Hi Dr. Sham,
Thank you for agreeing to be GCT's Specialist Spotlight. We appreciate your efforts in taking time to speak with us and we look forward to learning about you.
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself. Introduce yourself and tell us where you are located.
My name is Norisham Abd Ghani, I am from Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia. I am the last child of 9 siblings. I graduated in Bachelor of Education (Guidance and Counseling) from University Putra Malaysia, Master of Education (Guidance and Counseling) from University Sains Malaysia and Doctoral of Philosophy (Psychology) from University Kebangsaan Malaysia. I served the Ministry of Education Malaysia for 33 years and I have been a Counselor for 23 years and a professional counselor registered under the Malaysian Counselor Board. I have retired from government service and established Shamzye AIMS health consultants in Selangor, Malaysia.
Q: What kind of work do you do?
With my career and experience as a counselor, my work focuses on counseling and mental health services. I love my job as it allows me to offer counseling to people in need. In addition, I also regularly conduct Talk programs in relation to anger management, stress management and other emotional management for adults or students. Additionally, I also run a Certified Body Language Analyzer programme as I am also a Trainer for Body Language Analyzer in Malaysia.
Q: What do you see to be one of the biggest challenges in your work today?
The main challenge that I encountered is the perception of the community on counseling services. Communities in Malaysia are quite resistant with the idea of getting counseling services. Various perceptions such as confidentiality, trust and shame make the counseling services less accepted or favoured and this is perhaps due to the society’s culture that keeps theirs and their family dignity from spreading life problems to others. Nevertheless, since the Covid 19 outbreak, Movement Control Order (MCO) has prompted the community to seek solutions through online guidance. However, providing counseling services with payment is somewhat challenging.
Typically, free counseling services at government agencies are the main focus for people to get help. This is also a challenge to any private counseling service provider like myself. Another challenge is to strengthen the anger management to society. This is because most of people like to get knowledge related to stress and conflict management compared to the anger management. Although issues related to uncontrolled anger are widely disclosed in social media, this knowledge is less emphasized. Demand is more to other emotional management such as stress, anxiety and depression.
Q: How are you attempting to meet those challenges?
As a private counseling service provider, I have shared a lot with the community in relation to the importance of counseling services in ensuring emotional stability. I made a lot of Facebook Live to share about issues related to mental health and advice people to go for counseling services regardless of whether from counselors at government sectors or private agencies. This aims to help the community to look at the importance of counseling services and further help to strengthen the counseling services in Malaysia. For the issue of anger management, I strive to extend those who are proficient in the management of anger through anger management courses and establish associations related to anger management to strengthen the expertise in managing anger in Malaysia.
Q: What do you best like about your work?
I am extremely interested in counseling and providing counseling services to others. In addition, the field of anger management is also a priority in my everyday work. This is because the work I do can help individuals to achieve emotional stability and subsequently improve their life to be better. When the client states the changes from the counseling session given, it motivates and driven me to do more. Hence, that is why I really love my work as it can give light to the clients’ life or others through counseling sessions or programs I run.
Now for the GCT Fun Five!
- What are your favorite foods?
I like to eat traditional Malay foods like Flower Crab in Tumeric Coconut Milk and sweet cakes (kuih) such as double layered rice flour
- What is your favorite place to visit?
I would like to visit Egypt because there are many ancient artifacts and historical places to see and visit. In addition, I also want to visit European countries such as Switzerland and France.
- How do you relax?
When tired of working I will reward myself with singing and watching movie besides praying and recite Al Quran.
- Do you have a pet peeve?
Some things that bothers me is the noise of spoon and fork clunk into each other or when it collides with teeth. I also cannot sleep with the lights on.
- What makes you laugh?
When someone talks to me about something hilarious or when I watch funny movies.
Dr. Sham attended a GCT CAMS training in 2021. The training started for her around 10p local time and went through the night. She is a committed, tireless helper and innovator in the field of anger management in Malaysia. She is also an active member of NAMA. We celebrate her dedication to her work and community.
Thanks again, Dr. Sham!