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Timothy Sim, PhD


Timothy Sim, PhD, has been working in Hong Kong for more than 19 years. He was already well known in Singapore and the region for his work in counselling, social work and family therapy before he left for Hong Kong since 1999. Today, Tim has established himself as an international expert in disaster management, practice research and family therapy. After returning to Singapore, Tim has focused on developing counselling and family therapy training at the Singapore University of Social Sciences since January 2021. He is committed to supporting practice, research and service development that reach out to families that are experiencing addictions, divorce, incarceration, poverty, and violence. He believes in using the transdisciplinary approach to collaborate with different sectors and disciplines, embracing diversity, and contextualising practice in the evolving contexts of Singapore and the region.  He is currently the most cited academic in counselling and family therapy and social work in Singapore, and the only Asian who has been invited to write two chapters in the prestigious Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy published in 2020, one of which pertains to charting the global direction of systemic family therapy development. He is currently a member of the editorial board of Journal of Family Therapy and Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, respectively.

  • ​​​Associate Professor, Head of Programme, Master of Counselling, S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences

  • Expert Review Panel, Global Challenge Research Fund, UK Research Innovation

  • Reviewer, Hong Kong Research Grant Council, General Research Fund

  • Editorial Board Member (International Associate Editor), Journal of Family Therapy, UK

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, USA

  • Associate Editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Governance

  • Executive Committee Member, International Conference of Practice Research (Chair in 2017, 4th International Conference on Practice Research)

  • Honourary Professor, Shandong University

  • Visiting Professor, Sichuan University, China

  • Honorary Principal, Wenchuan Yingxiu Primary School, China

selected publications
  • 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.

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • 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

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