Buyers Beware: Practitioners May be Manipulating You for Their Personal Benefit

Posted On: October 15, 2019

When I was pursuing my diploma in Mass Communications, I got a rare A in one of my school projects on Communications (which surprised even myself). In that module, we were taught to appreciate and understand the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication – and naturally we had the assignment of demonstrating our understanding between and of the two.

I decided to make a study of the verbal and non-verbal communication language/ cues/ signals of people at MRT stations in Singapore. I spent hours doing people watching and herein began my fascination with people watching. I realise there was so much to observe once you start to:

  • Actual: What they wore/ carried, their posture, gestures, demeanor etc.
  • Perceived: mood; Their energy; personality; relationship with whomever they were with etc

Later when I did people watching in public, I would often find myself wondering and guessing how couples (at least I think they are couples) met and what their sex lives might be like. I was fascinated with not just human behavior, but the inner workshops of their brain – reading books on psychology, philosophy, personal development, dating, horoscopes even.

People think it is bad to judge. Some even say why care or who cares? I’ve had to reconcile with: all of us do judge/ perceive/ think/ feel. It’s instinctual (for survival/ safety/ strategy). It’s not what you do but what you do when what you think you know/ feel/ sense. Yes, most of it is guesswork (see/ think/ feel/ sense) first, then verification through asking (not assuming), and clarification (check for meaning/ understanding). Guesswork/ judging has served me in my work – I use every cell of my body to listen/ see/ sense for congruence so as to support/ help/ serve my clients.

When practitioners, like myself, become highly skilled at people reading, we certainly can manipulate/ take advantage of others especially when they aren’t informed, and feel helpless, and vulnerable. This is where ethics/ morals/ values/ supervision all in handy. I am grateful that I’ve had great teachers and mentors. I use what the skills, knowledge, experience, gifts I have to serve my clients.

I hope you will use due diligence in deciding the helping professional for you, and also exercise your discernment and intuition. May all be well.

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than 10 years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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