How do I chat with a counsellor?
To begin Online Counselling, you would first need to sign up for an account with us.
Once you have created an account, you can log onto the Online Counselling platform and a chat widget (orange button) will appear at the bottom right-hand side of the screen. For first time users, click on the 'Chat' widget to start chatting with one of the counsellors during operational hours (i.e. Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, excluding public holidays).
If you log on after operational hours, no counsellor will be available for live chat. However, you may leave us a message and we will get back to you via email within 3 working days.
How much does Online Counselling cost?
This service is provided free of charge.
I want to chat after office hours and on the weekends. Why is there no chat button for me to click on?
The chat button will only show on the screen if you are a registered user. If you have not registered with us, please click on the Sign-in/Sign-up button. The live chat button will appear for registered users. Our live chat service is available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, excluding public holidays. After 6pm, the chat button will become a “Support” button through which you can leave a message for us. You can let us know that you had signed in and wanted to chat with a counsellor. We will get back to you within 3 working days with an appointment.
What happens when I click on “Chat”?
You will be brought to a virtual “Waiting Room” where you would be greeted by our online administrator. The administrator will go through some administrative processes with you to make sure you understand what the live chat process is like and answer any questions you may have.
This process will take about 10 minutes, following which you will be transferred to a counsellor to begin your chat session. Each chat session can go up to an hour. At times, if all counsellors are engaged, the administrator will work with you to arrange a suitable return timeslot for you. This hour-long timeslot will be reserved for you, and a counsellor will be waiting to chat with you then.
What happens in my first session with a counsellor?
During the first session, the counsellor will take time to understand some of your challenges and decision to engage in counselling. The counsellor may ask your further questions to draw out the required information. Feel free to express your thoughts and feelings as this will help the counsellor see things from your perspective.
The counsellor will also explore various ways of counselling that are available and you can decide which one best suits your needs. If your counselling needs are best met by another agency, your counsellor may seek your consent to refer you to that agency. By the end of the first session, your counsellor and you would have decided whether or not you would be coming back for further sessions.
Do I have to make an appointment to chat with a counsellor?
For first time users, you do not have to book an appointment to chat with a counsellor. You can simply come online and chat with a counsellor during operational hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, excluding public holidays. If a further counselling appointment is needed, your counsellor will fix a counselling appointment with you.
What if I cannot make it for my appointment with my counsellor?
If you would like to change your appointment, please send us an email your counsellor as soon as possible to reschedule. We appreciate your assistance in letting us know early so our counsellors can release the appointment timing and see other clients.
Will I have the same counsellor if I come back for more Online Counselling sessions?
Yes. The counsellor you spoke to for the first time on live chat will most likely be your counsellor for subsequent sessions. You will need to fix appointments with your counsellor for subsequent sessions.
How often will I have sessions with my counsellor?
The frequency of your sessions will be decided between you and your counsellor, depending on your circumstances, needs and availability. Typically, sessions are scheduled at least 1-2 weeks apart (i.e. not more than once a week).
Can I chat using my mobile phone or tablet?
Yes, you can chat with us or leave us a message via the Online Counselling platform, which you can access on any smartphone or device with an internet browser. However, we recommend you use Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari as Online Counselling is most optimised with those browsers.
Do I have to give my full name?
No. We respect your privacy and understand that you may not want to provide us with details of your full name for Online Counselling. You can sign up for an account using your first name or an alias.
What happens if we lose contact over the live chat?
If we lose contact during the live chat, please refresh the web page and select the live chat button.
We may also try to reach you on email so we can reconnect. Alternatively, you can choose to email us.
What happens if I am facing a crisis?
If you are facing a crisis and require immediate emergency assistance, Online Counselling would not be suitable for you. For urgent emergency situations, please go to the nearest hospital, or call 999. You may also contact Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) 24-hour hotline at 1-767, or their 24-hour SOS CareText via WhatsApp at 9151 1767.
If you need help dealing with family violence or have concerns about the safety of a child/person, you may reach out to the 24-hour National Anti-Violence Helpline (NAVH) at 1800-777-0000 to seek help.
If your crisis is non-life-threatening, you may try Online Counselling, but if a different mode of counselling is more appropriate e.g. face-to-face counselling, we may look to refer you to another more suitable counselling agency.
Is all information confidential?