Valerie Jaques is the first Malaysian psychologist to venture into the organisational world in addition to a therapeutic clinical and community practice. Besides being skilled in psychological assessment, she is experienced in the areas of employee assistance programs, coaching & counselling, crisis management, career direction and customized training. She obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Degree from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1987 and a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology in 1997 from the Ateneo De Manila University Philippines and recently in 2018, completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology where the focus of her dissertation was on shame as a trait in personality pathology.
Valerie founded Integrated Psychology Network Sdn Bhd (2005), previously known as Psychnet Consultancy (1998). Besides providing therapy to individuals to promote better mental well-being, Valerie also works with both local and multinationals in Malaysia and in the Asia Pacific region in the areas of leadership coaching, outplacement and transition services for organisations undergoing mergers, acquisitions and separation schemes. Her role has been in helping to reposition employees to new career directions. Her strength includes being skilled at critical analysis in psychological assessments for legal, organisation, education, and medical requirements.
Valerie also works with employee assistance programs (EAP) as a support to employees in organisations with individual support, talks and trainings. She is certified in Critical Incidence Stress Management (CISM) both from the CISM Institute as well as the UN Department of Safety and Security. With this she has supported a few multinational organisations as well as individuals who have experienced trauma and crisis. She also trained and supervised groups of volunteers for psychosocial and mental health support for survivors of crises and trauma including refugees as the National Psychologist for Medicin Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).
Her work also covers the area of career management and organisational consulting especially from 1999 to 2004 when she was part of Right Management Consultants, an international outplacement and consulting firm. She expanded her scope and experience with the Center for Creative Leadership (2005), another international organisation in leadership development mainly as a feedback coach during leadership training as well as follow on coaching for leadership development. Currently she supports Corporate Development Center, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad in support of employees who are in career transition. Valerie is an excellent motivator in changing mindsets towards growth and looking out for opportunities.
A passionate advocate for enhanced mental health, Valerie’s interest started during her early career days with her involvement with All Women’s Action Society in 1992, a Malaysian non-governmental organisation that offers counselling in relation to women and gender issues. She has been a resource for the Asia Pacific Forum on women, law, and development in 1998/99 mainly in the areas of counselling and training for women and children as well.
From 2000 to 2001, Valerie worked as the international expert in child counselling on behalf of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project based in Bangladesh. During her tenure, she organised a training of trainers on psychological counselling for representatives from the Government of Bangladesh and non-governmental organisations all over the country, to offer counselling services and psychosocial development for the street children in Bangladesh who come with their traumatic experiences. The outcome of this training is a manual for counsellors addressing problems of street children in Bangladesh. She was also a key person in influencing the policies regarding children and their rights, and developing guidelines and strategies in the implementation process of these policies.
She returned to Malaysia and resumed her career as a psychologist/consultant in 2002. She has been invited as a guest lecturer on Abnormal Psychology at Monash University and on gender diversity at Help University to teach the Master Degree Students as well as at University Kebangsaan Malaysia to undergraduate students in Forensic Science, lecturing on Gender-based Violence (Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Harassment, and Childhood Sexual Abuse). She also taught a semester at Nottingham University. In addition, she presented a paper on “Assessing the Assessor” on assessment of child custody in divorce, for the Malaysia Bar Council Conference 2010. She has worked with Monash University in a research on sleep and behaviours of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2012 her study on the phenomenology of intrusive memories of a woman with childhood sexual trauma was published in the NIEW Journal (Non-Aligned Movement Institute for the Empowerment of Women) under the Ministry of Women, Family and Development. Her PhD dissertation is on the “Structural Position of Shame within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition Alternative Model of Pathological Personality Traits and Domains.
She is a certified trainer with the Malaysian Human Resource Development Fund. Based on the Workplace Big Five competency assessment, Valerie has 10/10 excellent facilitation skills which are utilized in facilitating training programs she develops for organisations such as Stress Management, Mental Health First Aid, Managing Emotions, Managing Challenging Stakeholders, Change & Transition Management, Career / Lifestyle Transition, Train the Trainer programs, Agile Leadership, Women Leadership, and other customized people development programs. In addition, she also gives talks on various topics from understanding relationships, personality and disorders, addiction, and sexuality among others. She also facilitates the training for volunteer counsellors at local NGOs and religious based centres.
Having a music education where she taught students to play the piano with both the Royal School of London and Yamaha methods, Valerie ventured further into the creative world in 2003 using art as a therapeutic tool for people from all walks of life and has found this to be an effective approach to personal growth especially among Malaysians who are more nonverbal in expression. Today the creative forms of therapy include Sandplay therapy, clay therapy, and music & movement therapy. These approaches have been used for people from various walks of life with a special focus on recovering addicts in rehabilitation. Her underlying theoretical frame is a psychodynamic integrated approach.
In support to the community at large, Valerie is actively involved in giving talks to parents and students at schools and colleges and through non-governmental and religious organisations as she sees the need to assist in the growth of tomorrow’s future generation.
Valerie enjoys travelling, reading, meeting people, and listening to music. She speaks English and Malay fluently. Underneath all her skills, abilities and knowledge, lies a warm, friendly, and easy going, adaptable person who cares for the people she works with.