New Hope for Children & Adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders: ReAttach Therapy

Autism is a disorder of neural development, characterized by impaired social development, communication, emotion regulation and by restricted, repetitive behaviors. A study by the Ministry of Health on children between the ages 18 to 26 months showed a rate of 1.6 in 1000 children, or approximately 1 in 625 and it is rising (MOH, 2014).

Early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) would usually start around two to six years of age. Common prevalent symptoms are; not being scared of danger, either being too sensitive or not sensitive at all to pain, avoiding eye contact, has difficulty expressing what they want or need, unusual fears, have an overall difficulty in interacting with others, repeated body movement, such as hand flapping or rocking, unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. They possibly will experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.

So, is there a cure to Autism? A frequently cited 2008 review of research studies found that from 3 to 25 percent of people eventually reversed their autistic symptoms. In addition, two extensive U.S. studies have found 4 to 13 percent of children lose their ASD symptoms, but that is debatable as it doesn’t always mean a full “recovery” from developmental problems.

Intervention for autistic children comes in a variety of methods, notably behavioral, developmental and nutritional intervention. These interventions typically address specific areas of autism. For example: behavioral interventions focus on teaching children new behaviors and skills using specialized and structured techniques while developmental intervention focuses on relationship development of the child and the people around them, primarily social and communication skills.

In conjunction with various intervention to rehabilitate patients with ASD, Dr. Paula Weerkamp-Bartholomeus developed and pioneered “ReAttach Therapy”. A new therapeutic intervention based on Bowlby’s attachment theory, ReAttach Therapy can be of great importance for people with ASD. This is concluded from the continuous practical research by Dr. Paula into the advantages that can be reached for people with Asperger’s syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), autism spectrum disorder, or with a mental disability and autism, using the ReAttach therapy.


Dr. Paula Bartholomeus is the developer of the Viki’s View intervention (2010). From advancing insights, she developed the ReAttach method in November 2012. A noteworthy aspect of ReAttach is the fact that positive changes are made in several developmental areas of this pervasive developmental disorder at the same time. It has garnered positive measurable changes of patients on the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC) that is notably recognized by the Autism Research Institute. The results of children with severe communicational problems, who have for instance lost their ability to speak and have not spoken for years, are overwhelming. Three children with comparable developmental problems have regained their ability to speak. On top of that, they have made comparable progression in the areas of play, social functioning and behavior.

What makes Dr. Paula’s Reattach therapy effective is its method of intervention that requires proximity, distance, touch, voice and emotional expression. Additionally, it is also easy to be taught among newly trained professionals. This in turn allow practitioners to practice effectively without needing to attend months if not years of intensive training.

Dr. Paula Bartholomeus will be coming to Malaysia for the first time as a keynote speaker at the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Conference 2019 ( which is held on 23-24th March 2019 and to train and certify psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists and child therapists in ReAttach Therapy at the post conference workshop 25th-27th March 2019. The conference is cohosted by the International Psychology Centre ( and the Malaysian Association for Psychotherapy (

This article is contributed by the International Psychology Centre. For more information on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Conference 2019 please email: or call +603 27277434 and visit and read free downloadable book: Autism: is there a place for ReAttach?

How Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) improve the sleep quality of your employees.

Do you hardly get any sleep no matter how tired you are?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, keep rolling in your bed, anxiously waiting for time to pass?

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Photo by Pixabay on

It is very common we have trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, sadness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems occur regularly, you may be suffering from Insomnia. Lack of sleep takes a toll on your energy, mood, and ability to function during the day. But you don’t have to resign yourself to sleepless nights. Addressing the underlying causes and making changes to your lifestyle, daily habits, and sleep environment can help to overcome sleep disorder and enjoy good night’s sleep again.

One of the problems could be that when a person works at night, the light exposure suppresses melatonin which is normally secreted at night. People who work night shifts or rotating shifts also often don’t sleep enough, and long-term sleep deprivation is known to be bad for health. Shift work also disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms and causes them to become out of sync with the external environment and/or behavioral cycles.

Through the Employee Assistance Programme, seeing a psychologist can help your employees address sleep problems. Psychologists can help people change their behaviors and manage the thoughts, feelings and emotions that can interfere with a healthy night’s sleep. Our licensed and experienced psychologists have the professional training and skills to treat individuals suffering from depression and anxiety, which have been linked to sleep problems like insomnia.

