Dr Derek Zheng completed his doctoral training in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology at University College London (UK) under the National Council of Social Service Scholarship (Singapore). He is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (UK) and a Registered Practitioner Psychologist with The Health and Care Professions Council (UK) and the Singapore Psychological Society.
He has more than seven years’ experience working with children and adolescent up to 18 years old with special educational learning needs and disabilities (e.g. autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, intellectual and developmental disability) and psychosocial emotional well-being difficulties (e.g. depression, anxiety/stress, trauma, abuse and/or neglect).
During his doctoral training, he worked with children and young people aged 0 to 25 years old and their parents/caregivers/teachers from the early years settings (nursery and kindergarten), primary schools, secondary schools, post-16 learning institutions, alternative educational provisions such as pupil referral units – for pupils who are unable to attend a mainstream school, for two years with a London Local Authority (UK) as a Doctoral Trainee Educational Psychologist (EP). He also served as a Doctoral Trainee EP for several primary schools with Singapore’s Ministry of Education –Psychological Services Branch (MOE-PSB) for one year.
Dr Derek has worked with several special education (SPED) schools in Singapore. In his previous role at a SPED school, he worked as the Senior Psychologist/Team Lead of a multi-disciplinary team of Allied Health Professionals for 18 months. He provided consultations, conducted psychological assessments, delivered innovative psychological interventions (e.g. LEGO® Club – therapeutic sessions aimed at improving the social and communication skills of pupils diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder) and led the casework management of high-needs pupils.
He currently works closely with vulnerable children and adolescent who have experienced trauma, abuse and/or neglect, and leads the clinical casework management with key stakeholders of these vulnerable children and adolescent. Dr Derek received additional professional training to conduct trauma-related psychological assessments and deliver trauma-focused psychological interventions. He also writes psychological reports for the purpose of court reviews and takes on a key role in steering the ongoing implementation/evaluation of an organisation-wide, systemic framework – Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
Aside from administering psychological tools/assessments (e.g. Anxiety/Stress, Cognition/IQ, Depression, Dyslexia, Executive Function/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, School Readiness, Trauma, etc.), Dr Derek adopts a child/adolescent-focused approach and uses a repertoire of psychological techniques (e.g. projective drawings, solution-orientated brief coaching, therapeutic play approaches, trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy, etc.) to elicit the voice of children/adolescent. He is able to gain deeper insights into the difficulties experienced by the child/adolescent by enabling them to express themselves and participate meaningfully through these psychological approaches. Through consultations, Dr Derek collaborates with parents/caregivers to help them to better understand and support their child’s learning, psychosocial and/or emotional well-being difficulties.
Dr Derek Zheng is available for appointments on Fridays and Saturdays.