When the stresses and strains of everyday life start getting too much, it’s important to always remember to reach out and ask for help.
In Bangkok, there are a range of counseling services that children, adolescents and families can turn to for specialist support and guidance. While each of your individual schools will no doubt have their own counseling departments you will often find they may refer your child for outside assistance. Many anxious teens feel more comfortable discussing their problems and fears outside of the school environment which is perfectly normal and the schools will actually encourage this.
It’s a very positive development that over the last few years mental health has been discussed far more openly. Everyone experiences mental health challenges at some point in their life, the stigma previously attached to this has reduced significantly and the subject is being discussed far more openly among families and friends and being written about more in the media. The more we can talk about mental health and educate our children to understand how these issues can affect everyone, the further we can go towards ending the stigma that can negatively surround mental health.
DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK – SMART KIDS ASK FOR HELP
Whilst all of the major hospitals will have dedicated psychiatric departments, the following list features a selection of counseling services and psychologists that offer services in English and maintain international practice standards.
Australian Therapy Services offers an anxiety prevention and management program called Cool Kids which teaches parents and children how to better manage anxiety. Within the series there are a number of programs including:
Cool Little Kids- a program for parents of preschool aged children
Cool Kids- a program designed for primary school aged children
Chilled- a program designed for adolescents
Australian Therapy Services can provide these programs:
In groups within school hours
In groups as an Extra Curricular clubs
Australian Therapy Services also offers a range of psychological assessments that explore your child’s development, behaviour and learning. By identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses we are able to provide appropriate recommendations and supports.
Bangkok Psychology was established in January 2015 by Swedish psychologist and psychotherapist Mr. Johan Toft. Since its inception Bangkok Psychology has worked with hundreds of clients and collaborated successfully with international schools like ELC, NIST, KIS, Berkeley, Bangkok Prep and Harrow, and companies such as Medconsult Asia, Workplace Options and CiC, as well as various projects for some of the local embassies to name a few. He has an excellent reputation working with teens and supporting families.
US-trained Piyachat is a certified psychodramatist and mental health counsellor with nearly 30 years of clinical experience. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Piyachat specializes in working with children and adolescents who have suffered traumatic experiences, domestic violence, and other psychiatric diagnoses. She works with younger kids through the gentle and encouraging use of art therapy with a track records of proven results.
I am a doctor of Psychology and a Psychotherapist (PsyD, M.A. DMT), specializing in family and couples’ therapy from the Professional School of Psychology, USA and a Master’s Degree from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, USA. I am a member of the Australia and New Zealand Art Therapy Association (ANZATA) and of the Israeli Creative and Expressive Arts Therapies Association – I.C.E.T (YAHAT).
Bangkok Counseling Service provide the option to receive counseling in person, or via Skype, email, or instant messaging. The ability to talk online can be especially helpful to young people who feel daunted at the thought of a face-to-face consultation. In 2012, Bangkok Counseling also launched their ‘Young Peoples Wellbeing Project’, which offers counseling to teens and youth through individual sessions and with their own families.
Established in 2012 by American-trained psychotherapist Eric K. Mason, Lighthouse Human Services & Consulting offer counseling to all ages, but most commonly work with teens and young adults. Eric himself has extensive experience working with young adults, and he also offers comprehensive ADHD assessments through computerized testing.
New Counseling Service (NCS) offers counseling and talk therapy for individuals and families in Bangkok, from ages 4+. The international team of counselors speak Thai, English, German, Dutch, Cantonese and Mandarin. Areas of specialization include personal issues, family and marriage issues, work/life balance, and cross cultural adjustment. They also help people with depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorders, addictions, and mood disorders.
Private Therapy Clinic was set up by Harley Street psychologist Dr Becky Spelman – one of the UK’s leading psychologists. The company’s Bangkok clinic (there are another four in London, and one in Dubai) is run by Dr Kannika Sukantara, who previously worked both in the NHS and private medicine. Consultations are available in person, over Skype and phone, and the first 15-minute phone chat is free.
Psychological Services International (PSI) has been providing counseling services in Bangkok since 2002. The majority of their clients are expatriates living in Bangkok, and each of PSI’s counsellors hold a minimum of a Master’s Degree in counseling or a mental health-related field. Their multicultural team also offer services in English, French, Italian, Thai, and Portuguese.
Samantha (Sam) Pryor is a trained psychotherapist and hypnotherapist who relocated to Bangkok from the UK in 2010. Having moved to support her partner with his career, Samantha is also well-placed to help individuals deal with the challenges associated with expat living and can offer a personal perspective for those struggling to adapt. Her initial consultation is free.
Scott Berry Associates is run by Scott Berry MBA, PHD, who is a professionally certified coach and counsellor serving the diverse expat communities of the Asia Pacific region for over 14 years. Supporting both individuals and organisations.
Editors Note: This list is not an exhaustive list of counselors available in Bangkok, it has been generated by actual personal recommendation. We highly recommend contacting a few of the above and finding who you personally feel most comfortable with. What works for one person doesn’t always suit another.