In working with a psychologist in your company, you can expect to talk about – overall physical and emotional health, and health beliefs and behaviors. A psychologist will help your employee identify any underlying stressors and behaviors that may be interfering with your employees’ sleep.

A psychologist may ask your employees to keep a sleep diary with information about their routines and behaviors. This can help the psychologist identify patterns of behavior that might be interfering with sleep. For instance, if they have a habit of exercising at night or watching television in bed, the psychologist can help them take a look at how their routines impair sleep, and help them find alternatives. The psychologist may also teach them several resilience and relaxation techniques to help you learn to quiet their mind and unwind before bed.

For the most part, sleeping involves a routine, so it makes sense that there are things you can do in your daily and nightly routines to improve your sleep quality. Along with consulting our psychologists, you might want to incorporate some of the following tips.

1. Make Adjustments to Maximize Sleep

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products during the day, especially in the hours before sleep.
  • Finish eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, avoiding big meals.
  • Exercise regularly. Finish your exercise a few hours before bedtime.
  • Eliminate napping or limit the duration to 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Avoid fatty and spicy foods at the evening meal. They can cause heartburn which can keep you awake or wake you up too soon.

2. Create the Best Possible Sleep Environment

  • Remove electronics like computers and televisions from your room.
  • Keep the room cool, comfortable, quiet, and dark.
  • Use a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Use the bed only for sleep and intimacy.

3. Prepare for Sleep

  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: take a bath, read a book, listen to relaxing music before bed or try having a cup of Chamomile tea.
  • Simple breathing exercises can help. Breathe, using your abdomen not your chest, through your nose for three seconds, then breathe out for three seconds. Practice this for about five to ten minutes in the later evening.
  • Don’t watch the clock – it can cause anxiety about sleep.
  • Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes. Only spend time in bed when you are actually sleeping.
  • Clear your mind – if you experience worries that are hard to shut off, spend some time earlier in the evening writing in a journal.
  • Try using a progressive relaxation CD that is specifically used for helping people fall asleep. CDs are available through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Our EAP counselor can help you determine the best CD for your situation.

For more information, contact us through:

+603 – 2727 7434




From the Brink of Divorce to Happy Marriage


Joanna (name changed) is a thin, reasonably attractive 41-year-old female who was brought to International Psychology Centre by her group of close friends, stating that she was facing marital issues, household violence, as well as being generally unhappy.

Joanna was introduced to her husband shortly after she moved to KL, and they were married after a brief but intense courtship of 3 months. This intensity waned almost immediately after the marriage ceremony, and they settled into a routine marked neither by contentment nor by obvious problems. Interactions were minimal and there was seldom conflict. Over the years they have three children aged 11, 8 and 6.

As years passed, Joanna’s husband, who is now a project manager for a multinational manufacturing company, spends a lot of time travelling. When he is home, he is no longer willing to listen to Joanna. However, the problem is not as apparent then, since Joanna tries to rationalize by saying that her husband is merely stressed out, and she should give him the space he needs. However, the condition of their marriage deteriorates when her husband starts getting abusive in his speech and even actions where he would slam the door and come out with a list of things she should be doing. More recently, Joanna had experienced the episodes of anxiety and depression more consistently when her husband was around. Coupled with the responsibilities to manage the household and take care of her three children, Joanna was emotionally, intellectually, and physically drained to the point where she could do little more than meet her own basic needs.

Seeing her struggles, Joanna’s friends decided to help her out. They heard of Relate, The Centre for Couple Therapy, International Psychology Centre. In addition to individual psychotherapy, there are also couple and sex therapy, as well as family therapy. Over the course of a few weeks, Joanna came in for more sessions where she was taught how to communicate more effectively with her husband. For example, instead of avoiding her husband, Joanna was taught to mirror and empathize with her husband. She was also taught to address her negative emotions through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Emotion-Focused Therapy. During these sessions, Joanna was coached to better identify and flexibly manage her emotions. She also learnt how to attend to her children’s needs more effectively and facilitate them to cope in difficult situations. Joanna’s husband was invited to join her for Couple Therapy as well whereby the psychologist and couple therapist was able to help them to better understand and talk to each other.

