This professional counsellor considers it an honour to hear the stories of various people during her sessions. She has helped children, adolescents, couples, and families with their issues. Gratefulness is one of the key traits that she says helps her live her best life.
Titled “A Day In The Life Of A Woman,” this series celebrates the women in our lives. From the everyday to inspirational, the series aims to highlight women from various fields and share a bit of the diversity we experience every day.
Abigail Lee is a professional counsellor, supervisor, and trainer with more than 12 years of experience working with children, adolescents, couples, and families. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Healing Hearts Centre, a private counselling and consultation practice that is committed to providing emotional healing through holistic counselling, psychotherapy, play therapy, and coaching.
She is a writer on various magazine platforms, travels, speaks, and trains locally and internationally, educating other professional counsellors and members of the public in mental and emotional well-being issues. She has been previously featured and interviewed on the Singapore docu-drama, “In Cold Blood 3”.
Here is an example of a day in her life:
7 AM: Start the day by doing some stretching to loosen the body and spending some time in prayer. Tension released, mind focused!
8 AM: Have breakfast along with my daily cup of coffee. Do some reading of psychological or counselling articles and books. Also catch up on local and international news.
9 AM: Respond to emails and enquiries from the public/potential clients.
10 AM: In counseling with client. Sessions with client could include working on maintaining work-life balance, dealing with issues regarding the workplace such as stress and conflict management, family (parenting, generational issues) or marital (communication, extra-marital affairs) issues.
11 AM: Another counselling session with client! Every client is different although issues that are presented could be similar. Sometimes I also see children and adolescents and utilize Play Therapy and Expressive Arts approaches when helping them navigate through their own challenges, be it at home or in school.
12 PM: I would have maximum three appointments in the morning to ensure that I am able to give 100% to all the clients I meet.
Sometimes in sessions, clients would have undergone prior assessment profiling (either in their personality or communication preference style) that I had them go through. During these sessions, we go through the analysis and practical applications of that in their lives.
1 PM: Lunch (I am always attempting to eat healthily)!
2 PM: Preparation work for upcoming training curriculum material. This could be working on talks or workshops that I have been invited to present on regarding mental and emotional well-being, psychological, or counselling topics either to professionals or to the general public.
3 PM: I would then take some time to do a bit of research, both to update myself and to work on new training materials in counselling, as well as in play therapy to train up helping professionals. This is so they can deliver effective services for their clients.
4 PM: Time to see clients again!
Many times, when clients come for counselling, they are unsure of what it entails. If it is a client I am seeing for the first time, I usually get them to share their issue and then at the end of the session provide some possible options the client could explore. Along with checking if the client has felt comfortable with me as the counsellor, and then allow the client to determine if they would like to continue with future counselling session.
5 PM: Last counselling session with client (sometimes counselling sessions might be at night or during the weekends as clients come after work).
6 PM: Have a good workout and exercise time to build stamina so that I am able to go the distance in life!
7 PM: Dinner (good time to start catching up with the family on the day happenings or watch the latest Korean soap opera on television with my parents!).
8 PM: Washing and cleaning up laundry, dishes, and getting things like lunch or clothes (or any other items) ready for the next day.
9 PM: Always a good time to have communication and “us time” with my husband.
10 PM: Self-reflection and personal prayer time to process the day, release any negativity, and give thanks.
11 PM: Bedtime.
The Light And Dark Sides Of Counselling
There are sad moments, admittedly, to being a counsellor and hearing people’s problems but one has to be as professional and emotionally capable in handling them. Abigail admits that the most challenging part of her job is listening to some really horrendous stories that have taken place in the lives of individuals, couples and families without being personally affected emotionally.
“Having said that, it is also a tremendous honour to be seen as a safe place where they are able to come to share privately in confidence in order to bring resolution to these issues. It is also a great privilege to be a witness of the bravery of so many of these clients and to be able to partake in the courage that is being exhibited,” she shares.
This is also why being grateful has helped her do well in her job, and in life in general. “I always remember to be thankful for the happenings of the day. If there were happy moments, I celebrate! If there were unpleasant ones, I always do my best to look at the learning point of that moment and release my unhappy emotions either through crying, exercising, eating or venting out to my husband.”