Yuka is an officially Licensed Psychologist in Japan, Licensed Psychotherapist / Marriage and Family Therapist in California, US, and Registered Counsellor (SAC) and Registered Practitioner (APACS). Full member of Singapore Psychological Society (SPS), Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC) and Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors in Singapore (APACS).
She offers therapy to individuals, adults, adolescents, children, couples, and groups with issues such as grief and loss, depression, anxiety, relationships, trauma and abuse, life transition, marriage and divorce, including pre-marital counseling.
She has been trained in the field of counseling, served in counseling centers in both in the US (JFK Community Counseling Center in Sunnyvale, CA) and Singapore (SAGE Counselling Centre for elderly and caregivers) since 1998. Also she provided school counseling for children, adolescents, and their parents in elementary and middle schools in the Cupertino Union School District in California (John Muir Elementary School, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, De Vargas Elementary School and Hyde Middle School).
After getting her official license in US, she was providing counseling and psychotherapy in several places including the Psychological Services Department at the College of San Mateo, Alta Mira Counseling in San Jose, Nihon Bay Clinic in San Mateo, and Christian Counseling Center in Mountain View and Los Altos, Japanese Association Clinic in Singapore, and now at Annabelle Psychology in Novena, Singapore and Japan Green Clinic in Orchard, Singapore. Yuka has had a successful private practice since 2007. She also enjoys facilitating educational classes such as self-care, mindfulness, marriage, parenting and giving talks in the local community.
She studied psychology as a major subject at Ritsumeikan University and Keio University in Japan, and completed her postgraduate studies in social work, receiving training and counseling at the National University of Singapore and in counseling psychology at John F. Kennedy University in California, US.
She has been a member of American Psychological Association (APA), Singapore Psychological Society (SPS), Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC), Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors Singapore (APACS) and California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
Psychotherapy is described as a method of treating psychological/mental disorders and distress, primarily through communication and the use of scientifically validated procedures. Through these processes, clients are able to learn coping mechanisms towards the particular illness or source of stress they may be dealing with, by developing a healthier mindset and habits.
There is a wide range of psychotherapy techniques which are used depending on the client’s conditions, however, the main similarity between them is that the treatment is primarily verbal. Also known as talk therapy, communicating by verbalising thoughts and internal conflicts is the key to overcoming the problematic situation. By working together with a psychotherapist, clients are able to clearly identify their source of distress and overcome the obstacles that are causing their mental or social discomfort.
Dealing with primarily Japanese clients, Yuka specialises in sessions with clients facing adjustment disorders, being unused to a sudden change in environment or lifestyle. Adjustment disorders include stress and sadness resulting from trigger events such as a divorce, general life changes, health issues in yourself or a loved one, moving away from your home or financial issues. Patients may experience themselves reacting irrationally or excessively to minor life stressors. All symptoms of anxiety and depression in adjustment disorders occur within three months that the stressor has taken place and last no longer than six months after it has ended.
Like depression, it is normal for everybody to feel anxious from time to time however, clinical anxiety which requires treatment involves more severe symptoms which interfere with daily activities. Common behaviours include fear to leave the house, cross the street or entering closed spaces which may seem irrational to other people.
Depression can be mainly divided into two types being “regular” depression which everybody experiences when they feel under the weather or clinical depression which requires treatment. Clinical depression is regarded as a mood disorder which causes symptoms such as a sudden lack of interest in anything including actions that normally bring pleasure, a constant feeling of sadness and in serious cases, losing the motivation to carry on with simple daily activities. The common types of depression include
To categorise psychotherapy largely, it can be summarised into individual therapy, couple therapy, group therapy and family therapy
Individual therapy is for clients who wish to address their patterns of thinkings freely. In response, the counsellor can offer a non-judgemental perspective on the issue to help them come to better terms with those feelings.
Couple therapy offers help for clients who may be facing relationship struggles due to changes in a life circumstance, feeling more distant, frequent arguments, problems controlling jealousy or anger or recovering from affairs etc. Counsellors suggest ways to rebuild communication and conflict resolution skills for a more satisfying relationship on both sides.
Group therapy is intended for those who want to improve their ability to interact and handle problems in a group situation. By each member of the group addressing their interpersonal problems and interacting with each other and the therapist, the group will be able to grow not just collectively but as individuals.
Family therapy focuses on building a healthier family relationship through interactions and addressing the psychological situation of each family member. The therapist can influence conversations, taking in the social, financial, cultural and religious context of the family to offer the most beneficial ways each member can support each other.
In regards to couple or family therapy, as a counsellor who has trained in the US, apart from Japanese clients, Yuka specialises in offering psychotherapy sessions for international couples or families as well. (eg. a Japanese client with a Singaporean partner)
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy which combines practices of mindfulness and cognitive therapy to treat different kinds of psychological distress. Mindfulness is a practice of Buddhism which involves practising breathing exercises and mindful meditation. By incorporating this into cognitive therapy which involves making the clients realise the relationship between their thoughts and feelings, it allows them to accept their negative emotions instead of avoiding them. Through accepting, clients can establish healthier coping mechanisms with negative thought patterns as the regular practice of meditation allows them to control their emotions better when feeling underwhelmed.
The programme is normally used to treat clients with stress, depression, anxiety or any repetitive thoughts or emotions and lasts up to 8 weeks. Most of the practice is done outside of class as the clients are recommended to self-direct the concepts that the therapist suggests to them and incorporate the mindfulness activities into their everyday lifestyle.
Yuka Aiga Tay, Japanese Speaking Counsellor, Marriage and Family Therapist in Singapore
相賀ゆか / シンガポール 在住 カウンセラー・結婚家族療法士