Dr Isabelle Ong Gaffney

Mental Health Counsellor
PhD Counseling & Counselor Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M.S. Counseling Dual Tracks: Clinical Mental Health Counseling & Elementary School Counseling, University of North Texas
MEd Early Childhood Education, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
National Certified Counselor (USA), North Carolina Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate (NCLCMHCA)
Member of Singapore Association of Counselling (SAC) & American Counseling Association (ACA)

Isabelle has lived, studied, and worked in the United States for close to a decade, and her international experiences have enriched both her personal and professional experiences. She has worked extensively with clients and supervisees from diverse cultural backgrounds in the United States and Singapore. She enjoys working collaboratively with her clients to deliver culturally-responsive interventions that best meet their needs, while supporting and guiding them in their journey toward self-growth and enhanced well-being.

Isabelle has been working with children, adolescents, and adults in the capacity of a counsellor, counsellor educator, and supervisor. Additionally, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings including schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, domestic violence agencies, and private practice. Trained in play therapy for individuals and groups, Isabelle integrates play therapy in her work with children and adolescents. She utilizes creative, expressive and play-based approaches for clients across the lifespan. Isabelle is also a certified AutPlay Provider and integrates play in her work with children and adolescents with autism and/or other developmental disorders. Alongside play therapy, she also offers individual and group parenting consultation, support, and resources to help parents effectively navigate challenging issues and transitions that they encounter in their parenthood journey.

Drawing upon her yoga teacher training and experience, Isabelle is passionate about working with clients who have experienced trauma, particularly domestic violence and intimate partner violence. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a research-supported treatment approach for trauma, mood and various mental health conditions. She integrates EMDR with trauma-informed psychotherapy, play therapy and expressive arts, yoga and mindfulness as a healing modality for her clients.

Isabelle has worked with clients with a wide range of mental health conditions including mood and emotional regulation issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-injurious behaviours, body image and eating disorders. Isabelle also offers a safe space for LGBTQIA clients and continues to receive training to support her clients. In addition to that, she is trained in Gottman Therapy Levels 1 and 2 and enjoys working with couples experiencing relationship issues including separation and divorce. Isabelle also provides pre-marital counselling.

Isabelle approaches her work with clients using an integrative and strength-based approach of counselling and psychotherapy. In her integrative approach, she draws upon Adlerian Therapy, Humanistic-Existential Therapies, Narrative Therapy, and third-wave Mindfulness-Based Therapies. In addition to university teaching and research experiences, Isabelle has authored several international journal articles and book chapters, and presented in both national and international conferences and workshops.

Dr Isabelle Ong Gaffney

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