Counselling Centre

We are committed to providing the highest quality of clinical services to promote the emotional, relational, and academic potential of all students in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere as part of a collaborative culture of care.
Counselling continues to serve you via online sessions during this COVID-19 season.

What we do?

Individual Counselling

We offer individual counselling to students seeking support for issues that are relatively well defined and which can be adequately addressed or resolved in a brief time frame.

Couples Therapy

We provide couples therapy for issues that might reasonably be resolved in a short period of time.

Culture of Care

We provide students with the necessary tools to foster care within the community, including training and support for peer-led groups such as P.S. We Care.

Know more about confidentiality

What services do we provide?

Individual Counselling

Individual therapy consists of weekly or fortnightly one-on-one sessions. Each therapy session is 50 minutes long. The therapy is on a short-term basis.  There is no cost to enrolled Yale-NUS students, including international exchange students.

Couples Counselling

Couples therapy is available for student couples provided that both partners are enrolled at Yale-NUS.

Psychiatry & Medication Management

If a psychiatry appointment is recommended after meeting with one of our therapists, they can offer a referral to the University Health Centre (UHC).

Group Counselling

Group therapy is an opportunity to meet a therapist with other students to share and discuss concerns in a confidential, safe environment.

What are common concerns college students seek Counselling for?

Students come to counselling for a wide range of reasons. Whether you are facing stress in your day to day activities or wanting to discuss personal goals, we are here for you!

The common concerns college students seek counselling include:

Academic stress Family or personal illness
Adjustment difficulties Fears or phobias
Alcohol or drug useLoss and grief
AnxietyParental divorce
Body image issues Relationships: family, friends, romantic, roommates
Competition concerns Self-esteem issues
Compulsions & obsessions Sexual concerns
DepressionSexual orientation and identity
Eating concernsTrauma

How long do I have to wait for an appointment?

Typically, students can get an appointment within a week or two in the first half of the semester, depending upon scheduling and availability. There is usually higher demand for our services in the second half of the semester, so wait times could be longer then. If students are in a crisis, they will have access to a therapist within two days; subsequent appointments will be made available either weekly or fortnightly, depending on the severity of the issues faced.

Can I walk in without an appointment?

If you feel you need an appointment earlier than what the system scheduler allows, please consider if you meet at least one of the walk-in criteria:

  • Currently having suicidal or self-harming thoughts
  • Currently experiencing a panic attack
  • Dealing with news of death or severe injury to family or peers
  • Traumatised or disoriented from a recent event (e.g. sexual or physical violence, accident, news of a serious medical condition)

Can a student see more than one therapist or change therapists?

We prefer you stay with the same therapist during your time here at Yale-NUS, as this will allow you both to collaborate, set treatment options and provide you the best care. If you feel your current therapist is not a good fit, please discuss this with your current therapist and they will be happy to assist you and discuss options. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, please email us at and explain your situation.

What are some additional resources available?

You may find more resources here.

Counselling Centre

6601 5557

  • Call 24-hour Lifeline NUS at
    6516 7777
  • Call 24-hour SOS Lifeline at
    1800 221 4444
  • Call an RCA on duty at 9338 3449
  • Visit National University Hospital Accidents and Emergency service

Book an appointment

After you have made an appointment, your therapist will email you with a zoom/skype link before the session.

