Josanna Lai

Josanna Lai - Clinical Psychologist

Specialising in Narrative Therapy, Relationships, Anxiety, Depression + Personal Growth Obstacles

M.A. Clinical Psychology from University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

B.A. (Hons) from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA

Post Graduate Diploma in Narrative Therapy from Dulwich Center, Adelaide, Australia

Born and raised in Hong Kong, being fluent in English and Cantonese, Josanna has worked as a clinical psychologist for over twenty-six years in Hong Kong and Australia in diverse clinical settings including child assessment center, inpatient PTSD wards, outpatient psychiatric center, university counseling service, NGO for special education needs and certainly private practice.

Josanna finds Narrative Therapy and mindfulness particularly attractive in addressing psychological issues that are associated with modern hectic lifestyle.  Whether in depression, different manifestations of anxiety, complicated bereavement, substance abuse, relationship issues, work stress, parenting difficulties, or personal growth obstacles, we are invariably bogged down by powerful negative emotions and beliefs with debilitating implications for our sense of self.  Narrative Therapy is to assist us in making sense of our psychological and interpersonal difficulties and what they try to tell us.  Also, through the art of “externalizing” the problems, unpacking the discourses which powerfully affect our motives and values, our sense of agency and curiosity are resurrected in tackling the problems at hand.  Its catchphrase: “the person is NOT the problem, the problem is the problem” means when our sense of self is resurrected from self-blame, guilt and all sorts of negative labels, we will have the sense of agency and life skills to address the psychological issues.

In couples work, the thrust is to address the core issues that split them emotionally and psychologically while removing the role of the blame and guilt which invariably further burdens the relationship as well as hindering each party taking up their fair share of responsibility. The goal of couples’ work is to help each other make sense and sort out the core issues as well as making an informed consent about the direction of the relationship which might also include the option of separation or divorce in a harmonious manner as much as possible. It is not uncommon that in couples work, subsequent individual therapy is indicated.

Other than direct clinical work, Josanna is the honorary clinical supervisor for an NGO as well as for the master’s program in Clinical Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  Furthermore, she is also active in teaching Narrative Therapy for caring professionals.

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