Meet Ling Chan
What are 3 words to describe Next Practice Erina?
Healthy, healing, helpful.
What do you like most about your job?
I get front row seats to the best stories in the world.
What is your professional mantra?
What is the most useful thing therapy can offer this person with these problems given the time available, their current resources and their readiness to change?
What are your favourite moments in therapy sessions?
When the client and I are passing tissues to each other to wipe away tears of laughter at the absurdities of life and the human condition. Some plot twists in real people’s lives can be unbelievable.
What is your pet hate as a psychologist?
Wasting time - people in pain need to see progress to keep hope alive and sustain the motivation to keep trying. I get frustrated by things that hamper progress: administrative red tape and delays, or my own errors that create missed opportunities to address important issues because I was distracted by a less important issue, etc..
What is your greatest hope for the future of mental health care?
In my ideal world, people understand that we can have emotional and psychological injuries, just as we can have physical injuries. There is no more shame or awkwardness in seeking professional care for an aching heart when pain persists, as booking in an appointment with a dentist, physiotherapist or GP. Here’s one of my favourite TED talks by Guy Winch, who makes a similar point:
Tell us something that is surprising about mental health.
According to the Black Dog Institute, 54% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment. I wonder what this means about the burden of care upon their family and loved ones, the unnecessary suffering that could have been avoided by more prompt treatment, and how much more severe the condition may be by the time they do access treatment. For more information, take a look at ‘Facts and Figures about Mental Health’ from the Black Dog Institute;
Favourite self-help book?
‘Self-Therapy’ by Jay Earley, PhD. It offers a user- friendly approach to ‘Internal Family System’ therapy (IFS), which was originally developed by Richard Schwartz. I think IFS is a great way to address the noise in our heads that comes from inner conflict.