Biochemical laboratory tests, such as the Neurotransmitter test was also recommended to investigate any biochemical cause of Joanna’s constant mood of anxiety and depression. It is evident that a lack of serotonin, which is one of the brain neurotransmitter or brain chemical, was one of the causal factors for depression. Based on these results, a programme of psycho-nutritional supplements can then be recommended along with psychotherapy sessions that will help Joanna boost her neurotransmitter without any side effect and improve her relationship with her husband.

In a matter of weeks, Joanna had made considerable gains in these important areas: First, Joanna and her husband were able to communicate more effectively with one another. Second, Joanna and her husband were able to better support each other emotionally. Most importantly, both of them are now able to live life vitally and adaptively, and enjoy better relationships with themselves and the people around them.

This article is contributed by the team of Psychologists at Relate, The Centre for Couple Therapy, International Psychology Centre.

For psychological assessment and intervention, please contact Relate, The Centre for Couple Therapy, International Psychology Centre.

+603 – 2727 7434




Does Your Child have Language Delay?

Being expressive can be very touching, most of us use verbal communication to express our feelings, thought to others. Language development can start from early childhood, even starting from the first year.

It is important for you to be concerned about the language development of your children. Knowing what’s “normal” and what’s not in language development can help you figure out if your child is right on schedule. Here’s some developmental norms may provide clues:

Before 12 months

Toddlers within one year old babbles rhythmically, copy some of the sounds and gestures of caregiver make; they play with making different sounds – for example, ‘aaieee’, ‘booo’, ‘ahh’ at varying pitches and volumes.

From 1 to 2 years

Children at this age begin to imitate and approximate sounds and words modeled by family members, and typically say two words sentences spontaneously. Most toddlers are saying about 20 words by 18 months and 50 or more words by the time they turn 2. By age 2, kids are starting to combine nouns and verbs simple sentences, such as “baby crying” or “Daddy smile”.

From 3 to 4 years

Kids at this age can make sentences length four to five words, they have about 1000 words vocabulary. They can tell what they did on that day, they know last name, name of street, even recall several nursery rhymes.

From 4 to 5 years

They have 1500 words vocabulary, they ask many question like “why” and “who”. As they grow their vocabularies are gaining, they are beginning to master basic sentences structure. They also can identify colors, shapes, and comprehend descriptive concepts (big versus little, for example).

Each child’s language development grows with different pace. At the age of two, about one in five children shows signs of having a language delay. Some of these children will catch up as they get older and some do not.

Your child might have language delay if you see some of the following signs in your children:

By 3 years old:

  • Seldom have eye contact
  • Not trying to communicate with you, particularly when they need help
  • Unable to say about 50 different words
  • has difficulty understanding simple verbal requests

Between 3 to 5 years old:

  • Does not understand prepositions or action words
  • Does not use at least 200 words
  • Does not ask for things by name

Language delay involves impaired comprehension or use of a spoken, written, or other symbol systems.  The disorder may involve: the form of language (phonology, morphology, and syntax), the content of language (semantics) or the function of language in communication (pragmatics). There can be a number of causes of language disorder. The most consistently reported risk factors include a family history of speech and language delay, male sex, premature birth, and low birth weight. It most often co-occur with Autism Spectrum Disorder which is linked with heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut or gut dysbiosis and a signature of genetic mutations.


A psychologist will be able to conduct the psychological test such as Phonological Test, Dyslexia Test, Pragmatic Language Test and Cognitive or IQ test to diagnose the specific language and other disorder.

Psychologists also trained in PsychoNutritional medicine and therapy such as Dr. Edward Chan, the principal consultant child psychologist at ChildPsych, Centre for Child Psychology of the International Psychology Centre who was accredited by the Amen clinics led by the world renowned psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, can also conduct mental health lab tests including heavy metal toxicity hair analysis, leaky gut urine test, gut dysbiosis stool test and saliva gene tests after the confirmed language disorder diagnoses.


Please seek evaluation if you suspect your child has language delay. According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), 200 studies have found that 70 percent preschool children show improvement after treatment. The treatment include:

  • Individual speech therapy: A psychologist trained in speech therapy such as those at the Child Psychology Centre at the International Psychology Centre will interact with a child by playing and talking, using pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. This can help the child to build his vocabulary and improve his grammar.
  • Psychotherapy: If your child has emotional difficulties as a result of language issues, you might want to consider psychotherapy.
  • PsychoNutritional Therapy: If your child has heavy metal toxicity, leaky gut or gut dysbiosis their language delay symptoms will drastically improve once these causes have been treated especially if they get treated before the age of 7 according McCandless, psychiatrist and author of Children with starving Brains; a medical treatment guide to Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Parents are an extremely important part of their child’s therapy program. There are ways you can help your child’s oral language skills at home:

