Timothy Sim

Associate Professor Timothy Sim

Head of Programme, Master of Counselling

S R Nathan School of Human Development

Tel: +65 6248 6109

Email: dGltb3RoeXNpbWJ3QHN1c3MuZWR1LnNn

Educational Qualifications

1999 - 2005
Ph.D. in Family Studies, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

1996 - 1997
MSc in Family Therapy, King's College London, University of London, United Kingdom

1993 - 1994
Postgraduate Diploma in Family Therapy, Counselling and Care Centre and Institute of Family Therapy, United Kingdom

1987 - 1991
B.A. (Hons), National University of Singapore, Singapore

Academic and Professional Experience

Full time:

2021- Present
Associate Professor, S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences

2012 - 2021
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2008 - 2012
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2006 - 2008
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore

2005 - 2006
Visiting Fellow, Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore

2002 - 2005
Lecturer, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong

1998 - 1999
Training Manager, National Council of Social Service

1997 - 1998
Senior Family Therapist/Clinical Director, Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre

1995 - 1996
Executive Director, Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre

1994 - 1996
National Director, Care Corner Singapore

Executive Director, Care Corner Family Service Centre (Toa Payoh)

1993 - 1994
Counsellor, Care Corner Mandarin Counselling Centre

1991 - 1993
Social Worker, Care Corner Family Service Centre (Toa Payoh)


2021 - 2024
Honorary Professor, Distinguish Young Visiting Scholar, Shandong University

2016 - Present
Honorary Principal, Wenchuan Yingxiu Primary School, Sichuan, China

2010 - Present
Honorary Professor, Chengdu University of Information and Technology, Sichuan, China

2018 - 2020
Deputy Director, PolyU World Health Organization Collaborating Center (Dual Appointment)

2018 - 2019
Honorary Professor, Sichuan University, Sichuan, China

2015 - 2017
Honorary Professor, Southwest Petroleum University, Sichuan, China

2015 - 2016
Director, PolyU-United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Collaboration Programme (Dual Appointment)

2014 - 2018
Affiliate Faculty Member, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2014 - 2016
Visiting Lecturer, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

2006 - 2007
Honorary Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong

2005 - 2008
Honorary Research Fellow, Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong

Clinical Supervisor, Master in Social Sciences (Social Work), Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore

Clinical Supervisor, Masters in Applied Psychology, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

1994 - 1999
Tutor, Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore

Scholarships and Fellowships:

K.C. Wong Belt and Road (B&R) Visiting Fellowship Scheme 2019 at University of Pretoria, South Africa

Visiting Scholarship Scheme for K. C. Wong Education Foundation at Beijing Normal University, China

Visiting Professorship, Shanghai Normal University, China

Visiting Professorship, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Policy and Enterprise Fellowship, Durham University, United Kingdom

1996 - 1997
Special study grant by National Council of Social Service (Singapore) for the Master of Science (Family Therapy) at King's College, University of London

Publications in SCI/SSCI Journals in 2021-2022 only

Sim, T., He, M. Y., Chen, H. C., & Yang, W. Q. (2022, online first).
Roles and tasks of Chinese social workers in disaster management. British Journal of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcac110

Sim, T., He, M. (2022, online first).
Social work competence in disaster management: an integrative review. European Journal of Social Work. doi:10.1080/13691457.2022.2092455

Ho, H.C., Sim, T., Guo, C. (2022). Association between awareness of vulnerability and disaster preparedness in an infrastructure-resilient city: a population-based study. Public Health, 209, 23–29. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2022.05.011

Sim, T., He, M., Dominelli, L. (2022).
Social work core competencies in disaster management practice: An integrative review. Research on Social Work Practice, 32(3), 310–321. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/10497315211055427

Leung, A. Y. M., Parial, L. L., Tobaling, M. C., Sim, T., Mo, P., Okan, O., & Dadaczynski, K. (2022).
Sense of coherence mediates the relationship between digital health literacy and anxiety about the future in aging population during the COVID-19 pandemic: A path analysis. Aging and Mental Health, 26(3). 544-553. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2020.1870206.

Yu, J., Sim, T., & Qi, W. H. (2022).
Informal social support and disaster preparedness: Mediating roles of perceived collective efficacy and self-efficacy. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 68, 102734. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2021.102734

Sim, T., Han, Z. Q., Guo, C. L., Lau, J., Yu, J. L., & Su, G. W. (2021).
Disaster preparedness, perceived community resilience, and place of rural villages in northwest China. Natural Hazards, 108(1), 907-923. doi: 10.1007/s11069-021-04712-x

Ji, T. T., Wei, H. H., Sim, T., Yang, L. E., Scheffrand, J. (2021).
Disaggregated validation of disaster-resilience indicators using household survey data: A case study of Hong Kong. Sustainable Cities and Society, 4(67), p.102726. doi: 10.1016/j.scs.2021.102726.

