Mental health care is important – and more affordable than you might think. Here are six professional and experienced mental health services providers offering budget-friendly counselling and therapy sessions.
How’s your mental health these days?
After almost two years of a disrupted life, stripped of familiar schedules and freedoms we once took for granted, it’s not surprising to find yourself feeling off balance and acting out in uncharacteristic ways.
Between the suffocating (literally, during hot afternoons) boredom of working from home, having to deal with social distancing rules and restrictions when we go out, and heightened anxiety with every cough or sniffle – it’s a lot to deal with.
Maybe the increased sense of loss of control is triggering worsening behaviours and more negative thoughts – which could be a sign of unresolved issues coming to the surface – making it even harder to endure the current conditions.
In any case, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of not only physical, but also mental health.
While there is increased attention and awareness of the subject, for some, mental health continues to remain a murky and nebulous concept.
But psychological pain is just as real – and unhealthy – as physical ones, and you don’t have to suffer in silence or ‘live with it’. Professional, effective help is readily available, and at more affordable prices than you’d expect!
Psychologist, psychiatrist or counsellor – which should I choose?
|Education and training||Bachelor’s to Doctorate in psychology||Medical doctor’s degree||Can vary from certificate course to university degree and beyond|
|How they help||Primarily by offering psychotherapy and counselling||Can perform psychotherapy, and also prescribe medications and electroconvulsive therapy.||Works together with the client to deal with life’s issues, difficulties, disappointments or distress|
Psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry and counselling all aim to help individuals overcome their mental and psychological issues.
As such, there is a high degree of overlap, and laypersons may find it difficult trying to decide which of these disciplines they should go for.
The table above is a rough guide to help you discern the differences between how a psychologist (or psychotherapist), psychiatrist and counsellor helps their patients, as well as an understanding of their training and background.
But don’t get too hung up on the differences. At the end of the day, what’s most important is finding a mental health professional that you are able to work well with in resolving your issues.
This may take a few tries with a few different practitioners, as each will have their therapy styles which may or may not suit you.
And whatever you do, don’t give up – wanting to get better is half the battle!
Caution: Refer to these resources for crisis situations
If you or someone you know is in danger or facing a crisis, you need immediate help. Please use these resources instead:
- Emergency medical services: Call 995 or approach the A&E department of any hospital
- Suicide prevention and crisis hotlines:
- National CARE Hotline: 1800 202 6868.
- Samaritans of Singapore: 1800 221 4444
- Mental health emergency helplines:
- IMH: 6389 2222
- Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800 283 7019
- TOUCH Community Services (Youths): 1800 377 2252
6 highly experienced and professional mental health services providers in Singapore
|Clinic||Areas of specialisation||Rates|
|Talk Your Heart Out||Work-related stress |
|Introductory session: S$90 to S$110|
Single session: S$120 to S$140
Package of three sessions: S$330 to S$400
|The Lion Mind||Career counselling|
Social phobia Obsessive-compulsive issues
|Individual counselling (50 mins): S$100|
Psychological assessment/diagnosis (3 hours): S$980
Gottman Couple therapy
|Standard session (50 mins): From S$235.40|
Couple session (80 mins): From S$353.10
Emergency out of hours session (50 mins): From S$321
Emergency phone calls: S$85.60 per 10 mins
|Raffles Counselling Centre||Individual and family counselling|
|Counsellor or psychologist: From S$150|
Psychiatrist: From S$200
Emergency/After office hours: From S$600
|ImPossible Psychological Services||Adult mental health|
Couples counselling and marriage therapy
Child and adolescent services
|First consultation (individual, 90 mins): From S$150|
Individual session (60 mins): From S$150
Dyad/couple session (60 mins): From S$280
Phone calls (10 mins): From S$25
Sessions outside regular clinic hours: Additional S$40
Session by associate psychologist or counsellor: S$100
|Singapore Counselling Centre||Addiction|
Children and Youth counselling
Financial or debt issues
Obsessive compulsive disorder
|Individual: From S$170|
Couple: From S$220
Child and youth: From S$150
Family counselling: From S$340
Package rates available
Talk Your Heart Out
An online portal specialising in Internet counselling sessions and mental health therapy, Talk Your Heart Out (TYHO) offers an easy and convenient channel for getting the help you need.
Simply sign up for an account on the website, browse through the profiles of the available therapists, and book an appointment. All sessions are conducted online, so there’s no need for you to make a visit to the office (although in-person consultations are also available with an added fee). This also means that you are able to receive counselling outside of traditional office hours.
Perhaps the best thing about TYHO is its large roster of highly trained and experienced counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists, each with different areas of specialisation.
There’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a mental health professional that’s suited for your needs. And because there are several therapists available, you very likely do not have to wait long periods for a slot to open up too.