  • Communicate with your child as much as you can: During infancy, sing and play lots of music. Spend a lot of time to communicate with your child, talk about what you see when you’re driving in the car or at the supermarket.
  • Read to your child. Make reading an interactive experience with discussing the book’s pictures, and let your child make up a new ending or act out the story with puppets. Later, let your child point to recognizable pictures and try to name them. Then move on to nursery rhymes, which have rhythmic appeal.
  • Ensure that you do not have heavy metals toxicity before you conceive by doing a heavy metal toxicity hair test because toxic heavy metal can be passed directly to your fetus.

Whatever your child’s age, recognizing and treating problems early on is the best approach to help with speech and language delays. With proper therapy and time, your child will likely be better able to communicate with you and the rest of the world.


This article is contributed by Psychologists and PsychoNutritional Therapists at ChildPsych, Centre for Child Psychology of the International Psychology Centre.

Address: 11-1, Wisma Laxton, Jalan Desa, Taman Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel: 03-2727 7434




Insomnia Psychotherapy

Young Woman with Insomnia

Carly had a good career, a good family, and a good home. She was doing well in life. But due to a restructuring at her company, Carly was moved to a different department at her work place. Carly was constantly stressed under her new boss due to unreasonable amount of work and because of this she began to have difficulty sleeping.jvem6evwxxhhwa37n41g Carly would constantly go to bed worrying and thinking about her work, she couldn’t catch a night’s worth of sleep. She would just lie in bed the whole night with her laptop on and paperwork piled all around her. Carly was beginning to worry her family. Her husband, Harold, would often try to talk sense into her to get her to rest but she refuses saying she needs to get all of the work done. Harold even tried to get their children to coax their mother to sleep, she complies but wakes up after the children leaves and goes back to work. Harold would get so frustrated with her constant movements and the light being turned on that he would sleep in the guestroom instead, thus causing a strain in their marriage.

What Carly and her family are experiencing is not unusual, many people suffer from insomnia. Insomnia has become an increasingly prevalent disorder in our modern, fast-paced, and stressful world. It is especially frequent with people who are easily stressed and who do not have good coping abilities. Carly felt the weight of her actions toward her family, she realized that her family was getting distant and she decided to seek for professional help. Carly called International Psychology Centre® and made an appointment to have an initial assessment with the team of trained psychologists. The assessment diagnosed Carly with acute insomnia. According to the DSM-V, the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual for Mental Disorders, acute insomnia is a condition lasting from a few days to a few weeks, often associated with life events or a change in sleep schedule. These symptoms may produce significant distress, and interfere with personal, occupational, and social functioning.


helpA combination of therapeutic techniques and materials were prescribed for Carly.  She was prescribed psycho-nutritional supplements such as Tryptophan to increase her melatonin level. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleeping cycle and sleeping pattern in humans and in animals. With that, Carly would be able to have longer hours of good sleep. She was also prescribed Anti Insomnia PsychoAromatherapy, which is a specific blend of essentials oils that are soothing and calming to help a person sleep faster, longer, and better. Social & Emotional Intelligence Therapy was also included and it is an innovative therapeutic framework that takes place through the direct and creative dialogue through various natural direct activities and thereby developed other multiple intelligence including interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence such as stress management, problem solving and reality testing skills. Carly also went through Insomnia Psychotherapy, a psychological and specific form of psychotherapy to explore the many different sub-personalities in a human. This therapy helps the client to embrace and function coherently with the different personalities in them, especially the worrying as well as confident parts of themselves.

After several sessions of individual Insomnia Psychotherapy, a better communication between Carly, Harold (Carly’s husband), Tanya, and Anne (Carly’s two daughters) was established and Carly’s family were happy to be able to talk and communicate with Carly again. Carly was able to talk to her husband about her problems at work, and their relationship was getting better again. Carly feels better now that she has better quality and quantity of sleep.

