Founder | Counselling Director, The Relationship Room LLP
(In her 40's)
Her story (as shared by her nominator)
Since young, Theresa grew up believing that a successful individual should be one that achieved excellent grades, pursued an established corporate career and be well-liked by many. However, in this pursuit, she had faced numerous rejections and disappointments in all manners of relationships. As a result, her self-esteem plummeted, leaving her helpless and depressed.
In her darkest moment, she was introduced to counselling. It was an experience that pivoted her life. Through this 7-year-journey, she found healing and be empowered to pursue relationships that she deserved. It was also at this point that she envisaged a dream of building a practice where individuals and couples come to seek healing and find hope.
At the height of her corporate career, she decided to pursue a degree in counselling. With the degree, she started from ground zero and worked as a counsellor and social worker. For the next 12 years, she worked with many couples-in-crisis and families-in-distress.
During this period, she was also involved in family education, conducting programmes to promote healthy family life. It is through this experience, that she learnt the importance of having healthy self, the building block, to a healthy relationship and ever-lasting marriage.
Her greatest desire:
- Restore hope and wholeness to every hurting individual;
- Reignite the spark in every relationship;
- Rebuild broken marriages
That is how she founded The Relationship Room on 1 Mar 2021, a private practice that focuses on working with individuals and couples. One person, one couple and one session at a time.
Theresa took the courage to leave her corporate work, taking a pay cut of 60%, to pursue her dream. She firmly believes that everyone is capable and should be empowered to pursue a relationship he/she deserves. To leave out this belief, it took her a total of about 20 years to materialise her dream. She wants to be a model to many that by knowing his/her own worth, that lays the foundation to a positive connection with others. She is now married to Martin Leong, who is also the co-founder of The Relationship Room. This is her second marriage.
In her own words:
My greatest achievement - to be a voice for advocating strong marriage through deep connection (couples) and embracing your worth and building a healthy singlehood (individuals). My advocacy has been endorsed by media (The Straits Times, CNA and TODAY) and also other social enterprises such as "Mums for Life" and "Htht".
Biggest challenge thus far
My greatest challenge is to move past two leadership relationships and overcome judgement by others. In two leadership "failures", I was asked to step down from my position despite my contributions to strengthening families and marriages. It creates a lot of hurt and pain and I was not able to overcome the shame that comes with it. However, step-by-step, I was able to learn to step out of my shame and embrace failures and disappointments - as I believe strongly about what I am advocating for.
what judges say
For certain individuals, failure is a constant obstacle that prevents them from achieving success.
Theresa has the mental strength to rebond from failure and use setbacks as a chance to sharpen her skills to achieve success in life.
Champion of healthy relationships and families.