Understanding therapy sessions

Unconsciously I navigated to the incognito window when I was going to search for “therapist in singapore”. Not sure about others but it feels rather taboo for me… Hence I want to really understand a little bit more incase I really do want to seek professional help in the future for me or family/friends.

I come from a lower income family so costs and accessibility are my main concerns. To preface: I really appreciate you for being in the line of work but I apologize if any of the questions are too straight forward or naive.

  1. Are the rates subjected to govt subsidies especially if you are from a lower income household? What routes/pathways are there for affordable sessions with a therapist

  2. To what extend is best recommended for someone to see a therapist. A analogy can be drawn to physical health checkups: You can do annual health checkups even with/out symptoms. Where should one draw the line and say “it’s time to see a professional for my mental health”

  3. What is range of discussions can be discussed with a therapist? Is it everything under the roof that bothers someone?


Hi @Kopi thanks for your question

I will leave the 1st question to the professionals/ peer supporters/ others to answer as I am not very sure of all the various pathways though I know referral at Polyclinics are subsidized and there might be some organizations that provides subsidized therapy.

Regarding your 2nd question, personally my belief is that you shouldn’t wait for something to happen before you seek help. Like how there’s physical check ups, there should also be mental health check ups.

And then regarding your 3rd question, I don’t really have an answer per se, from my general sensing and personal experience I would say that you are able to talk about anything that you’d liked and your therapist should be trained enough to help guide the conversation and if it’s beyond their expertise then they would most likely refer you to the appropriate channels (help).


Hi @Kopi :wave:

Thank you for your questions! I want to start by acknowledging the courage it took for you to reach out and ask these questions about seeking professional help for mental health concerns. It’s completely understandable that you may feel some hesitation or uncertainty, especially given the perceived taboo surrounding therapy in our society. However, it’s important to recognise that seeking support for your mental health is a courageous and proactive step towards self-care and well-being.

To address your first question, there are options available to make therapy more accessible and affordable, particularly for individuals from lower-income households. Many therapists and counseling centers offer sliding-scale fees, which means they adjust their rates based on your income level to ensure that therapy remains affordable for you. Here are a couple of options:

  1. Some Family Service Centers (FSCs) provide counseling support at nominal fees. You can check out your nearest FSC here: SupportGoWhere.
  2. As @Marshmallow.youghurt rightfully pointed out as well, you could consider going through the Polyclinic route to get a referral for subsidised care in hospitals. There are also in-house mental health services in certain Polyclinics for various mental health conditions. You will first have to see a family physician at the polyclinic and then be referred into the psychological services as assessed.
  3. This article (Affordable Therapy in Singapore: Cheap & Free Counselling Sessions - readlatable) has a list of other community services and organisations that provide affordable mental health support. It’s worth exploring these options to see if you qualify for financial assistance or subsidies.

As for determining when it’s the right time to see a therapist, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Just like with physical health checkups, it’s important to prioritise your mental health and seek support when you’re experiencing distress or struggling to cope with life’s challenges. You don’t need to wait until you reach a crisis point to seek help; therapy can be beneficial for a wide range of concerns, from managing stress and anxiety to navigating relationships and coping with life transitions.

In terms of the range of discussions that can be had with a therapist, it’s truly vast and covers everything from everyday stressors and relationship issues to more complex mental health conditions. A therapist provides a safe and non-judgmental space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and they can offer guidance, support, and strategies to help you navigate through difficult emotions and situations. You have the freedom to discuss whatever is on your mind, and your therapist will work with you to address your individual needs and goals.

If you’re still feeling uncertain or have more questions about therapy, I encourage you to reach out to mental health professionals or counseling centers in your area for more information. They can provide you with guidance, support, and resources to help you make informed decisions about your mental health care. Alternatively, please feel free to share your questions with us! Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and there are people and resources available to support you every step of the way. :slightly_smiling_face: We’ll be waiting to hear from you, till then, please take care!