Marriage Counselling in Singapore: Where to Go For Professional Help
Marriage is a pledge of commitment that both spouses will love, honor and respect one another. It also assumes that each one is ready to live with each other’s idiosyncrasies. Not every marriage is perfect, and it takes a lot of work to keep the love, respect, and trust alive.
So when you feel that you and your spouse need to address some issues in your marriage, who do you turn to? Rather than dealing with it all by yourself, professional help would be much better. Here are some tips on how you can get access to marriage counselling services in Singapore.
How Do You Know You Need Marriage Counselling?
First of all, what are the signs that your marriage needs outside help? It is important to determine this first before you even contemplate of marriage counselling. As relationship experts put it, there are definite signs that show whether your marriage is in danger of falling apart.
1. You and your spouse don’ talk to each other. Communication is important in any marriage or relationship. Remember how you and your spouse used to talk to each other about anything. At some point, you had this kind of communication going, maybe before you had kids and other obligations. Counselling will help you re-open communication lines.
2. You and your spouse fight a lot. Although arguments and disagreements cannot be prevented in a marriage, when it becomes frequent, it can be unhealthy. Some couples use fights as the only way to connect with each other emotionally. Instead of showing emotion with vulnerability, couples lash out at each other about the smallest things. It can also be because you no longer talk to each other that you see fighting as the only way to communicate.
3. You and your spouse see each other as antagonists. When you got married, you promised to stand by each other until death do you part. So if you begin to see your spouse as someone who is always against you and expect the worst, it is a sure sign that your marriage needs help.
4. You or your spouse no longer feel the same way as before. Sadly, people do fall out of love for different reasons. This may manifest when one uses affection or love as a weapon, such as withholding affection as a form of punishment. It can also be that you have lost that same level of intimacy that you had before.
5. Any of you is thinking you are better off with another person. When either of you is considering of having an affair or finding another person to be with, this is a sure sign that something in your marriage is up.
6. You and your spouse keep secrets from each other. We are not talking about secrets from the past here. We are talking about things that you keep from each other that you know will have an impact on your relationship.
Marriage Counselling in Singapore
In a country like Singapore, the government looks after the welfare of its citizens in nearly every aspect of their lives. When it comes to family relationships, it is the Ministry of Social and Family Development that takes care of this. So, marriage and marriage counselling help is under this ministry’s purview.
In its website, marriage counselling is recommended for couples as early as possible, or as soon as they realize the need for. It also cites what getting professional help your marriage, from identifying the issues and conflicts and working through them, getting you and your spouse to talk and communicate, strengthening the relationship and regaining the trust and commitment for each other.
Professional help when you need it is easy to come by in the Lion City. MSFD lists private counselors and clinics, voluntary welfare organizations, family service centres, and religious groups who offer discreet and professional help. So you know where to look for help.
Where To Go: Family Service Centres
The easiest service to access for marriage counselling in Singapore is the MSF’s Family Service Centres or FSCs. There are 47 FSCs all over Singapore, which can all be found in the community. They are also by far the cheapest, with most of them providing free or subsidized services.
To avail of their services, you first need to determine the nearest FSC to your residence. Each FSC is staffed with social service professionals and you can either call, email or walk into the nearest FSC. They will be ready to help you in issues like enhancing couple relationships and other family concerns.
FSCs are usually managed by voluntary welfare organizations. You can check the MSF website for the FSC e-Locator for the nearest centre to you.
Where To Go: Voluntary Welfare Organizations
In Singapore, voluntary welfare organizations fall under the purview of the National Council of Social Service. All organizations who provide community service of any kind is registered and regulated by the NCSS.
Voluntary welfare organizations working in the field of family and counselling services are listed under the NCSS registry. So a quick search on the NCSS website shows five organizations who provide counselling services for families. Here’s a quick rundown of these organizations.
1. Association of Women for Action and Research
This is a non-profit working for women and with women. Their counselling services are offered to women only, and cover anything including marital issues and family issues.
Their counselling fees are socialized, and each session’s cost is dependent on the woman’s monthly salary. Minimum cost per 1-hour session is $20 for those who are not employed, and the maximum cost is pegged at $80. All counseling sessions are held at the AWARE Centre. To find out more about their services, call the AWARE Helpline at 1800 777 5555 (Mon-Fri, 3pm to 9.30pm).
- Location: AWARE Centre, Association of Women for Action & Research, Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22 Singapore 130005
2. Care Corner Counselling Centre
Care Corner also operates several FSCs in Singapore. It is known as the first counselling center to provide services for the Mandarin-speaking community in the city. Now, it not only provides services for Mandarin speakers but also provides support for transnational marriages.
