top of page

Review - Reaching Out by Ellen Whyte and Alvin Ng Lai Oon

I was asked to review this book as I've had some experience with the issues talked about within, and I was interested to know whether a book written the other side of the world would have any relevance to how mental health is dealt with in the UK.

The short answer is yes. It is relevant, and there's some fascinating and vital information which could prove highly useful for anyone experiencing mental health difficulties, whether personally or with someone they know.

The book is written in an engaging style which in no way alienates the reader. It takes into account different cultures, gender, sexuality and race. It sounds like a lot, and it is a massive subject. One could easily write a book ten times as large and still not cover it all.

But the difference is, Ellen Whyte's human, approachable writing and Dr. Alvin Ng's medical knowledge is a winning combination that has produced a book which is highly readable as well as being useful, compassionate as well as being analytical, a layperson's guide to how to find help when it might seem there is none to be found. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to tackle their mental health, or support those around them.

In countries where mental health isn't acknowledged as a problem, or the stigma is so bad, people won't ever admit it or talk about it, this book really does address these issues. It takes the fear out of global online therapy, meaning more people than ever will be able to seek help.

There are so many self-help books out there, but this one helps you find the people who should be helping YOU, and giving good information on how to avoid the quacks and the charlatans. It's definitely worth checking out.


Reaching out for online mental health support but not sure where to start? Reaching Out is the guide for you!

Packed with useful information, and written in everyday English, Reaching Out will help you make informed decisions.

This short, easy text answers common questions such as: •When is working online totally terrific and when should I avoid it? •Should I look for a psychiatrist, psychologist, or some other mental health practitioner? What do all the titles mean anyway? •How can I tell who’s professional and who is out to scam me? •How secret are sessions? •Do I need fancy software or can I just Zoom? •How do I pick the right person to work with? •Do culture and shared experience matter? •What do I need to do to get the most out of therapy?

This practical guide is written by an academic and a practitioner, so you benefit from a wide perspective.

Dr Alvin Ng is a professor of psychology, the Founding President of the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology, and the author of journal articles and scientific publications.

Ellen Whyte is a Scottish-Dutch counselling psychologist in Malaysia. She has an international practice with clients based in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North America.

As Alvin and Ellen take you through the basics, they also offer individual comments and insights. Sometimes they disagree!

Finally, while Alvin and Ellen are based in Malaysia, they write for an international audience. So, take advantage of global online therapy services, and read Reaching Out.

bottom of page