Joanne Leong
Clinical Psychologist

 
 
 

My interest in psychology was first kindled when I found myself being drawn to television shows such as ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Lie to Me’ – which delve into the various aspects of human behaviour. This intrigue led me to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sunway University (with a joint award from Lancaster University, UK). I procured a 3-month internship placement at Sunway Medical Centre and was placed under the supervision of a Clinical Psychologist, where I was able to engage in role-plays and assist in the conducting of mental health workshops for allied health professionals and university students. Having had a glimpse into the role of a Clinical Psychologist, I was certain that this was how I wanted to contribute to society.

I took up a position as a Research Assistant and had the opportunity to conduct psychological assessments with preschool children. Subsequently, I became a Personal Learning Assistant for a child with mild cerebral palsy, which entailed guiding the child towards developing daily living skills, social skills, and emotional regulation strategies. These enriching experiences set the stage for me to complete my Masters in Clinical Psychology from HELP University.

During my practicum training, I had the opportunity to work in a diverse range of settings, such as ACTS (Arrupe) Clinic, Dignity for Children Foundation, and the Malaysian Mental Health Association. I worked with individuals from different walks of life, including refugee children, adolescents, and their families. With them, I conducted psychological assessments and psychotherapeutic interventions for various psychological conditions, such as developmental disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and trauma disorders.

I have also played the role of a Wellness Coach as part of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In this role, I carried out individual coaching sessions and facilitated group and training sessions on various topics such as general wellness, stress and anxiety management, coping skills, and personality exploration in a workplace setting.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is my main therapeutic approach, although integration of other therapeutic modalities is common in my practice. I also engage in the psychodynamic approach to guide clients in exploring childhood events and defence mechanisms, which are believed to have an influence in shaping our adult personalities and behaviour.

Many people feel very much alone, overwhelmed with fears and anxieties, or weighed down by a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. I believe that therapy functions as a bridge, creating a passageway of empowerment over these obstacles of psychological and emotional distress, thereby connecting individuals to a healthy and meaningful life. In our therapy sessions, you can look forward to being heard, respected, and accepted; as we engage in a collaborative effort of identifying and honing your strengths, equipping you with coping skills, and working towards your goals. The path to change, healing, and growth may appear to be uncertain and daunting. But perhaps, it could be less so if there were another person walking alongside with you.

 
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