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Practitioners We Love: Get to Know Ping Qi, Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of Holding Ground

At Soma Clinic, we often refer to practitioners outside of our clinic, because support for the mother-to-be or the mother takes a village!

In each of these Features, we want to share the work of practitioners who we think will benefit our patients. In this article, we feature Ping Qi from Holding Ground.

ping qi clinical psychologist holding ground motherhood support

Ping Qi is a Clinical Psychologist at Holding Ground.

A mother of two, Ping Qi’s passion is to help parents navigate the challenges of raising their families confidently while maintaining their mental and emotional stability.

Combining her expertise and lived struggles of motherhood, Ping Qi can compassionately guide you to build healthier and happier families!

What you are today is a culmination of all everything that has happened in the past. What is your story and how did you become a clinical psychologist?

I was very obsessed in criminal psychology when I was a teenager so many books, all your crime shows. The more I read, the more fascinated I was with the complexities of human behavior.

At some point, I also had certain family members and friends that were struggling with mental health issues. Part of the reason why I became a clinical psychologist is because I was personally affected by what they experienced.

And so one thing led to another and here I am today!

What is one practice you would recommend to all new parents?

Personally, all new parents should go through a preparatory workshop on how to prepare for the baby. And this is NOT about the practical tasks like how to shower the baby, how to swaddle a baby, or even breastfeeding etc.

It is a conversation about the mental and physical load that is about to happen after the baby is here. It can be for menial household tasks such as

  • Who is going to do the laundry, how often?
  • Are we ordering meals, cooking, who is taking care of that?
  • Who orders the diapers, and checks on the inventory for shampoo, moisturizers etc
  • Who keeps up and schedules visits and check-ups with the GP/PD?

As a couple, talk about your boundaries:
– Are we allowing visitors?
– If so, what time and should they call or can they come during a certain time period?
– What are some things that we don’t want visitors to do? Can they hold the baby? What do they have to do if they want to hold the baby?.
– Is the new mum still expected to show up for family gatherings that happen during this time?

Consider all these scenarios and expectations prior to the birth so that when it happens, couples are on the same page and can handle this more effectively.

How do you guide new parents through their parenthood journey?

In a typical psychological session, the first session is usually for the client to share with us some of their concerns, and the issues that they might find challenging.

In the context of parenthood, some parents may struggle with the loss of their identify, finding it difficult to manage the newborn, or feeling overwhelmed with all the new information out there. Together with the parents, I would discuss with them on what their needs are, and come up with some suggestions on how we can approach it.

This is also the time where we set therapy goals. For some parents, it could be just about psychoeducation on the changes that they are experiencing, psychologically, biologically and emotionally.

For some parents, it’s about uncovering some of their values and beliefs, and how that can potentially cause them to feel overwhelmed or finding it hard to meet their own perceived expectations of themselves. This is particularly very common in new parents.

Throughout the sessions, a supportive space for emotional expression is key. When clients are allowed to express their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in an open and nonjudgmental space, that allows for deeper processing.

With some parents, we would explore practical skills such as coping strategies, communication skills and setting therapeutic “assignments” for themselves. Some examples would be scheduling an hour of self-care for themselves in the following week.

If necessary, partner or family members can be involved in the process, allowing all parties to communicate and come to an agreement on some of the issues that might be causing interpersonal disagreements or conflicts.

I also address postpartum mood disorders if needed, connect parents to community resources, and help them set long-term family goals. My aim is to empower them with the emotional support and knowledge to transition into parenthood successfully while maintaining their well-being.

What are 3 things you only learned about after you became a parent?

A. There is no perfect mother – there is only you.

Your journey as a parent is different from others – same as your child is different from others. Don’t compare, and be present and find joy and appreciation in the little growth in yourself and in your child.

B. Being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself is not being selfish.

Admitting that parenthood is challenging and knowing when to ask for help is the highest level of commitment you can give to your child – because being the best version of yourself only benefits your baby and provides a happy and healthy growing up environment for your child.

C. You can never be 100% prepared, but what you can do is take things in your stride as they come.

What are 4 myths that people have about parenthood?

Myth #1: Parenting is instinctual.

