Looking for a clinical psychologist in Singapore? Board-certified DR DANIELA SCHREIER is an expert in relationships, couple therapy, stress management and counselling and so much more. This published author, speaker, media contributor, therapist and coach returned to Singapore in 2022 and confirms that she is here to stay. Read on to discover how this multilingual business consultant turned clinical and forensic psychologist can help you find a healthy work-life balance.
Where are you from?
I grew up with my grandparents in Southern Germany. They passed away when I was 19 and studying at university, first in Germany and then in Italy. Thereafter, I stayed in Italy and started a one-woman translation business. Later, I went on to a corporate career in business consulting, which brought me to Southeast Asia and South America.
On the heels of the Asian market crisis, I transferred from India to the United States to pursue graduate studies in psychology. I planned to return to Singapore immediately after completing my doctorate. But, as Steve Jobs so poignantly said: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” I completed a postdoctoral fellowship and accepted a professorship in psychology at a Chicago university. Concurrently, I built S.M.A.R.T. (Stress Management and Relaxation Therapy) Living LLC, a boutique practice in the heart of Chicago.
What brought you to Singapore?
I fell in love with the Garden City the first time I came here to discuss an employment opportunity, and made lifelong friends. During the Asian market crisis, I transferred from Singapore to India, but promised myself to return for good as an independent professional. In the fall of 2019, I returned to open a subsidiary of my Chicago practice. But then COVID-19 hit, which delayed proceedings. In 2022, I met Drs Kim and Abhishek Abraham, the principals of Better Life. Our mission and goals aligned – and we joined forces.
I live here with my furry co-therapist, Dr Max, the Maltese – whom my patients regard as a stress management guru and a top-notch therapist! – and my long-term life partner Karim Baksh. He is a retired Chicago dentist of Indian descent who was born and raised in British Guyana.
How did your former career help you in your current one?
Working in a heavily male-dominated sector taught me how men think. That gives me an edge as a clinical psychologist, in coaching and in individual and couple therapy – I can look at a situation from both angles.
I know first-hand the challenges of long hours and constant travel when it comes to burnout and leading a “normal” family life. When these issues come up in sessions, I am not afraid to address them, including marital discord and infidelity.
Many of my clients have feelings of not being good enough, despite being both thoroughly qualified and high-performing. I’ve seen this before, and I treat it!
Making tough decisions, being adaptable, having integrity and taking responsibility are core concepts of business and highly relevant in therapy.
How would you describe your clinical approach to coaching and therapy?
As a psychologist in Singapore, helping my clientele build a Better Life is my passion. My personal style is straightforward, empathic and interactive. Let’s face it, change is challenging! I meet people where they are and tailor my approach to fit the personality and needs of each client, couple or corporation.
What’s often required is a new perspective, along with a tool-kit to calm the mind, to be grounded, and to manage stress, relationships, emotions and life in general. Knowing how you respond when things don’t go your way, and how you can change that, is powerful.
Your tagline is “Your relationships are my business”. What’s that about?
I am passionate about relationships. They are the alpha and the omega of life. Friendships, corporate and work interactions and family, including marital conflict, are relationship-based issues. “Your relationships are my business” means I focus on, care about, and am invested in your wellbeing.
Tell us about your books.
My books aim to assist self-development. The Colors of the Rainbow: About Life and the Beauty of Living is a look at my early life experiences, my travels, and the people I met. A Crash Course in Love and Life: Daily Meditations for the 40 Days of Lent and Any Time of Year is a short but powerful book. It is designed to help improve your spiritual and mental health. An effective stress management tool, it’s available in print, as an e-book and on Audible.
Your life philosophy, briefly?
Here’s what I’ve learnt: there are many ways to look at a situation, so solutions need to benefit all the involved parties.
We need Siddhartha’s three life skills: “I can think, I can wait, and I can fast” (Herman Hesse, Siddhartha, 1922) to thrive in life, work and relationships. These are the ability to strategise, to wait confidently for the right opportunity, and to manage our mind and emotions accordingly.
As a psychologist in Singapore, what do you think is special about your professional contribution?
I am board-certified in clinical psychology. Only five percent of psychologists are vetted by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) to ascertain expertise and a higher standard of practice. As a concierge doctor with 17 years of experience in private practice, I offer personalised care and take my time with each client. My life experiences and being multilingual help me to relate to a multicultural clientele, too.
Finally, I am a “hybrid”; my training in clinical, correctional, multicultural and forensic psychology combined with my international business background is distinctive.
What are you looking forward to now?
I have found what I love: a fulfilling career and rich personal relationships. Early on, I learnt that life is a gift. I am operating from a baseline of deep gratitude and joy at being back in the place I call home – Singapore. Writing my new book, practising psychology and contributing to our community, I strive to live an unhurried life.
Dr Daniela Schreier recently joined forces with a team of top psychologists in Singapore: Better Life Psychological Medicine Clinic is a group of professionals offering comprehensive mental health services. She is trained in clinical and forensic psychology with a focus on child custody. Dr Schreier provides executive coaching, life and stress management, therapy, and assessments in German, Italian, and English. Her practice interests are relationships, life transitions, burnout, anxiety, mood disorders, ageing and diagnostics. Familiar with the stressors of corporate life, she pays special attention to the needs of clients in high-stress professions.
- Doctor in Clinical and Forensic Psychology (PsyD)
- Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP)
- Licensed Psychologist Hawaii, Kansas, Illinois (USA)
- Singapore Registered Psychologist (SRP)