In primary school, a close friend of mine related her father’s recent death to me. She told me tearfully, of her father’s losing battle with cancer and how helpless she felt. I had no idea what to do, so I stayed close to her and lent her my ears. Eventually, her tears dried up and it filled me with a sense of gratification knowing that I was able to give my friend some measure of comfort in her most difficult time. I knew then that whatever career I would pursue, it would be one where I would spend my time, knowledge and skills helping others.

I completed my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Leeds, UK. Later, after finding passion in research and statistics I decided to pursue a Masters degree in Psychological Research (Bangor University, Wales, UK). This provided me with the perfect platform to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). I was placed in the Department of Psychiatry in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) during my training. There, I obtained a wealth of experience conducting psychological assessments and interventions for adolescents and adults for a wide range of disorders such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, anger outbursts and many more.

At a very early age, I have always found myself to be fascinated with movies about identity confusion and self-harm. I often wonder what would push an individual to such an extent, where self-harm becomes and actual and feasible option for them. With that in mind, my Masters thesis looked at the psychology behind self-harm in prisoners. This area proved fascinating, such that I am currently furthering my research in this area as a PhD under Project Air Strategy with University of Wollongong, Australia. I am looking at the provision of treatment for prisoners who self-harm by using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), a variation of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to better treat problems associated with borderline personality disorder such as repeated self-harming, identity confusion and unstable relationships.

I also adopt an eclectic approach to therapy where I combine multiple orientations such as CBT, Solution-Focused Therapy and Person-Centered Therapy, tailoring my techniques to suit each individual client to help them achieve their goals and needs. Just recently as part of my PhD, I was trained in Wollongong, Australia in DBT and I am looking forward to using the skills I have acquired with my clients here.

People say, “pain is pleasure”, but the “pleasure” part will only temporarily distract you from your negative emotional state. As with any other problems, having someone to talk to would help tremendously in reducing the hurt. If you or anyone you know is in need of some assistance in dealing with emotional or psychological distress, please do not be afraid to come forward and reach out. I will be more than willing to be that person to provide the support for you.

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