Jean Selvam

JEAN SELVAM
Marriage & Family Therapist

EDUCATION
Masters in Counselling (specialisation: Marriage & Family Therapy) – San Diego State University, USA.

PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT

My Believe in the Purpose of Therapy
Over the years, I have met many individuals in different communities who have shown me that although life can be overwhelming at times, there is always hope that happiness and peace can be achieved. As a therapist, I believe that everyone can gain the skills needed to be resilient and to be empowered to lead a fulfilling life – a life filled with positivity, strength and joy.

Areas of Specialty
I believe that listening with an open mind and an open heart can make a big difference in people’s lives. Through my clients, I have been exposed to stories and issues surrounding different types of abuse, family and marital conflict, suicidal ideations, depression, various types of addictions and many other mental health and behavioral concerns. Yet, I often see that despite their challenges, clients know deep down that they have the answer to overcoming these situations. My job is to help them to discover the solutions within them.

I am comfortable to work with individuals, couples, and families of all ages, and I have a special passion in working with children and teens. I find it such a joy and privilege to be able to connect with them, to hear their hearts, and to see the world from their eyes. It moves me each time when the children I work with turn from distrust and anger against the world to be able to see a brighter, more positive future for themselves.

Training/Educational Background
In 2007, after graduating with a degree in Psychology from Saint Catherine’s University (Minnesota, USA), I returned home and volunteered at the Women’s Aid Organization (WAO) in Petaling Jaya, where I assisted the social workers in the women’s shelter. I knew then that helping people was my calling and pursued my Masters in Counseling with a specialisation in Marriage and Family Therapy at San Diego State University (California, USA). As a part of my internship experience, I counselled at a high school for two years, helping teenage clients 14 to 18 years old together with their families. In addition to that, I also worked at a low-cost community counseling center for a year providing therapy to individuals, couples and families from a variety of backgrounds. Upon graduation, I returned to Malaysia where I worked at Regent International School in Klang for a year, teaching music as well as providing counselling.

My Approach to Therapy
As your therapist, my aim is to journey alongside you, in search of your talents that may be hidden due to overwhelming problems in life. I will begin our time together with an intake interview, whereby I learn about your background, the concerns that have brought you to therapy, as well as your hopes and goals for our sessions. The second session onwards is typically directed at working together to resolve the conflicts in your life. Sometimes, it make take more than one session to fully understand your background and concerns. Therefore, in on-going sessions, I will be continually gathering information not only to understand you better, but also how we can best use our time together in each session.

I work in an environment of openness and acceptance, emphasizing a move away from judgment and self-blame. It is important that clients feel safe in sharing their stories with me. Ultimately, therapy is about exploring different aspects of a person’s life and achieving personal growth through that exploration. By suspending judgment and self-blame, we are more fully able to discover the unique strengths and abilities within us.

Duration and Frequency of Therapy
The first intake session is either 75 minutes (for individuals) or 100 minutes (for couple or family sessions). Subsequent sessions usually run for 50 minutes (individuals) or 75 minutes (couple and family sessions). Generally, therapy would continue for approximately 8 to 12 sessions. However, I remain flexible and would be open to having discussion with you about shorter or longer sessions, and I am willing to pro-rate the fees accordingly.

More about Me
I am culturally of Indian origin, and having grown up in Malaysia, I have a deep appreciation of different ethnicities. In addition, I have lived and studied in the United States for 8 years, which gives me a broader appreciation of diversity on an international level. I am a lover of animals and music. I have played the organ since I was 4 years old and it has always been a source of relaxation for me.

LANGUAGES
English, Bahasa Malaysia

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