Angela A. Watkins
Psychologist, Counsellor, SEN-educator, Clinical Placement Supervisor
Angela is the major counsellor and psychologists working at RED DOOR, an English medium psychology and counselling practice operating in Hong Kong. Angela acts as the main counsellor at RED DOOR, and is a Clinical Placement supervisor for other counsellors in training (Master of Counselling, Monash University).
Angela holds a Master of Arts in Education (Child Psychology from the University of Auckland) and a Master of Counselling degree (from Monash University).
In therapy Angela uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in collaboration with the narrative therapy, aspects of the strengths model, positive psychology, systemic techniques and art therapy techniques. Each client is unique and hence the journey and techniques are adapted to enhance your feelings of confidence in facing challenges in your life.
Her current clinical work focuses on adults facing anxiety (including OCD), surviving divorce, overcoming depression, building resilience and self-esteem, recovery from abuse, neurodivergence, sexuality, relationships, and taking charge of career change. Angela has conducted proprietary research on the stress among lawyers in Hong Kong, and the impact of divorce in Hong Kong. The later research was used to shape our platform for collaborative co-parenting – helping couples who have divorced decide how to make child care decisions together.
Angela also works with children and teens, both typical and neuro-diverse. Many teens in Hong Kong experience periods of anxiety and depression. She is experienced at working with teens who self-harm, have learning issues, and are experiencing strong emotional reactions. These experiences can be attached to external and internal factors which Angela will work through in a collaborative manner with yourself and your teen.
In her work with neuro-diverse teens, Angela works to guide teen’s social and emotional development and encourage positive behaviour change. Angela uses a strengths model approach together with techniques such as art therapy, and ABA, and social skills techniques to help develop vocational, independence and educational plans for teens with SEN. If you need an individual development plan for your child, Angela can help. Having identified that SEN children in HK could benefit from formal choir performances and practice, Angela co-founded VOC-Abilities, a choir for teens and adults with SEN. The choir is the first of its kind in HK.
Angela’s recent clients have said the following about their experience of her as a therapist:
Individual Therapy with Adults
“Angela has the hallmarks of great counsellors – she’s patient, compassionate and insightful. What makes her different is her pragmatism – she was deeply committed to helping me move forward, to help me – in effect – overcome myself. She gave me practical exercises that have had a real impact in helping me change my perspective, and helping me gain confidence that I could help myself. I can continue to work with the tools she’s taught me, no matter what challenges I may face. Her results-oriented approach made a huge difference to me, and I especially appreciate her since I had previously spent lots of time (and money) ineffectively talking round and round my issues and my past with other counsellors.”
“Angela played a crucial role in helping me find different ways to navigate through the difficulties of negotiating visitation and access to my daughter for her father. Angela has a pleasant way to challenge the way you address issues, in a consultative manner which resulted in more diverse problem solving process helping expand my options and provide new ideas. Her straight forward approach was a style that suited me. As a result I was able to identify what really mattered and pick my battles with my ex more wisely. Thank you Angela for your advice and continued support.”
“As a single mother of a young child, I sought Angela’s help to deal with a difficult relationship with the father. I found I was becoming increasing overwhelmed. Angela helped to retrain my thought process and helped making big decisions more manageable so they no longer felt colossal. That ended the emotional snowball experience. Angela helped address some of my relationships from the past so that I became more aware of how they affect my relationships now. She gave me the tools to stop repeating choices that were not benefiting me. She also helped me explore areas of personal growth which helped re-establish my confidence in myself again.”
“Angela’s personable and down to earth nature makes her very easy to open up to. She has fantastic knowledge and skills to guide you through issues. Her sense of humour is a light relief and reassuring – I found it stabilized me after revisiting painful memories. It felt extremely cathartic to have a belly laugh during therapy.”
Therapy for SEN
“Our son started Angela’s Social Saturday programme. In addition to helping him overcome performance anxiety, become more polite and sociable, Angela identified an area of strength that no other teacher or educator had previously identified. She helped us understand that this strength, with some training, could be turned into a future vocational opportunity. Angela clearly cares about our boy, notices his capabilities as well as challenges, and has created a new future for him” Karen, mother of Iain. 2018
“Angela’s creative yet pragmatic approach to developing an IDP for Cole helped me on several levels. I was able to focus my ideas around post-school options and imagine what Cole’s life might looked like. Angela’s objectivity helped me to appreciate skills that I had not considered or valued thus giving the process a positive outcome. It gave me a clearer vision of what Cole’s best life looks like. I want Cole to be able to thrive.We brainstormed topics and put everything down on a whiteboard for review. We came up with several topics including: personal care and hygiene, ( ABA training at home) potential vocational skills, ( shredding paper at his father’s work, home gardening), socializing and being a part of the wider community, ( Sailability at Hebe Haven, HKU Sandy Bay supporter) and general health and well being (home-based therapies).The process was liberating for me because it got all my ideas and concerns out of my head and onto paper. It helped to clarify what we could do and achieve for Cole. This is an organic document. It is worth revisiting on a regular (half-yearly) basis to see what has been achieved an what new goals can be set. Just like my life is a work in progress, so too is Cole’s. “ Written by Sandra F. mother of Cole, 2019.