Do you suffer from anxiety and are looking for tips and tricks to help you? Do you suffer from depression and have tried tips and tricks, but nothing seems to work? Are you having communication problems in your relationship and yet all the tips and tricks that you have read about don’t seem to work? Have you tried one session of therapy and found it didn’t work? Are you confused as to what it takes to get better?

In order to understand mental health you need to understand how the brain works and why tips and tricks don’t work for correcting long standing anxiety, depression, strong emotional regulation problems, such as anger, are difficult to fix with tips and tricks. The brain takes 27 years to grow and develop. The most critical and impressionable time of any human development is 0-4 years of age. Our ability to develop good mental health, emotional regulation skills and ward off anxiety and depression as adult largely depends on the quality of parenting and the mental health of our parents when we were child and other factors.

The brain is a use-dependant organ and it is highly adaptive and learning. So, if you grew up in a family that had one or both parents with some sort of mental illness (anxiety, depression, addiction, financial insecurity, food insecurity), you will likely grow up with some sort of mental health issues. If you grew up with a family where the parents were emotionally neglectful, physically abusive to you or to one another, you will likely grow up with anxiety and depression. Why is that?

The reason is that the brain is adapting to what is considered normal within your family system and if your’s family system has pathology in it, that is your normal. The brain adapts to the mentally ill parents and adapts to the instability and unpredictability that occurs in your family.

When you have an unstable family, the child is not having the space that it needs to organise and develop. Instead, the child is too busy focusing on outside factors, such as monitoring the parents, monitoring external things, leaving very little time for the child to develop and organise internally. There are many, many paths and there are many, many protective factors, but this lack of stability and pathology in a family system has long-term consequences on the development of the child.

The brain, as a use-dependant organ, in therapy what we are doing is basically rewiring the brain and that takes, first of all, identifying and learning how to recognise your feelings, identifying and recognising unhealthy or incorrect belief systems and thought patterns, then being able to have the intense desire to rewire them.

The rewiring occurs in therapy with the help of the therapist who is in some sense replicating a parenting type relationship. This requires a lot of work and huge amounts of repetition and a person that is highly motivated. Because the brain is use-dependant and these things have been established for 20+ years tips and tricks don’t work.

Most people know what they need to do and they are not able to do it because of the deep coding in their brain. Therapy is actually helping the patient to correctly rewire their brain. So, if you are coming into therapy looking to get fixed with a long standing problem of anxiety, depression, anger, insecurity, low self-esteem and low self-worth in one session, you will be greatly disappointed. That is not how your brain works. The brain requires the strength and health of a healthy brain to help guide it into healthy thinking through repetition, support and encouragement.

If you would like to explore how therapy can help you really change your life, change the rewiring in your brain to produce a calm, happy, high self-esteem brain, contact All In The Family Counselling Center Pt. Ltd. to learn how we can help you. Contact us at +65 9030 7239 or email us at

 All In The Family Counselling Center is one of the oldest and most established therapy centers in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Tammy Fontana, our lead therapist, has over a decade worth of experience in helping people. She is an English speaking expat therapist and if you would like to learn how we can help you, contact us now!

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