Main Conference Day 1 – May 27 (Fri)

Friday, 27 May, 2016
2/F., 5 Sassoon Rd, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Post-Modern “Weak” Therapy: Echoes from Ancient Taoist WisdomSpeaker: Todd Dubose, Ph.D.
(The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Speaker's Bios
This keynote address will explore the practice of “weak therapy” for the postmodern psychologist and its particular relationship to ancient Taoist wisdom. Strong therapy fixes, cures, corrects, purifies, engineers, prescribes and directs. Weak therapy releases, opens, risks, fluctuates, explores, collaborates, uncovers and unfolds. Weak therapy is a process of “perhaps,” and “what might be,” where nothing and no one is sovereign and where everyone involved is “put into play” by “the event” of caring for another human being. Weak therapy is a risk-based evidence of an unpredictable and uncontrollable empiricism where the only truth is that there is no truth. We will explore the implications of this distinction for our conference themes, authenticity and potential.
Transcultural Migration: An Existential Pursuit of At-Homeness Speaker: Anne Hsu, M.A.
(Saybrook University)

Speaker' Bios
What does it mean to go home when home is not a tangible concrete given but is out there in the world to be pursued? Existential migration (Madison, 2006) leads one to transcend beyond the borders of one’s culture and language and experience a type of confrontation to one’s self awareness. This embodied experience of the transcultural search for home comes with a painful cost that includes the relationship with the old self and the old world that would be forever lost, but takes on meaning further than what phenotypes and nationalities can provide (Cohen, 2009; Tebes, 2010). Strangers in strange lands experience this uncanny unheimlech ambivalence. Is this a rites of passage, identity exploration, or Tao’s invitation to experience the transcendental truth? Will the exploration and pursuit lead the stranger to an identity and existence that is truly at home?
The Existential Meanings of "Family" Through the Eyes of Feng ZiKai, a Chinese Writer, Painter, and Cartoonist. Speaker: Albert Chan, Ph.D.
(Beijing Normal University)

Speaker's Bios
Chinese express meanings and emotion indirectly through their literatures and paintings. The Chinese language may lack of expressions on emotion, but the Chinese poems in a descriptive way expresses deep emotions and their paintings in their own forms and spaces project meanings and emotion on the meanings of collective harmony and family relations. This presentation attempts to examine Chinese familial emotions and the meanings through the eyes of Feng Zikai, a contemporary writer, painter and cartoonist. Through Feng Zikai's lenses the Chinese forms of emotion and meanings hopefully will come alive and perhaps therapists who work with Chinese nationals may come to appreciate the Chinese clients more closely.
The Essential Nature of Equanimity within PsychologySpeaker: Dominic Hosemans
(Monash University, Australia)

Speaker's Bios
Mindfulness is currently on trend within Western psychology, however, there is little understanding of the underlying mechanism involved. According its original Buddhist conceptualization, Sati, refers to remembering to bring awareness to the present (Gnanarama, 2000). Buddhism argues the result of Sati is Upekkhā, loosely translated to equanimity in the West. Equanimity in this context is defined by an attitude of openness and receptiveness to one’s phenomenological experience regardless of its emotional valiance. Although there is little explicit mention of equanimity in psychology, Desbordes, Gard, Hoge, and Hölzel (2014) argue its influence is an implicit driving force in the development of psychotherapy itself. Its influence can be seen in psychoanalysis, person-centered, the new wave of cognitive therapies, and existential psychology. Existential Phenomenology entails being open and receptive to the individual’s experience. This attitude is potentially what Spinelli (2013) refers to when he discussed ‘worlding’ in contradistinction to ‘worldview’.
Encounter and Self-Renunciation in the Naqshbandi Spiritual Sufi Path: Parallels to PsychotherapySpeaker: Farid Adjtoutah
(Private Practice, Wenzhou, China)

Speaker's Bios
"Together, sitting knee to knee, from heart to heart, we encounter and face the nature of being and its limits, achieve higher consciousness and realize our inner-peace"
The seeker aims to progress towards his full potential under the Murshid’s [master-guide] guidance and support, as well as the companionship of his fellow seekers. His meetings and interactions are based on Adab [covenant, good conduct] by means of obedience, compassion, empathy, humbleness and servanthood. He must not object to the advice and instructions of his Master-guide as the patient agrees with the physician. As an attendant to his disciple’s being [body and soul], the Murshid must be knowledgeable in all necessary matters to train and lift up the understanding of his disciple. Particularly, the different stages of the ego and its illnesses; its emotional manifestations and all the ways to heal including psychological methods, physical and spiritual practices.
Poong-ryu-do (風流道) and Meta-Existential TherapySpeaker: Jung Kee Lee
(Existential Therapy Institute, Korea)

Speaker's Bios
Poong-ryu-do is a Korean spirituality based upon a religious experience of the union of the God and human being. It is also the way of overcoming alienation, building solidarity with fellow beings, and helping to achieve harmony of polarities. Poong-ryu-do could offer a foundation and a way of becoming an authentic human being. Along the lines of Meta-Existential Therapy, Poong-ryu-do can also be considered a life-changing form of psychotherapy.
Multiculturalism in Action: Honoring Cultural Lessons of Resiliency Facilitator: Theopia Jackson, Ph.D.
(Saybrook University)

Facilitator's Bios
“When lions become historians, hunters cease to be heroes (heroines).”
~African Proverb
Humanistic psychology, proclaimed as the third force, admirably shifted the field of psychology to fully appreciate the holistic lived experience of the person and implications for practice (e.g., fostering self-actualization, transformation, etc.) However, this heritage inadvertently continues to perpetuate individualism, leading to cultural blinders and potential ethnocentrism. The field of multiculturalism has posited a richness of evidence for the importance of context, understanding the self within the multiplicity of culture, as well as an expansiveness of self. Human resilience can be conceptualized as more than the capacity to bounce back from trauma and psychological stressors, especially when considering historical and contemporary systemic oppression and/or marginalization. The integration of multiculturalism in humanistic practice can be fruitful and respectful tension. This experiential workshop will afford participants an opportunity to expand their familiarity with multicultural tools like cultural genograms, ADDRESSING, and expressive arts in elucidating the voices of those being served and whose experiences have not been fully central in their own treatment.

Learning Objectives:
1. Expand knowledge pertaining to the tenets of multiculturalism and relation to humanistic principles and their application when considering historical and contemporary trauma.
2. Experience the utility of multicultural tools or activities intended to facilitate client voices from a strengths-based approach.
3. Explore the potential cultural lessons that can be learned from the application of multicultural approaches in a humanistic frame in fostering resiliency.
Using Literature to GrowFacilitator: Jason Dias, PsyD
(Saybrook University)

Facilitator's Bios
Emotions are part of authentic living. Denying them is self-aggression, but expressing them may not always be appropriate. This question of how to live authentically with unacceptable feelings moves the discussion of authenticity out of the self and into society. Through the use of creative writing, one can access and understand ones emotions as well as express them in ways that are socially acceptable and that, potentially, move the culture. Attendees will learn about a process of creative writing and hear samples. They will then produce their own work and share it with others. Through this process, attendees will learn about using creativity, symbolism and metaphor as agents of healing either in their work with their own clients or as part of the humanistic process advocated by Virginia Satir of doing our own work. Rollo May and Stephen Diamond warn us about the unexpressed and the dangers of the daimonic, the things we ignore or repress that come to take over our personalities. The cure for this, says May, is creativity.