Asperger Syndrome & Marriage – Support in Kuala Lumpur

Source: Click on image.

Update (3/4/2018): The support group discussed below is no longer available.

Update (21/5/2014): Listen to my radio show on the topic at BFM 89.9 with Dr. Alvin Ng and Sudha Kudva here – link.

Asperger syndrome (AS) is “one of a distinct group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairment, communication difficulties, and restrictive, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior” (1). It is one of several autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and considered to the mildest form, sometimes also referred to as high-functioning autism (HFA).

In January 2014, I started a new support group with my colleague Sudha Kudva for wives whose husbands struggle with AS or HFA. This may well be the first AS/HFA marriage support group in Malaysia.

Here is how it began. Continue reading “Asperger Syndrome & Marriage – Support in Kuala Lumpur”

Johnben Loy is back online! Really!

back-to-blogging
Source: Google Images

I admit it. I have neglected my online presence for far too long. My last post was more than 3 months ago, and I had promised myself to make at least one post a month after I launched Rekindle Community.

Worse, I had even promised Meera that I would blog about our topics before we went on air so that we can delve more deeply into them when we go on air. Both January and February exposed me as a promise-reneger. Continue reading “Johnben Loy is back online! Really!”

Sex Addiction Support in Malaysia (for men)

Source: Google images

When I first started practicing as a therapist in Kuala Lumpur, I bemoaned the lack of community support available for my clients. Practicing in the U.S., it was easy to get additional resources for clients and help them reach their therapy goals more quickly and effectively.

One of my areas of speciality is to help men with sexual compulsivity, also known as sexual addiction or hypersexual disorder (click here to listen to my talk on BFM about it in 2011). Helping a client work through addictive behavior requires not only personal (and relationship) therapy, but also peer group support. I looked around for a men’s support group but there was none available.

I am glad to announce that after three years of practice in Malaysia, I am starting to see more recovery groups forming. Recently, one of my former clients who had struggled with sexual compulsivity contacted me and told me that a 12-step support group has started, here in Kuala Lumpur, and that he was a part of it. I was very excited and offered to learn more about the group. They were open to meet up with me, and so we did. Continue reading “Sex Addiction Support in Malaysia (for men)”

Good Followership: The Founding of Rekindle Community

Teamwork
Source: Google images.

What is leadership? Is it to start something completely new? Spearhead something that no one has done and doing it in a completely new way? Is it “to boldly go where no man has gone before?”

In 2010, I facilitated two plenary sessions at a family business conference where founders and successors shared their experiences across two generations of leadership [link]. First, the founders spoke, then the successors responded. Leader, then follower. Pretty straight forward, right? Not quite.

At the dinner, a successor to one of the founders said privately to me, “I am not sure that it would be accurate to say that my father is the founder of our business. You can say that I am the founder of this business because I took it over from him and grew it to the successful enterprise it is today. Or in another way, you could say that my grandfather was the founder as there were many tangible and intangible assets that my father received from him. Then, you also have to think about my great-grandfather’s influence on my grandfather. So, who exactly is the founder?” Continue reading “Good Followership: The Founding of Rekindle Community”

Your Health in the Second Half

As a 45-year-old, I find myself more and more interested in health. Staying or becoming more healthy was never a serious concern for me in my 20s or even 30s. Men in their 40s are more in touch with mortality, more in touch with the need to be present for loved ones, and I think most of all, we are aware of how our bodies are slowly declining, no longer able to do the things they once did.

I was looking for some interesting science on fasting and mental health in light of the month of Ramadan, and I came across Michael Mosley’s video on BBC: Eat Fast and Live Longer. Fascinating stuff! Just by fasting 2 days a week, we can lose a ton of weight and live a lot longer! Continue reading “Your Health in the Second Half”

Expectation Burn-Out

Source: Google images.

{The demographic details in this post have been disguised.}

If I were to tell College-Aged Client (CAC) that his “case” has inspired me to write a blog post, he might very well throw up. Not because he would be disgusted to be an inspiration, but because that is what someone who is smart and funny and depressed all at the same time might say.

His is not an atypical Chinese upbringing: hardworking and upwardly-mobile parents, schooled in institutions renowned for producing prominent leaders, forced to learn piano or violin (and if he were a girl, probably ballet as well), flanked by a cadre of successful cousins and competitive friends, and expected to head towards either Cambridge or Oxford to study: (1) medicine, (2) law, or (3) accounting. OK, engineering also can.

Continue reading “Expectation Burn-Out”

Empowering Men – A New Online Support Group

menuphigh
Source: Google Images

I started a new online peer support group for men over the weekend. It is a free support group using Google+ communities, an extension of the men’s work that I do as a therapist at Rekindle International Marriage & Family Therapy Center (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). I hope for it to be a resource for men to find good support from other men, not just from me. And it is open for men to join via a recommendation by an existing member.

Below is the first weekly reflection I posted on the group. I am posting it here to share the heart of why I started this online community and to encourage other men interested to contact me if they would like to join. Continue reading “Empowering Men – A New Online Support Group”

How to Bring Up a Sensitive Issue With Your Partner

Image source: Wikimedia
Image source: Wikimedia

On April 17 2012, Yeap asked: “How to make the other half confront/face the issue instead of avoid discussing/touching the issue?

Thanks Yeap, for this important question. The short answer to your question is: invite your partner into a safe conversation with you about the issue.

But how do we do that?

When we come across as too demanding, our partners can feel as if we are forcing them against their will. The more we try to pry open their shell, the harder they clam up. Sometimes, by backing off a little and trying to understand their perspective, we can figure out more effective ways of reaching them. Begin by asking yourself this question: why might my partner not want to talk about this important issue with me?

Here are several reasons I can think of.

Continue reading “How to Bring Up a Sensitive Issue With Your Partner”