“Insomnia can be a dangerous problem. Not only does it affect a person’s physical healthy but also affecting a person in every aspect, be it social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and so forth. By finding out what is the cause of insomnia such as a stressor, and subsequently teaching a person to handle the problem effectively and efficiently, insomnia will cease to exist,” says Dr. WengLok Chan, the Principal Consultant Psychologist of PsyCare™, Centre of Excellence for Personal and Corporate Growth at the International Psychology Center® (

This article is contributed by PsyCare™, Centre of Excellence for Personal and Corporate Growth of International Psychology Centre®’s team of psychologist and psycho-nutritional therapists. Contact them at the International Psychology Center Sdn Bhd, 11-1 Wisma Laxton, Jalan Desa, Taman Desa Kuala Lumpur. Call 03-27277434, e-mail or log on to


A terrible thing has happened. You found out your partner cheated on you. What happens now?


For some people, cheating means an automatic break-up. But others may still have feelings for their partner, and depending on the circumstances they may want to try and keep the relationship going. A lot of people who contact us ask: how do I build trust again after my partner cheats?

As hard as this might be to hear, it’s important to remember that there is no way to 100% guarantee that your partner will never cheat again. Your partner has to make the choice not to cheat, and you can’t control other people’s decisions.

However, you can choose whether or not to trust your partner again. Rebuilding trust is possible. It does take a lot of work, and BOTH partners have to be committed to healing the relationship.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Communication should be open. Healthy communication is important in any relationship, but especially after trust has been broken. You should be able to talk honestly with your partner, and you should feel that your partner is being open and honest with you. If you have an argument, try to fight fair without bringing up the past.

Be on the same team. Your relationship may not look the same on the “other side,” but it is possible to build something new. You should both be focused on building that new relationship together.

Stay “present-oriented.” One of the most difficult things about rebuilding trust after someone cheats is staying in the present moment and building toward the future, rather than living in or worrying about the past. You have every right to feel hurt, angry, and sad about your partner’s decision to cheat. However, if you can’t eventually let go of those feelings and work toward a more positive, open approach to the relationship, it may be a sign that this relationship is not worth staying in.

Trust yourself. This might be the most important (and hardest) thing to do. You might be questioning your own instincts at this point: “Should I have done something differently?” “Shouldn’t I have seen this coming?” But learning to trust yourself, your own feelings, and that you’ll be okay moving forward is key to having a healthy relationship with anyone. If something doesn’t feel right, rethink about whether or not it’s right for you.

As you are rebuilding your relationship, remember the following:

  • Cheating is never an excuse to be abusive toward your partner. There is no excuse for abuse.
  • Cheating does not mean your partner has no right to privacy anymore. It’s not healthy to demand that they share their cell phone or social media passwords with you, or constantly check up on them and make them prove that they are telling you the truth. What you share with each other is still a decision for each of you to make. Again, it will be your choice to trust or not trust your partner.

If You’re the One Who Cheated

If you cheated on your partner, and you both have decided to try and make your relationship work again, there are a few things you need to do:

Take responsibility. Own up to your behaviors, and be understanding about how those behaviors have made your partner feel. Be honest with yourself as to why you made the decision to cheat.

Keep promises. Call when you say you’ll call. Do what you say you’re going to do. Show that you are worthy of trust.

Give your partner space. They will be angry and hurt about what you did, and they have a right to feel and express their feelings. Sometimes it might seem like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back, but you must recognize that this process takes time. Trust cannot be given back overnight. However, like we said above, your partner does not have the right to be abusive toward you, and you still have a right to your own privacy.

Communicate openly. Find out what your partner needs. Really listen to them. Be honest with your partner about what you need. Are you willing and able to meet your partner’s needs, and vice versa? If not, it might be time to reconsider whether staying in the relationship is right for both of you.

Are you dealing with cheating in a relationship and need someone to talk to? Call, text, or chat online with one of our peer advocates today. We can help!



Hi Everyone,

The International Psychology Centre is organizing a talk on


Personality refers to individual differences in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Research shows the match between your career and personality plays a major role in your job satisfaction and success. We will help you make that match.

Feel free to join us school leavers, parents, family and friends, please do drop by to gain more information on how to find the suitable career.


Date: 19th DEC 2015

Time: 5.10pm – 5.40pm

Venue: KLCC Convention Centre

So, don’t miss the chance out. Let’s join us to boost up your passion towards your future career!

Hope to see you there!

For more details, please contact 03-27277434



Psychology is about understanding and changing people, whether you are an individual, couples, children or corporate organisation. We help you to change to be more successful. We help you to understand your unconstructive or unproductive patterns of behaviour, thinking and emotions and replace them with more productive and successful patterns of behaviour.