9am - 5pm
Monday to Friday

Download referral form

Health-related topics

Health-related topics

Health-related topics

Health-related topics

Health-related topics

Health-related topics

meet our therapists
Goh Zhengqin
Head of Counselling, Associate Director

Zhengqin is the Head of Counselling at Yale-NUS College. He holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree from Singapore and is certified in practising Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) by the EMDR Institute, USA. He has been trained as a National Care Officer and was formerly a Human Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) team lead under SGSecure. His work and training has involved working with adults and youth in public and private health sectors, as well as working in forensic settings.
Zhengqin’s approach is primarily informed by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which he uses effectively in the assessment and treatment of his clients' mental health concerns. In addition, he uses a wide range of techniques from other therapy models including Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Narrative Therapy, Positive Psychotherapy and Mindfulness. He has worked with individuals on stress and anger management, depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD, trauma (e.g., accidents, natural disasters, assault, rape or sexual/physical/emotional abuse), grief and loss, and relationship difficulties. His has also worked with individuals diagnosed with personality disorders, autism spectrum disorders, psychotic illnesses (e.g., schizophrenia), and paraphilias. He is also trained in conducting psychological assessments for adults.
Zhengqin applies a collaborative approach to tailor therapy to the personalities and needs of his clients. His overarching goal is to help clients become the most connected version of themselves (connected with their values, identity and relationships), feel empowered to face life’s challenges and enjoy life, and experience psychological wholeness and wellness.

meet our therapists
Joanna Tan
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Joanna is a Clinical Psychologist at Yale-NUS College. She was awarded her Master of Psychology (Clinical) degree from Australia. She has been trained as a National Caring Action in Response to Emergencies (CARE) officer and was previously a member of the Human Emergency Assistance and Response Team (HEART) as part of SGSecure. Joanna has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults with complex and chronic psychological or psychiatric disorders across the public and private health settings in Singapore. She is also trained in conducting psychological assessments for children and adults in both forensic and non-forensic settings.
Joanna adopts an eclectic framework of evidence-based modalities to address her clients’ needs. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and psychodynamic approaches. She is experienced in providing therapy to individuals with a broad spectrum of difficulties, including mood, anxiety, adjustment, anger, stress-related, interpersonal relationships, grief, and loss. She has also worked with a diverse range of clients with presentations such as personality disorders, psychosis, autism spectrum disorder, and selective mutism.
Joanna’s clinical approach considers the individual’s presenting difficulties to be unique and strives to create a safe space for her clients. She takes a non-judgmental, empathic stance in understanding her clients and providing them with individualised treatment plans that are tailored to their needs. Joanna hopes to guide her clients in their journey of exploring and working through past wounds by finding meaning, healing, and be in search of better versions of themselves as they go forth to lead fulfilling lives.

meet our therapists
Claudia Ahl
Senior Clinical Psychologist

Claudia is a Clinical Psychologist at Yale-NUS. She earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology in Australia and is a member of the Singapore Psychological Society. As well as extensive experience working with adults, Claudia has expertise in child, adolescent and family psychology in the private and public health sectors in Singapore and in Australia.
Claudia has a strong background in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She uses a range of techniques and therapies with demonstrated effectiveness to assess, diagnose and treat her clients' mental health concerns. These include Maudsley Family Based Therapy, Parent Management Training, Psychodynamic Play Therapy, Applied Behaviour Analysis, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Schema Therapy and Mindfulness interventions.
Claudia enjoys working with a wide range of clients, with ,a diverse and complex range of presenting issues. Her special therapy interests include depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and personality disorders. Through a collaborative and empathic approach with her clients, Claudia helps them connect with their deeper values, equip them with an increased sense of empowerment, self-compassion and an improved quality of health and well-being.

meet our therapists
Elaine Yeo
Clinical Psychologist

Elaine is a Clinical Psychologist at Yale-NUS College. She earned her Masters Degree (M.A.) in Mental Health Counselling and her Doctoral Degree (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology in the United States. She has had more than 7 years of clinical experience, working with culturally diverse children, adolescent, and adults with a wide range of presenting concerns and across various clinical settings in Singapore and the United States. This includes multiple university counselling centers, a community mental health center, an outpatient diagnostic services in a hospital, a forensic assessment and rehabilitation service, and a private group practice that also served as an employee assistance program.


Elaine practices through a relational cultural framework, while incorporating techniques from evidence-based practices such as Psychodynamic Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She recognizes the importance of culture and environment in a person’s life, which is why she endeavors to attend to a client’s age and generation, developmental/acquired disabilities, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, and nationality throughout therapy.


