Feeling frustrated or stressed by a life transition? We chat to two counsellors from Momentum Counselling in Hong Kong whose aim is to help you adapt and get moving again.
About Momentum Counselling
PATRICIA TOH, originally from Sydney, and JILL CARTER who grew up in the US, both know a thing or two about living in Hong Kong; they’ve been here on and off for 20 and 12 years respectively. Now, they bring those years of knowledge and experience with the vagaries of expat life to Momentum Counselling, the business they co-founded. Both have a master’s degree in counselling among their degrees and are members of the Hong Kong Society of Counselling and Psychology.
While all those who Patricia and Jill work with at Momentum have their own specific needs and goals, many are seeking help to get through a challenging life transition in particular.
What are some of the trickier life transitions we can all experience, including those particularly relevant to the expat experience here?
- A relationship change (marriage, divorce or separation, for example)
- Becoming new parents and starting a family
- Managing the teenage years
- Changing jobs or starting a new career
- Losing a loved one
- Becoming an “empty-nester”
- Going through menopause or retirement
- Being new to Hong Kong after a recent relocation
- Making the decision whether to stay or leave Hong Kong
What kind of issues can people experience while navigating these periods of change?
Fear and insecurity, guilt, stress, irritability, anger, anxiety, depression, loneliness and isolation. During this period, our relationships with others (especially those close to us) could be affected, which could create additional stress.
Can people feel challenged even by supposedly “positive” life transitions?
Yes, changes can bring about stress because we need to adapt – even when they’re something for the better. Our clients may be overwhelmed by the changes, or struggle with adjusting to a new routine; and they might lack support from friends and family, who may be abroad. There may also be physiological or hormonal changes underlying some transitions.
What are some of the ways Momentum can help people to get through these transitions?
We founded this business because of our passion for helping people to shift their mindsets. We use a variety of tools from cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and the Gottman Method that are empirically proven to bring about positive change. As solution-focused therapists, we want to help clients gain positive momentum when they feel stuck or frustrated.
Any tips or advice for readers who may not have had a counselling session before?
Finding a counsellor who you can build trust and a strong connection with is important. At Momentum, we offer a free 20-minute video consultation so that we can answer any questions that you may have about counselling – and also so that you can meet us before you decide to start sessions with us. We offer a non-judgmental, safe space to support you through challenging times and help you to find your way to a fulfilling life.
Momentum Counselling is at Room A6, 16F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.