• Caleb Leong

Conversations with Rita Haque - Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (Part 1)

Hello everyone, this is Sonny Kwok, Founder of Yafot Wellness. I’m very excited to chat with Ms Rita Haque. She’s our latest addition to the Yafot Wellness team as our Wellness Coach & certified CBT Specialist to empower you to live the fullness of your life! Let’s get to know Rita better!

Sonny: Please share with us a little bit about your life story.

My Heritage & Family Background

Rita: I am a Eurasian and come from a rich heritage of blended cultures. My father was of Armenian, Indonesian Chinese and Dutch descent while my mother came from a blend of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, German and Asian descent.

My dad was more western in his ways, temperament and taste. He was conservative, humble, quiet and kind. He was a principled man and was dedicated to God and his family. He felt strongly for the poor and marginalized; and contributed regularly to charities. My mother was generous and kind. She had panache and style; and worked till she was almost 80.

I came from a family of one brother and two sisters. We always played, prayed, ate together and lived the values instilled in us that we still hold dear. Such a mixed heritage helps me integrate easily in any situation, in Singapore and the places I’ve lived in Australia, UK, Hongkong and the US.

I used to live with my maternal grandmother in a typical Peranakan house surrounded by a large rambling garden of flowers and trees. There, I developed my love for nature and creativity; and found novel ways to amuse myself while my parents were at work.

My Early Career

I started my career as a teacher in the convent where I studied. My over-protective parents organized it and felt I would be safe there! During my stint, working with academically weaker students made me realise that I had the heart and patience to help them succeed.

I also delivered 30-minute English language lessons on Television for three years. That opportunity won me a Colombo Plan Scholarship to study Television Production in ABC, Sydney Australia. This experience honed my skills to develop and deliver programmes for schools. It increased my appreciation of media communications and prepared me for a career in communications.

Sonny: How did you first get interested in Counselling & mental health?

The Ordeal with My Eldest Son

Rita: Three years later, I got married and forayed into the world of Advertising. I wanted to grow my creativity to tap on my media experience. My early years in advertising were stressful. I was always ready to give up.

Having my first son gave me the perfect excuse to quit, return to teaching and spend more time with my family. However, within four months of his birth, I had another son on the way. It proved too soon after my first son. I experienced serious birth challenges – was h