Elaine enjoys working with adults and young adults, with a diverse range of presenting concerns. Her specialty areas include relationships issues (family/peers/work), anxiety disorders, stress management, self-esteem, trauma and PTSD, identity exploration and concerns (race/ethnicity, sex, gender, etc.) and bicultural/acculturative stress. Through mutual authenticity and vulnerability, Elaine forms a safe and trusting space with clients, increasing their comfort and sense of empowerment in exploring experiences that have shaped them into who they are today. Together with clients, she works to help them feel reconnected again, both with themselves and with others.

meet our therapists
Hagit Ben Ari
Senior Counsellor and Life Coach

Hagit Ben Ari is a Psychotherapist and Counsellor at Yale-NUS. She holds a BA in Education and M.Scs. Counselling from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. She has worked in private, public, business, and educational settings. Hagit serves diverse populations by providing essential support, care and empowerment strategies to spark meaningful and transformative change.

Hagit has a natural passion to serve as a ‘safe harbor’. She guides individuals on their journey of growth and personal development by examining contextual relational elements of the human experience. Her therapeutic approach is primarily Humanistic- Rogerian, and thus focuses on the noble human capacity to break free from hardship and pain. Her core philosophy is that everyone deserves equilibrium and peace.

Hagit believes that people are unique, and as such, her approach is tailored to situational factors embedded in several modalities to facilitate change, including Narrative Therapy (NT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Existential Therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), and solution-focused coaching techniques of Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP).

Hagit has journeyed with her clients and provided therapeutic support in areas of adjustment and change, breakup and loss, emotion regulation, gender and identity crisis. She excels in facilitating support groups in the areas of Personal Growth and Emotional Agility. Hagit is also widely known for public speaking to a wide range of audiences in education, health and wellness and facilitating executive level programs and workshops.

Hagit Ben Ari
meet our therapists
Sonya Branson
Clinical Psychologist Intern
(Placement from 17 August 2020 to 4 December 2020)

Sonya is a Clinical Psychologist-in-Training and is currently in her last semester of her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to this, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Australia. Sonya has had the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families from diverse backgrounds and cultures in both Singapore and Australia. She has experience working with individuals suffering from a wide range of psychological difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidality, trauma (e.g. sexual/intimate partner abuse), personality disorders, LGBTQIA+ issues (e.g. gender identity), anger management, perfectionism, autism, stress and adjustment and relationship issues.

Sonya believes in adopting an eclectic approach in order to tailor psychotherapy to meet the personalized needs of the individual, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach. This involves employing a range of evidence-based modalities including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, Mindfulness and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. By facilitating understanding of the interplay between one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours and exploring core themes underlying distress, Sonya aims to increase clients’ awareness of their own mental functioning, thereby supporting long-term improvements in well-being and an increased sense of empowerment.

Sonya strongly believes that building a genuine relationship based on trust with each client is fundamental to the achievement of therapeutic goals. By employing an empathic approach, she hopes to create a safe space within which each individual feels truly seen and heard.

meet our therapists
Maniesha Blakey
Counselling Intern
(Placement from 17 August 2020 – 4 December 2020)

Maniesha is a counselling intern at Yale-NUS College. She is currently completing her Master of Counselling degree. She is a student member of the Singapore Association for Counselling. Maniesha has worked extensively with undergraduates as a university public health instructor. Through her previous experiences as a Montessori teacher and a tutor, she has expertise in working with children and adolescents. She has also worked in various roles in a diverse array of settings, ranging from a non-profit organization to a startup generator, in Singapore, USA and the UK.

Maniesha has a background in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She also incorporates Mindfulness-based and Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques. She understands aspects of working with clients with high functioning autism.

Maniesha takes a collaborative and values-informed approach that is tailored to her clients’ goals, needs and personalities. She adopts an empathic stance in working with her clients as they navigate their circumstances. She aims to help her clients form a deeper sense of connection to themselves as they move towards better well-being and developing their potential.

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow