Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Open Access
    The Indigenous Counselling Framework (ICF) for school counselling in Singapore
    (1999-12)
    The Indigenous Counselling Framework (ICF) was derived from an empirical study conducted in Singapore. It provides a culturally relevant framework for counselling with Singaporean students. The ICF is based on two premises. Firstly, counselling is originated from Western culture and its belief systems about the cause and treatment of psychological problems may not be consistent with those of the Singaporean clients. When counselling with students, teacher-counsellors should be aware of their students’ perceptions about psychological problems. They have to match counselling modalities (e.g., psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural, humanistic, or religious-spiritual models) with the students’ beliefs because more positive outcomes in counselling may come about through converging the counsellor’s and client’s belief systems. Secondly, a holistic counselling approach is culturally more appropriate in the Singapore context. The ICF, which perceives individual’s problems in a larger context, consists of several interdependent systems: the person, immediate family system, extended family system, micro-social system, macro-social system, and natural-ecological system. All systems are inter-related to each other; changes or disturbances in one system may lead to changes and disturbances in another. As adolescents’ concerns are always related to their families, peer groups, and schools; the ICF will provide teacher-counsellors with a more comprehensive picture for planning intervention programmes
      346  400
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Application of health psychology in the school setting: Adolescent cigarette smoking
    (1999-12)
    Health psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology concerned with the dynamic interrelationship of behaviour and psychological states with physical health. The changing patterns of illness and death as a result of having more cases of chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases and diabetes increase the significance of health psychology. These chronic illnesses are related to inappropriate health behaviours such as smoking, unbalanced diet and substance abuse; and psychological factors such as stress. Psychology, as a science of behaviour, has the role in modifying behaviours implicated in chronic illnesses. Clearly, it also plays a significant role in the school settings where there is a high incidence of smoking, obesity, myopia, and diabetes amongst teenagers. Effective learning is not merely a cognitive or emotional process but is tied up with good physical health. In this regard, teachers can collaborate with health psychologists in implementing school based preventive programmes to identify high-risk health behaviour, and treatment programmes such as smoking cessation and weight control exercise.
      149  130
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Journeying through different mythic worlds: The healing story of Jing
    The global mental health movement (GMHM) seeks to close the treatment gap in low- and middle-income countries including those in Southeast Asia. However, the GMHM has been criticized for its overemphasis on a Eurocentric approach to mental health care, ignoring the diversity of knowledge and resources in local communities. Given the pluralistic health care systems in most Southeast Asian countries, people may utilize both Indigenous healing and Western mental health services. Therefore, indigenous healing systems can be integrated into mental health care to offer additional resources to local people to cope with emotional distress. Using a single case study approach, this article aims to explore the therapeutic aspects of indigenous healing systems relevant to mental health care. The case is about Jing, a Chinese woman who simultaneously consulted psychiatrists, a dang-ki (Chinese shaman/spirit medium), and a traditional Chinese medicine physician in Singapore. I attempt to answer three questions. First, what is Jing’s experience of seeking help from different forms of healing systems? Second, what are the therapeutic aspects of indigenous healing systems relevant to mental health care? Third, what are the challenges for reconciling the experiential truth with the empirical truth? Based on her narrative, although these healing systems were structured in different mythic worlds and explanatory models, Jing found all of them helpful without experiencing any cognitive dissonance. This may be because she did not passively respond to the treatments but actively negotiated her expectations with the healers, constructed meanings, and adopted a pragmatic attitude to meet her needs.
    Scopus© Citations 2  15
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Transformation in dang-ki healing: The embodied self and perceived legitimacy
    Since spirit possession in mediumship and shamanism resembles psychotic symptoms, early researchers perceived spirit mediums and shamans as psychiatric patients whose psychopathology was culturally sanctioned. However, other researchers have not only challenged this assumption, but also proposed that spirit possession has transformative benefits. The idiom of spirit possession provides cultural meanings for spirit mediums and shamans to express and transform their personal experiences. The present case study focuses on dang-ki healing, a form of Chinese mediumship practiced in Singapore, in which a deity possesses a human (i.e., dang-ki) to offer aid to supplicants. This study seeks to explore whether involvement in dang-ki healing is transformative; and if so, how the dang-ki's transformation is related to his self and the perceived legitimacy of his mediumship. At a shrine, I interviewed 20 participants, including a male dang-ki, 10 temple assistants, and nine clients. The results obtained were supportive of the therapeutic nature of spirit possession. First, there is a relationship between his self-transformation and the perceived legitimacy of his mediumship. As his clients and community have recognized his spirit possession as genuine, and the healing power of his possessing god, he is able to make use of mediumship as a means for spiritual development. Second, he has developed his spirituality by internalizing his god’s positive traits (e.g., compassion). Deities worshipped in dang-ki healing can be conceptualized as ideal selves who represent a wide range of positive traits and moral values of Chinese culture. Thus, the possession of a deity is the embodiment of an ideal self. Finally, the dang-ki's transformation may run parallel to his god’s transformation. In Chinese religions, gods have to constantly develop their spirituality even though they are already gods. An understanding of the god’s spiritual development further sheds light on the dang-ki's self-transformation.
    WOS© Citations 6Scopus© Citations 9  102  284