Sessions are also pretty affordable, with introductory sessions starting at S$90 and regular sessions from S$120 each. So if you’re looking for affordable, convenient counselling or therapy with a large selection of therapists to choose from, TYHO should be your first choice.
The Lion Mind
Counselling hours: Mon to Sun – 12pm to 9pm
Address: No. 1 Sophia Road, #06-31, Peace Centre, Singapore 228149
Tel: 9677 6878
The Lion Mind is a registered non-profit organisation in Singapore. Through its counselling services, it aims to strengthen an individual’s positive mind and coping mechanisms, provide a platform for practicing clinicians to gain the necessary competencies in providing clinical care, and, to educate the public on the importance of a healthy mind.
Within its gaily coloured therapy room – populated by cutesy cartoon characters and colourful cushions – The Lion Mind offers therapy sessions covering a wide range of common mental health issues.
These include counselling for social phobia, anxiety, depression, grief and obsessive-compulsive issues, alongside career counselling and stress-related counselling.
Also offered are psychological assessment services by trained professionals, covering two areas: behaviour assessment of children, as well as a Structured Interview for DSM-5, the latter of which is used to ascertain a formal diagnosis of psychological dysfunctions.
The Lion Mind is another counselling provider with extremely affordable rates. Individual sessions last 50 minutes and are charged at S$100 each.
Operated by an international team of counsellors and psychologists, Alliance Counselling offers mental health therapy across a wide range of modules and languages.
The multilingual team is capable of conducting therapy and counselling sessions in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Hindi and Dutch.
Alliance Counselling’s repertoire is equally wide-ranging, running the gamut from counselling and psychotherapy for common mental health issues, to more specialised modalities like Gottman couple’s counselling, walk-and-talk therapy, sex therapy and post-natal therapy.
You can choose to have your sessions in-person, or opt for online counselling over the Internet. In dire circumstances, Alliance Counselling also offers emergency phone support.
The rates here are slightly higher, starting from S$235.40 for a standard 50-minute session.
Counselling hours: Mon to Fri – 8.30am to 6pm, Sat – 8.30am to 1pm
Level 8, Raffles Specialist Centre 585 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188770
#05-01 to 11, 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
Tel: 6311 2330
Raffles Medical Group has an entire branch focusing on mental healthcare named, aptly enough, Raffles Counselling.
This specialist clinic offers psychotherapy and psychiatry services, and is well equipped to tackle individual and family therapy, behaviour change and dispensing of appropriate medication.
Raffles Counselling also specialises in providing psychological testing for a wide range of needs such as organic brain injuries, IQ and career counselling, psychological profiling for employment, psychiatric legal problems, psychological screening for maids and other psychological testing such as 16PF, MMPI, IQ tests, etc.
The clinic’s multidisciplinary staff of therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are versed in couple and family care, child and adolescent services, and art and music therapy, ensuring there’s a wide range of strategies to suit your needs.
And if you’re under the impression that the Raffles branding means high fees, rest assured that rates here are pretty competitive and affordable. Individual sessions start from S$150 for psychotherapy or counselling, and S$200 for psychiatry services.
ImPossible Psychological Services
ImPossible Psychological Services is a band of merry psychologists and counsellors dedicated to helping individuals with mental health issues and couples develop healthy, mature relationships.
The team doesn’t prescribe psychiatric medications, and instead offers a wide variety of recognised psychotherapy modalities to help individuals deal with and overcome current or long-standing issues.
Some of the modalities offered by ImPossible include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Choice Theory and Reality Therapy (CTRT), Schema Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy and Art Therapy, forming a collective toolbox of drug-free treatment strategies.
Their rates are also highly competitive, starting from S$150 for an initial consultation and individual sessions.
They also offer sessions by Associate Therapists and Counsellors – Masters-level practitioners who are working towards certification – at a reduced rate of S$100 per session, which is useful for those who have a limited budget to work with.
If you’re worried about the quality of care under an Associate, know that your case will be supervised by ImPossible’s senior clinical psychologist.
Singapore Counselling Centre
Singapore Counselling Centre (SCC) is the official counselling services division of the Academy of Certified Counsellors, a pioneering organisation in the mental health services sector here. It was set up to deliver professional quality counselling and psychological services with the aim to treat a large range of issues and disorders.
Some of the issues they specialise in include addiction, divorce, eating disorders, financial or debt problems, gambling, etc. The team is also experienced in handling a variety of therapy needs, ranging from individual to couple, children and adolescent and family counselling.
Besides offering counselling services, SCC also provides a series of mental health workshops that are useful in helping to deal with the stresses of daily living. These range from subjects such as psychological first aid to premarital counselling to art and music therapy.
Counselling sessions are priced in two tiers – with a slight premium charged for a senior practitioner – but remain largely affordable.
Those who require more sessions or a longer course of therapy can sign up for package rates to enjoy bulk discounts, making each individual session less taxing on the wallet.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.