In light of the accelerated progress and openness of knowledge and planning for a better future in the field of counselling psychology, Sultan Qaboos University, represented by the Student Counselling Center, is organizing a conference entitled “Challenges of Knowledge Opening” from 13 to 15 November 2018. The opening ceremony of the conference was held on 13 November at SQU Conference Hall under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Yarub Al Busaidi Advisor at the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Suad Mohammed Al-Lawati, Chairperson of the Conference Organizing Committee, said that the conference seeks to assess the reality of the counseling services in public and private institutions, to learn about successful models and field experiences from different counseling centers and offices, and to identify counseling preventive programs at counseling. “It also seeks to identify contemporary issues, challenges and difficulties in the field of counseling under the openness of knowledge, the investment of the Internet and social networks in counseling services from all fields of counseling”, she said.
The conference addresses seven main themes. These are the use of modern technology in the service of counseling and its branches; the challenges of the counseling culture, preventive and developmental guidance; the impact of the guiding labor standards in light of knowledge openness; the university counseling centers, psychological counseling and its branches in public and private; and finally, the counseling in service for individuals and communities. More than 70 researcher papers will be presented in the conference.
In the opening ceremony, Dr. Jeffrey Prince, Executive Director of Counselling and Psychological Services, University Health Services at the University of California, Berkeley, gave the keynote address on the topic “Integrating counselling and mental health into medical care teams: A global challenge”. He said that the increasing prevalence and severity of mental health conditions have become an urgent global concern among medical and mental health providers. “Most of these conditions continue to go untreated or ignored for a number of reasons. As a result, this problem continues to worsen as counselling and health care professionals fail to work together to provide effective identification, prevent and treatment”, he said. In his presentation, Dr. Prince presented data that demonstrate the scope of this problem and ways in which deliberate and structured collaborations among medical and counselling professionals can better address this challenge.
The conference is accompanied by six training workshops, three of which started on Monday, 12 November. The topics are “the counseling applications for academic success”, “strategies and practical mechanisms to immunize students from drugs”, and “modern means of communication and their impact on family management”. There will be three workshop during the conference titled “Me and You”, “Sand Play” and “Stress Management”.