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1. What is counselling?

Counselling may be defined as a growth process through which individuals are helped to define goals, make decisions, and solve problems related to personal, social and work-related concerns. It denotes a professional relationship between a trained counsellor and a client.

iCARE counsellors journey with their clients, in one-to-one sessions, to clarify their issues and to develop insight, skills and strategies to manage professional and personal matters.

Counselling offers a safe and confidential environment for you to speak and explore your own thoughts and feelings with a professional for an objective viewpoint. Counsellors will help you uncover your own insight, gain understanding of your problems and help you find your own solutions to problems or develop better ways to manage issues.

Counselling helps you think through your situation from new perspectives, clarify your thoughts and develop ways to cope with/manage your concerns and problems.


2. What to expect from counseling?

Making the decision to get help and address the issues you are facing is an important first step and it is commendable. Knowing what to expect from a counselling session will help you feel more prepared and less nervous about your first appointment.

In your first session, it is likely that the counsellor will ask you some questions to gain an understanding of what is worrying you. All of the information obtained here will b useful to help you in future sessions. Some questions your counsellor may ask include:

  • Why are you seeking counselling? - You will most likely be asked what it is that has brought you to counselling. This is your opportunity to discuss exactly why you are there and what you hope to gain from counselling.
  • What is your current situation? - It is important to let your counsellor know your current situation, including any day-to-day issues you are facing and even your work and home life.
  • What symptoms are you experiencing? - Whether these are physical or psychological.

3. Is seeking counselling a sign of weakness?

On the contrary, seeking counselling is indicative of an individual's strength of resolve and determination to work on the identified specific issue(s). By seeking counselling, you are taking action to improve your situation and that shows courage and taking responsibility for self-improvement.

It takes inner strength to acknowledge a problem and seek to proactively and responsibly deal with the matter before it negatively impacts on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.


4. Will the counsellor give me a solution to my problem?

The counselling relationship is not about giving solution, fixing the person, or providing an instant solution to your problem. Counselling is a supportive service that creates a safe emotional environment in which the client can explore and gain insight and understanding of self through self-exploration of their issues.

Counselling is not giving advice; rather it helps you think through your situation from new perspectives, clarify your thoughts and help you find your own solutions to problems or develop better ways to manage issues.


5. Will anyone know I am seeing a counsellor, and will my Principal and my RO be informed of details of my counselling session?

Counsellors are bound by professional ethics governing confidentiality. iCARE counsellors adhere strictly to the code of ethics to protect confidentiality and privacy concerning clients' identity and the information clients shared, both during counselling and after counselling.

There are only three instances where confidentiality can be broken:

(1) it is mandated by law - counsellors are required by law to report child abuse or suspected child abuse

(2) a client is at high risk of suicide or the client's personal safety comes into question

(3) there is imminent danger or harm to others

Outside of these circumstances, information can only be shared if the client shares it or provides written authorization for releasing information.


6. As a Principal or RO, can I refer my officer to iCARE for counselling?

iCARE does not accept referral. iCARE works on the principles of personal choice and respect. Hence, the decision to seek counselling is entirely up to the individual.


Issues that are not under the purview of iCARE

  • HR- related matters such as

- Request for a transfer to another school/division

- Request for deployment to HQ

- Clarification on the terms of employment

For all these HR matters, please contact the HR Partner for your school/HR Partner (HQ) for HQ officers. Alternatively, you may contact HR Communications Hub at phone : 6879 6879 or email :

  • Appeal against a performance grade

The aggrieved officer should follow the protocol on appealing against the given performance grade as set out in the respective school/HQ division.