Singh, R., & Sim, T. (2021).
Families in the time of the Pandemic: Breakdown or breakthrough? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 42(1), 84-97. doi: 10.1002/anzf.1445

Sim, T., & Wang, A. (2021 Published online first: 21 Jan 2021).
Contextualization of Psychological First Aid: An Integrative Literature Review. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12613

Sim, T. (2021).
Safe Uncertainty: Reflecting on the Pandemic Responses of Two Asian Cities. Qualitative Social Work, 20(1-2), 305-311. doi: 10.1177/1473325020973331

Guo, C., Sim, T., & Su, G. W. (2021).
Individual disaster preparedness in drought and flood prone villages in Northwest China: Impact of place, out-migration and community. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), 1649. doi:10.3390/ijerph18041649


(Keynote Speaker). Supporting ‘family support’: Reintegration Challenges for Family Members of Returning Ex-Offenders. In Conference on Recovery & Desistance from Substance Abuse - Amplified Voices: Persons in Recovery by Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA) on Thursday 29 September 2022, SIM Campus, Singapore.

(Keynote Speaker). Promoting family resilience and family psychosocial well-being: Working with families that experienced violence during COVID-19 in Singapore. In International Conference 2022 The Changing Landscape of Family and Family Interventions in the Midst of Adversity by The University of Hong Kong on 18 to 20 August 2022 via ZOOM.

(Keynote Speaker). Igniting connections and empowering families – Appraising the reintegration challenges of family members for returning ex-offenders. In CARE Network Summit 2022 by Singapore Prison Service on Monday 18 July 2022 in Suntec City, Singapore.

(Plenary Speaker). Safe-certainty in social work practice as COVID-19 emerges. In Post-Pandemic Challenges and Planning for Social Services by
National University of Singapore Social Service Research Centre Conference 2022 on 15 March 2022.

(Keynote Speaker). Three pillars of making Social Work ‘WOKE’. Making Social Work WOKE: Policy, Practice and Possibilities by PAVE in celebration of International Social Work Day on 15 March 2022 in Grassroots’ Club, Singapore.


(Keynote Speaker). What STIRS family psychosocial work? Care Corner 40th Anniversary Conference: Forging New Pathways on 15 November 2021 in Orchard Hotel, Singapore.

(Panel Speaker). Disaster, trauma & systemic family therapy. 7th Annual Conference of Asian Academy of Family Therapy on 22 October to 24 October, 2021.

(Keynote Speaker). Social work practice in disaster management: Impossible to research? 5th International Conference on Practice Research organised by University of Melbourne on 31 May to 2 June (attended by about 200 participants).

(Keynote Speaker). Like us: Prisoners have families. Yellow Ribbon Webinar organised by Singapore Prisons Service on 28 May 2021, 3pm-5pm via Zoom (attended by 350 participants).

(Keynote Speaker). Crossing Borders: Transdisciplinary Approach in Disaster Management. Global Institute of Social Work (GISW) Annual Forum and AGM 2021 on 25 March, 2021, 4-5.30pm, Social Service Institute and ZOOM (attended by 15 participants).

Since 2023
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Since 2021
Reviewer, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong SAR, China

Since 2015
Associate Editor, Journal of Family Therapy

Since 2008
International Advisory Board Member, International Community for Practice Research in Social Work
  • Family therapy theory and methods
  • Couple and family therapy
  • Sensitivity training
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Practice research
  • Treatment in correctional and drug rehabilitation settings
  • Human development and the social environment
  • Critical issues in adolescent development
  • Mental health in disaster situations
  • Cultural competence and diversity in social services
  • Family therapy development and application in Asia (particularly multi-family therapy)
  • Addiction problems and family relationships in Asia (particularly drug abuse, video game addiction)
  • Multi-problem families (e.g., conduct problems, crime & delinquency, poverty, divorce, violence)
  • Practice research development and application
  • Disaster management (particularly disaster risk reduction, social work core competency, disaster mental health & psychosocial support, resilience, culture and children)
  • Cultural competence and diversity in counselling
Jan 2022
Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA)
Couple and family therapy training to family service social workers and case managers

Jan 2022 - Dec 2022
Singapore Aftercare Association
Help to provide clinical supervision to counsellors, psychologists, and social workers monthly.

Feb 2022
Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Member, Fei Yue Community Services, Child Protection Specialist Centre - HEART@Fei Yue
Help to review child abuse cases with a panel of expert members

Feb 2021 - Feb 2022
Help to review develop practice research projects related to consolidating practice model and post-violence multifamily group therapy

Feb 2021 - Feb 2022
Thye Hwa Kwan Moral Charities (Family Services)
Help to review develop practice research projects related to couple and family services related to divorce, co-parenting, and multi-stresses

Singapore Association of Aftercare (SACA) Executive Committee
Help to plan and review services of SACA

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