Most people seem to believe that parents come naturally and we instinctively know how to care for our child. You might hear parents commenting on other parents on like “Oh that is not what I would do, how can someone treat their kid this way?” – but the reality of it is that parenting is a learned skill.

We would not know how our child’s temperament is going to be, and while instincts does play a role, parenting often requires patience, effort and adaptation.

Myth #2: Parenting is going to bring us lots of joy.

I think like myself, some parents tend to romanticize parenthood, on how it will give them great joy envisioning it as a journey filled with constant happiness.

Even if we are aware of the sleepless nights and the challenges, somehow we convinced ourselves that we would be be able to cope with that. Nothing wrong, but I have come to realize that yes, parenthood can indeed bring you immense of joy, but it is a multifaceted journey of growth and self-discovery.

The highs are incredibly high, and the lows can be very demanding. By understanding and embracing the complexity of parenthood – and that we are not going to have it all, parents can find a more realistic and fulfilling path, allowing them to navigate the challenges with greater resilience and cherishing the joys.

Myth #3: Parenting gets easier with time.

This is something I hear a lot of, that “it is going to get easier” but my personal experience and the stories I have heard from my clients suggest otherwise! Yes, certain aspects may become less demanding (e.g., they don’t wake up for milk as often, they can sleep through the night, they become more independent) but the reality of it is there are new challenges that emerge with each stage of their development.

Parenthood is a lifelong journey that continually evolves and requires adaptability and ongoing learning. Just like how our children are continuously learning and growing, so are we.

Myth #4: I must be a perfect parent.

This is something similar to what I have mentioned earlier. But it resonates a lot with me. We often hear people say “oh I don’t want to screw my kids up”, “Am I doing this right”, “If I have done this, maybe my kid would turn out differently”.

But that is not realistic. In reality, all parents make errors. Did our mistakes result in a negative response in our children?

Maybe, but more importantly, did we learn and grow from it. Did we communicate that to our children. If we have lost our temper and snapped at our children – that is not ideal, but if we are able to learn from it and process the incident with our children (sharing how we felt and admitting that we made a mistake), it is the best opportunity for our children to model that!

By holding onto the perfect idea of a parent is an unrealistic standard that can lead to unnecessary stress. Further, it is communicating to our children that mistakes are not tolerated in this household – something that could have more dire consequences in the long term.

What is one thing that most people think they know, but you have another take on?

That there is this “perfect parent” that they are trying to acheive. People think they know what it’s like because you hear them say “oh I should have done this, or this is what I should be doing”. Alot of shoulds, and alot of judgments for moms who might not adhere to the “perfect mom”.

I was that, but my current self talk to myself is to embrace these imperfections and view mistakes for growth and learning. Also, if your children dont see you fail, they will come to learn that failure isnt an option.

How do you think the role of the father has changed and will continue to evolves in the decades ahead?

I think the role of father has evolved greatly since the time of our parents, and will continue to do so in the decades ahead.

Dads today are more actively engaged in parenting, some who have been involved in the changing of diapers to even attending school events. There have also been more stay-at-home dads nowadays!

Given that most family are now dual-income, fathers and mothers have to balance work and family life – and we are definitely seeing dads step up – not just being providers, but also caregivers and nurturers.

There is also a significant change in the emotional dimension of fatherhood – there have been more care for fathers in terms of their emotional health which encourages dad to express their feelings and connect with their children emotionally. This is a departure of the traditional masculinity, one that would greatly strengthen the father-child relationship.

Of course, there are still societal expectations for fathers to be the main breadwinner but with the newly increase in paternal leave, this is definitely an opportunity for fathers to see how they can participate in a more equitable and emotionally connected approach to parenting with their spouses.

Get in Touch!

Here’s how to get in touch with Ping Qi online. At Soma Clinic, we support women through fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. We also connect with other people who can support your journey through to motherhood!

Questions or Queries? Ask Us!

For communications.
This is so we can get back to you on Whatsapp to schedule an appointment.
Week of pregnancy, EDD, is this first pregnancy, etc.

We do a fantastic job of assisting you if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or experiencing challenges after birth.

Location: 545 Orchard Road #16-03/07 Far East Shopping Centre (next to Wheelock Place) Singapore 238882.
Phone: +65 8809 9396

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