Counselling services are provided at the Care Corner Counselling Centre in Toa Payoh. Their marital and family therapy sessions cover issues like communication and marital conflicts. To find out more about their services and programmes, you may call 6353-1180. They also run Couple’s Corner, a marriage preparation and enrichment programme for a maximum of 10 couples.
- Location: Care Corner Counselling Centre, Blk 62B Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #02-143 Singapore 312062
3. Counselling and Care Centre
Serving for more than 50 years, the CCC provides subsidized counselling services as well as enhancing the capacities of mental health professionals. They conduct therapy sessions for couple/marital therapy as well as family therapy.
They make use of a sliding scale for their service fees, which will be determined as soon as an appointment is set. Appointments can be made online through their website, or by calling 65366366 during office hours.
- Location: Counselling and Care Centre, Blk 536 Upper Cross Street, #05-241 Hong Lim Complex Singapore 050536
4. Eagles Mediation and Counselling Centre
Eagles specializes in mediation as an alternative to conflict resolution which may be needed among married couples and family members. They also offer counselling services for families and couples and trainings on mediation.
They also have a special program called Marriage Journey which includes marriage preparation and marriage enrichment. Couples who want to rediscover each other together with other couples can attend one 8-hour session or 4 session of 2 hours each. You can check the EMCC website on how to register. The workshop costs $250 to $288 per couple.
- Location: EMCC, 177 River Valley Road #05-19 (Level M5) Liang Court Singapore 179030
Where To Go: Private Counselling
For those who can afford it, private counselling centres and clinics are also an option. Take note however that service fees for counselling may be much higher. The good thing about private counselling centres is their level of customization for each couple, which is why you pay a premium to get it.
For a list of MSF accredited centers, you can check the ministry’s website: https://www.msf.gov.sg.
Here are some of the private counsellors and therapist you can also consider:
|All in the Family Counselling (Tammy Fontana)||Counselling Fees Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm
50 Minute Session: $20080 Minute Sessions: $300100 Minute Session : $400
Counselling Fees 7pm Monday to Saturday = $300
|11 Collyer Quay, 17th Floor, The Arcade, Raffles Place MRT, Singapore 049317|
|Alliance Professional Counselling||Standard 50 minutes session: $220
Standard 50 minutes session – Early Mornings, Evenings and Saturdays: $240
Gottman 80 minutes Couple Session: $330
Gottman 80 minutes Couple Session peak – Early Mornings, Evenings and Saturday: $360
Clinical Supervision Standard 50 minutes session: $220
|501 Bukit Timah Road, #04-03 Cluny Court, Singapore 259760|
|Almagaia Counselling||Individual session (50 min): SD200
Couple session (90 min): SD300
Please note that Shruti charges SD150 for individual sessions.
|Dempsey Road Block 8D #03-02B, Singapore 249672|
|Body with Soul||$300/session for couples||44/45 Rochester Park, Singapore 139248|
|Incontact Counselling & Training||sessions from $150||111 North Bridge Road
|The Center for Psychology||–||491B River Valley Road, #04-01, Valley Point, Singapore 248373|
|The Counselling Place||Each session lasts 50 minutes and costs S$160 to S$200 (depending on your therapist’s level) during office hours (i.e., 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays) or S$170 to S$210 for after hours (i.e., 6pm, 7pm, and whole of Saturdays).||7500A Beach Road, #04-323 The Plaza (Nicoll Highway MRT), Singapore 199591|
|The Counsellors: Expat Psychological Services||Standard 50 minute session
50 minutes $190.00
Gottman 90 minute Couples Assessment Session
90 minutes $290.00
Emergency out of hours session at The Counsellors
50 minutes $220.00
Emergency out of hours services offsite
50 minutes $300.00
Standard 50 minute session
50 minutes $190.00
|#03-01 The Science Hub, 87 Science Park Drive, Singapore 118260|
|Fernhill Psychology and Counselling||Individual sessions are normally 60 minutes, but may be longer for a first assessment or if clients request a longer session. Couple therapy sessions will normally be 90 minutes.
Fees range from $150 to $200 per hour and are pro-rated when the session is more or less than 1 hour.
|27 Woking Road, Wessex Estate, Singapore 138705|
Save Your Marriage – Get To The Bottom Of It
Let’s face it – not all marriages are perfect. Even the most in love couple can experience speed bumps and hurdles along the way. The key to a good marriage is that each one should be ready to compromise when needed and adjust to each other’s weird ways. As Dave Meurer puts it: “A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”
So if you feel the differences between you and your spouse are too difficult to handle all by yourself, maybe it’s time to get help. And get help now, while you still have time to repair your relationship and start over. Don’t be let down by the stigma of therapy and counseling. We all need help. And acknowledging this is the first step in the right direction.
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