Karl Desouza

I am a trained Psychotherapist, Trauma Coach and Wellness Counsellor what I call in lay terms a Ferryman (Accompanying, Witnessing, Helping others Navigate Life). With over 21 years of experience in diverse populations (Adult, Youth,Teenagers, LGBTQIA+, Expatriate) working in different countries. I specialise in Trauma in all its manifestations and am specially trained in ( EMDR over 12 years, Body Psychotherapy over 13 yeas, IFS- Internal Family Systems) along with the what has been called the missing link (DARE – Dynamic Attachment Repatterining Experience) approach to heal childhood attachment wounds in the adult person. I have trained extensively in different modalities ranging from PCT (Person Centred Therapy) to Gestalt, Transactional Analysis, REBT/CBT and Choice and Reality Therapy, SBFT (Solution- Focussed Brief Therapy), EFT (Emotion Focussed Therapy), NVC (NonViolent Communication), I work with both individuals and couples and families. Used a mixture of both the Gottman , EFT and NVC approaches or my work with couples. Being from a family with both Indian and European roots and married to a local Singaporean of Chinese descent, and having travelled and worked around the world, I am sensitive to the cultural intricacies of different ethnicities and the adjustment difficulties , cultural shocks faced by expatriates. Having come from a corporate background in IT, and Financial Services am also able to relate to people in experiencing either workplace career stress/ anxiety, ‘stuckness’ or redundancies in the corporate world and combine my coaching skills with therapy. I work out of Listening Ear Counselling & Consultancy Pte. Ltd. baed in Singapore and provide both Zoom and in person sessions at A Space Between (Intl Plaza -Singapore).

Specialities

ANXIETY AND PANIC DISORDERS
DEPRESSION
GENERAL RELATIONSHIP CHALLENGES (FAMILY, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS)
LGBTQIA+
GENDER DYSPHORIA
TRAUMA AND POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PERSONAL GROWTH AND SELF-ESTEEM
ADHD/ADD
ADDICTION AND SUBSTANCE MISUSE
LIFE TRANSITIONS
MARRIAGE AND PARTNERSHIPS
PARENTING
GENERAL MENTAL HEALTH
WOMEN’S MENTAL HEALTH (PREGNANCY, INFERTILITY AND POST-PARTUM)
MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH
GRIEF AND LOSS
RACE AND ETHNICITY
EATING DISORDERS AND BODY IMAGE
SEX AND INTIMACY
CHILDREN & YOUTH
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER
SELF-HARM AND SUICIDAL FEELINGS
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
TERMINAL ILLNESSES (CANCER, HIV/AIDS)
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND ADHERENCE TO A DIET PLAN

Finances

$$$$$

Training

  • Masters in Clinical Psychology
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling and Guidance

What kinds of treatment or therapy do you provide?

  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Family Therapy
  • Couple Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)
  • Faith-Based Counselling
  • Children & Youth Counselling
  • Gender Therapy
  • Reality and Choice Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Solution Focussed Brief Therapy
  • Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP) and other Body Psychotherapies like Somatic Experiencing (SE)

What language can you conduct the session in?

English

What is the greatest reward in being a counsellor for the queer community?

For me in providing that safe space, where the client can be themselves, feel genuinely heard, seen, respected, understood loved without any judgement.

What is the greatest challenge in being a counsellor for the queer community?

I would think in creating a welcoming safe space to getting trust of the person, especially if the therapist is not queer or identifies with the same sexuality or identity of the client themselves. Its important to be able to hold the paradox same like anyone, different from anyone. Its also vital that one is culturally sensitive to where the client is coming from being aware of any stigmas, or embedded shame and attachment wounds hurting the client or holding them back.

What was your path to becoming a therapist?

For me, therapy is a call, a vocation. It started first as a weekly volunteer with Sowers at Novena church visiting old age and other homes where I found I could connect with the old folks even though I did not know a word of local dialect. Then in school missions with the Church team. as a spiritual journey to give back, to serve society which led me overseas to India as a lay missionary. I initially worked with those stigmatised, rejected, those marginalised because of their illness (HIV/AIDS) or sexuality (LGBTQIA+) or addictions or profession (sex workers). HIV was the leprosy of modern times which immediately attracted stigma, fear and judgment. I realise I made a difference to them because I could connect with them and listen for hours. But I realised I needed to be trained properly and so embarked on getting both a Masters in Clinical Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling.

What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?

Many things. First the scientific basis of it, especially the mind/body connection and the importance of regulation, polyvagal theory and other neurological developments to make sense of trauma, attachment wounds etc. Second the equality and inclusiveness of the field to accommodate diversity in its practitioners and therapy models especially the postmodern ones, and body psychotherapy based models. Third the removal of stigma around mental health and the priority given to mental hygiene.

What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?

Wow! I am truly mad and passionate. If at all this is my greatest weak point. My passion for learning, and quest for excellence. I read, I attend trainings, train, supervise, and network and submit myself to therapy and supervision regularly.

What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant to try therapy?

I firstly don't give advice as I don't think I know better than you, but I would rather listen to the person and understand their needs, and share my own understandings of it and impart knowledge to remove any fear based on misconceptions. eg Therapy is only if you have a problem or for people who are mad or sick. I would say the wise choose therapy, therapy helps everyone not everyone might need it now but everyone can benefit from it. I would highly recommend it and also add a word of warning It is highly addictive like good chocolate or coffee!! (LOL). Also regarding costs, I believe its one of the cheapest investments and gift to yourself which benefits for you, those around you and future generations.

What kind of training have you had in working with the LGBTQ population?

Because of my work with the HIV/AIDS population I have extensive training in sexuality and identity issues especially with the coming out process, attachment wounds, existential crisis, body shame, and addictions which had become a coping crutch.

What should someone know about working with you?

I am very (chilled) accessible easy to be with, I use humour effectively to help create a distance between the person and the problem. Reinforcing the person is not the problem. But there is a problem. Clients describe me as warm, genuine, down to earth humble but very attuned, versatile and highly skilled.

How do your own core values shape your approach to therapy?

I totally believe in Equality, in Unconditional Love, Genuineness and Simplicity and my own humaneness with all its limitations. I also believe firmly in Honesty, Integrity and NonViolence and that no person is a problem but that there are problems. That has allowed me to be and remain humble and compassionate and openly and respectfully listen without any prejudice or judgement and/or connect and reach out to anyone irrespective of their beliefs, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or any other identity. Although I am very candid, clients say I am extremely gentle, & open minded, or maybe because I do not judge or force my opinions as an I know everything expert but from a genuine enquiring exploratory curiosity of not-knowing. For me the client is always the expert of his own life, I am just the mirror and skilled in a process which helps them achieve their full potential