Rubendev Singh Dhillon is a Level 2 Member and Registered Counsellor with the Australian Counseling Association (ACA) and a Licensed Registered Counselor with the Board of Counselors, Malaysia. He completed his BA in Psychology at Nottingham University UK at their Malaysia campus. He served as a therapist for children with learning disabilities, autism and ADHD at the National Autism Society of Malaysia. In 2018, he obtained a Master in Professional Counseling from Monash University of Australia. During his training, he worked with a diverse range of individuals in multiple settings such as a psychosocial rehabilitation center, a children’s care home and a vocational school for abandoned adolescents.
Rubendev has worked with individuals experiencing generalized anxiety, depression, social anxiety, behavioral problems, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD and substance abuse. He recently ventured into virtual counseling since seeing a post-pandemic surge in need for online mental health services. Through an online platform, he has worked with individuals facing relationship issues, suicidal ideation, domestic abuse and self-harm behaviours. Rubendev uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), client-centered therapy, and has been expanding his focus on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). He also utilizes tools from other modalities such as narrative therapy, solution focused therapy, gestalt therapy and mindfulness.
Rubendev believes that fulfillment and satisfaction are attainable goals in life through therapy and is passionate in helping others develop healthy relationships with themselves and others. He facilitates focus on self-awareness through ‘being in the moment’ and in noticing the changes and interaction between thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Being cognitive-based, he helps clients challenge unhelpful thought patterns and encourages people in identifying helpful coping solutions.
I find that I approach therapy from an ‘ecological’ standpoint and allow for initial sessions to take their own course. I believe that therapy is a journey for both the client and the counselor. I factor in systems beyond the client themselves as part of their experience. This may include sibling relationships, religious belief, community affiliations, political preferences and social connections. I am empathetic towards and take a keen interest in each person’s story while remaining sensitive toward the psychological – emotional, cognitive and behavioral – constructs that may shape this. These systems and constructs are interconnected and influence each other in our daily interactions. Their role in shaping us, both in and outside of therapy, is relevant. I believe that the client is in the driver’s seat of their story at all times and is seeking therapy to navigate their experiences effectively.
I have worked a lot with children in various settings, along with their parents or caretakers, who have experienced a range of different challenges such as abandonment, foster care, vocational care homes, autism, ADHD, and learning disability. I have also worked together with adolescents and adults across a range of areas such as career, relationships, self-esteem, burnout, grief, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and personal trauma. I have also worked with families having difficulty communicating with their children, creating tension in the home environment. This has involved conducting sessions in their residence so as to observe them in their natural environment and the associated dynamics. This is the population I would hope to work with further as family counseling is a deep-seated interest of mine. A new population I have recently started to work with as part of my professional development is couples seeking couples counseling.
In the beginning I generally make a recommendation based on the severity of the presenting problem, where some clients may need more than once a week during the initial stages. At a later stage in their counseling, the same clients may find that coming in once every month is sufficient for them as things become more manageable. In my recent experience working with an online-only counseling platform, counseling was done on a daily basis, in smaller chunks referred to as byte-size coaching. I noticed that this facilitated greater rapport building and client openness. However at the same time I recommend making sufficient time for reflection and implementation of techniques and tools learnt. Most counseling/therapeutic interventions have a recommended period and frequency of sessions when change is posited to occur and this serves as a timeline guide for both clients and counselors. I discuss this during sessions with my clients as such recommendations need to be tailored on a case-by-case basis and according to progress.