#TheGoodWomen: Camellia Wong – Animal-Lover, Avid Gamer, Forensic Psychologist

“The classes (of video game heroes/characters) were made to complement one another.”

Camellia said this with regards to lamenting about how the video game realm has lost its sense of community and is instead fuelled by toxic competitiveness. These words stuck the hardest to me from the interview, and can really help us begin to understand how Camellia truly sees the world – as a place where we have the power to nurture and help one another.


Camellia is the co-founder of InPsychful, a private practice that provides psychological services to a wide range of areas such as relationship conflicts, sexual identity issues, culture shock and more.

In her words, InPsychful is a “space to tell a story, whether it’s mental-health related or otherwise.”

Recently, she’s been very excited with the progress the company is making – they’re being invited to more talks, connecting with more people and have recently launched a special application for their Pause Programme. It is an application specially designed for their clients to “make therapy and emotion management more on-the-go”, where they can easily consult and interact with trained coaches whenever they need to.

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The application has been going great, and interacting with clients through the app makes Camellia growingly certain that this is what she wants to do.

Early Beginnings

“I actually wanted to become a police officer as a kid.”

She shared with a light chuckle. The start of InPsychful could be drawn back to when Camellia was 17, when she “liked to read a lot, especially from the genres of Law and Psychology.” Her natural talent for nurturing others also surfaced around the same period of time, when she was provided with many leadership opportunities in school. “I liked seeing how the juniors developed a sense of leadership.” she explained when talking about her camp leader experiences. Both these factors eventually drew her to study more about offenders, and she eventually became a qualified Forensic Psychologist.

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The Diamond Formed By Pressure

“One of our favourite sayings is “Diamonds are created under pressure” which means, even though what you’re going through is incredibly difficult, it can be your greatest opportunity for growth and empowerment.” – InPsychful

This quote is highly relevant to Camellia’s life journey, considering InPsychful itself is a diamond formed from the pressures she has faced. One significant moment was when Camellia had to do clinical placements whilst studying in the US, but was given a site with zero clients. She had no one else to turn to except for herself, and so she did.

“My site consisted of students mostly from countries where (the topic of) mental health is still a stigma.

This was the heart of the issue that she had to fix. She thoroughly enjoyed having the freedom to be more hands-on in combating the issue and seeing her hard work bear fruits. This was a moment that would significantly influence her choice to start InPsychful as a changemaker.

Passionate Animal Lover

“I can’t be impartial to animal abusers so I’d stop myself from taking on these cases.”

I was pleasantly surprised to see a softer side to Camellia after observing how driven and strong-headed she is, but it served as a nice reminder that those traits aren’t mutually exclusive. She lit up with happiness when she exclaimed “I love dogs! I have 3 little boys” and whipped out her phone excitedly to show me adorable photographs of Sumo, Speight and Skittle.

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“There’s so much that an animal can teach you, sides of you that you never knew.”

She loves animals so much that her parents thought for sure she’d be a vet, but she is certain she wouldn’t. “I’d be very sad if I can’t save the animals.”

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Camellia is quick to credit who she is today to her mother’s teachings.

“She taught me to be more open, to be okay with failures.”

There are many events in Camellia’s life which we would consider unconventional, or maybe even see as failures from a traditional standpoint – being streamed into EM3, taking a gap year, pursuing psychology or even leaving her stable ministry job. While her mom wasn’t particularly ecstatic when these happened, she never failed to remind Camellia that “the future is in your own hands” and always gave her the space to make her own choices. This fuelled her curiosity and desire to explore, and shaped her to be the inspirational leader and change-maker she is today.

Avid Gamer

As hinted in the sneak peek at the start of the article, Camellia loves video games. “I’m addicted to my Nintendo switch!” Camellia confessed unapologetically when we started chatting about video games. Surprisingly, Camellia is one of the rare few who don’t like how realistic games are getting.

“I don’t like it when a game looks too real. It should be a fantasy, taking you to a different place.”

She recalls how she once saw someone playing a game based in Chicago and found herself recognising the animated streets and buildings, which made her go “Nope.”

Camellia also expressed her disappointment at how some video games – such as Final Fantasy – seem to have lost its sense of community. “I tried to get back to MMORPGs but I don’t know if it’s the generational gap, there’s just no more community interaction.” She observed how people are now more isolated and focused on fighting against one another.

“The classes (of video game heroes/characters) were designed to complement one another.”

Camellia says, explaining how in relation to MMORPGs, the types of characters that gamers can choose from are designed to enhance one another’s in-game skills rather than to combat one another. She also misses the fun times where neighbourhood kids would come over to her place and they’d share the games and play together.

Words for the world

When I asked Camellia if there was anything she wished more people knew, she replied

“Parents need to know how their children deal with stress.”

She says this from a place of experience, having met many parents who were unaware of how their children dealt with pressure because they don’t see the urgency of the situation. Being more in touch with their children’s mental health can go a long way, she stresses.

Camellia also addresses misconceptions about mental health services, reminding us that mental health professionals do not only work with diagnosed disorders but also with daily issues, relationship problems and other similar cases.

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Takeaways

If I’ve learnt anything from Camellia, it is that we have the power to be changemakers for the problems we see in the world. InPsychful is her way of nurturing, caring and supporting people facing issues that she has seen untreated throughout her life – be it her juniors learning to become leaders in school, to the foreign students while she met abroad facing displacement issues.

After all, we humans were made to complement one another.

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