergency medical services for help (995), and begin to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you have adequate medical background.

By the time an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is made available, make sure the patient uses it as soon as possible. Given the chances of a cardiac arrest occurring at the most unlikely places during the most unlikely hours, if two people are available to assist the patient – one should provide CPR while the other must remain calm and stern in calling 995 and finding an available AED nearby.

What is a heart attack?
Contrary to a cardiac arrest’s ‘electrical’ problem, a heart specialist would know that a heart attack is more of a ‘circulation’ problem. The condition occurs when the regular blood flow to the heart is blocked. Having a blocked artery may prevent the blood (which carries oxygen) to reach a particular section of the heart.

Any cardiologist knows how a heart attack can be dangerous. If the blocked artery is not immediately reopened, the specific part of the heart which normally gets nourished by that particular artery begins to perish and cease to fulfill normal function.

What happens during a heart attack?
If you frequently visit your cardiologist for a heart screening, you can ask them about the common symptoms of a heart attack for your knowledge. This would help you deal with the problem during the unfortunate moment it may happen to you or a loved one.

Common symptoms of a heart attack include the following: shortness of breath, intense discomfort in the chest (general upper body), nausea/vomiting, and cold sweats. It is important to note that these symptoms tht you can read from http://www.harleystreet.sg/blog/heart-health-get-screened-by-a-good-cardiologist-in-singapore/ begin to appear in a gradual pace, meaning it may persist for days or even weeks before the occurrence of a heart attack.

Contrary to a cardiac arrest, the heart typically doesn’t cease to beat in the event of a heart attack. However, the longer the person remains untreated and unassessed by a heart doctor, the greater damage the heart attack may inflict on him/her.

Heart attack symptoms may also vary between genders. For instance, women may experience different symptoms compared to men. This may include nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, and jaw or back pain.

What should you do?
A heart attack may happen to just about anyone regardless of healthy heart results during your regular heart screening procedure. Because of varying age, gender, or lifestyle factors – anyone can be prone to the risk of a mild or acute heart attack at some point in time.

In dealing with a heart attack, you must first call 995 in Singapore for emergency medical assistance. Remember that every second matters. Calling the emergency medical services (EMS) right away can help you get the patient to the emergency room as soon as possible. This is important; considering the longer you prolong treatment to a heart attack victim, the greater danger he/she might face in the future.

Treatment can begin as soon as emergency medical professionals arrive at the scene. They are trained to handle emergency circumstances with ease, and some staff are even well-versed at trying to revive someone whose heart has ceased to beat. Heart attack patients who arrive by the ambulance car are also likely to receive faster treatment at the hospital, increasing the chances of survival.

What’s the link between the two?
Generally, heart attacks do not lead further to a full-blown cardiac arrest. But a heart attack is one common cause in the event of a cardiac arrest. The link between the two conditions is so close that a lot of people mistakenly refer to one condition as the other and vice versa.

There are also other health conditions which may disrupt the natural rhythm of the heart. Oftentimes, these cases lead to a cardiac arrest.

Every second counts in the event of a cardiac arrest or a heart attack. Even if you remain unsure which condition is the patient suffering from, whether it’s a heart attack or a full-blown cardiac arrest, always seek emergency medical help ASAP the moment you notice the symptoms. Keep a watchful eye out for red flags, as they might save your life in the long run.

Note: This list is compiled in no particular order.

Choosing Your Child’s First Bicycle

Unlike adults learning to ride the bicycle for the first time, children will eventually outgrow their bikes even if you make it a point to upgrade the bicycle accessories as the child’s skills improve. So, is there a difference in the type of bicycle an adult beginner needs from a young beginner?

When choosing your child’s first bike at the bicycle shop in Singapore, you need to take note of these factors.

1. Bike Size. The first thing to consider is finding the right bike size for your child’s age and height, not only because he/she will have a hard time handling a large bike, but more importantly, choosing the wrong size could lead to accidents. While trying the bicycle is the surest way to determine if it’s the right size for your child, there is also a formula that you can follow when looking for a new bike at the bicycle shop.

Seat Height. This category is the most accurate way to tell if the child is using the right bike size. Although there are recommendations of bike sizes in bicycle shops for certain ages, the height of the child should be the determining factor. The height of the handlebar versus minimum seat height also differ among brands, that is why it’s better to let the kid try the bike before purchasing.
Bike Pedal. Children will need special pedals for their first bicycle, especially if they are still learning how to balance or are not yet used to using the brakes. The attendant at any bicycle shop in Singapore might recommend models with pedals that match the minimum seat height to make it easier for the child to use his/her feet when stopping the bike.
Standover Height. This refers to the height required by the bicycle rider to stand over the bike. For children, a minimum of 1 to 2 inches of clearance between the inseam and the top tube is required to avoid any injuries.
Tire Size. This refers to the diameter of the bicycle tires, but looking for the right size can be tricky because not all brands recommend the same tire size for children. Depending on your child’s height, you can start with a 12-inch tire or a 14-inch tire. Most brands recommend the 12-inch tire for kids 4 years and younger, while the largest tires at 2 inches are recommended for kids 7 to 10 years. This should only serve as a guide, however.

2. Bike Weight. Although ideally, a child’s bike should weigh less than 40% of his/her body weight, most bikes are essentially heavy. The trick is to find the lightest bicycle at the bicycle shop with a quality and sturdy frame and complete bicycle accessories, such as handbrakes.

3. Bike Width. This refers to the distance between the edges of the inside of the pedals or the Q-factor. When trying out bicycles at the bicycle shop in Singapore, look for models that will allow your child to create efficient pedal stroke without having to splay his/her legs too far apart.

4. Bike Accessories. If your child is still new to the hobby, make sure to purchase bicycle accessories that will help prevent any injuries, such as; coaster brakes, hand brakes, reflectors, training wheels for beginners or specialty handbrakes. You should also include safety bicycle accessories such as a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.