Bereavement care is an integral part of end-of-life care, which is usually under- emphasised. When approaching the end-of-life with advanced conditions, the family have multi-dimensional needs. Social workers, who are experts in working from a systematic and holistic perspective, are in a good position to offer bereavement care. In addition, bereavement care can be started before the death of patients, social workers at health care settings, schools and even family services centres can have roles in this special area. This workshop sets out to equip the participants with the updated knowledge related to grief and bereavement care. Through experiential exercises, participants will be introduced to a range of practical tips in facilitating the communications within the family before the death, in assessing risk and outcomes as well as in supporting bereaved persons after the death.
Amy Yin-Man Chow
PhD, RSW, FT
Dr Amy Chow is an Associate Professor with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and Honorary Associate Professor with the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. She is the Co-Director of the Jockey Club End-of-Life Community Care Project and Associate Director of Sau Po Centre of Ageing of the University. With the background of registered social worker specialised in bereavement counselling, she is the founder of the first community-based bereavement counselling centre in Hong Kong. Currently, she is the elected chair of the International Workgroup of Death, Dying and Bereavement, Secretary of Association for Death Education and Counseling, and council member of The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network.
Strength-Based Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy for People with Mental Health Concerns: A New CBT Approach to Mental Health Practice
This 3-hour workshop intends to introduce the theoretical framework and practice of an innovative strength-based cognitive behaviour (SBCBT) approach in working with people with mental health concerns. There are many clinical studies which have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT in working with people with mental illness. However, CBT has been criticised for being a deficit-focused and mechanical model which ignores the humane aspects of an individual and has not fully recognised the internal strengths and external resources of an individual in bringing forth changes in oneself. In the past 4 years, Professor Wong and his team have developed a seven-phase SBCBT model, with each phase having a clear set of possible strategies, that can be used to facilitate an individual to explore his/her own internal and external resources to develop and reach meaningful personal life goals. During the workshop, Professor Wong will introduce his new book on SBCBT and will illustrate with some exercises and case examples how SBCBT can facilitate the strength-based change process in people with mental illness.
Daniel Fu-Keung Wong
PhD, PsyD, MSW
Professor Daniel Wong is a social work scholar at the University of Hong Kong. He is an expert in clinical intervention research and has been instrumental in advancing culturally-attuned mental health interventions, particularly cognitive-behaviour therapy, to address the mental health needs of Chinese people in different parts of the world. Professor Wong has been privileged in receiving continuous and substantial research grants in conducting innovative CBT models in working with Chinese adults with depression, anxieties and gambling, and youth at risk of delinquency, drug addictions and anxiety problems. He has written over 100 journal articles and 17 books and manuals for the professionals and the general public. As a researcher and clinical intervention specialist, Professor Wong has frequently been invited to present his research findings and conduct clinical practice workshops in overseas and local conferences. In addition, he is active in using the findings and his practice experience to develop training programmes for professionals, to design therapeutic activities that can enhance the well-being of people in the communities. In the past 10 years, he frequently provides training and supervision in CBT for mental health professionals and runs groups and workshops to promote better mental health among the general public in Hong Kong, China, Australia and other places. Professor Wong is a Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and has received numerous prestigious awards such as The Fulbright Fellowship, Outstanding Teaching Awards of the University of Hong Kong and Faculty of Social Sciences and Universitas 21 Fellowship.
Use of Expressive Arts for Parents of, and Pre-schooler and Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in a Joint and Parallel Group
This interactive and experiential WORKSHOP is about the use of Expressive Arts (EXArts) in an innovative parallel and joint group for parents and their pre-school and primary kids with Special Educational Needs. Children with developmental challenges like, Attention Deficit and Hyperactive Disorders, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Dyslexia, and Intellectual challenges etc., usually experienced strong difficulties in copying with the harsh educational system. It created tremendous stresses on their parents. Parents, educators and schools are trying to give these children support mainly by putting resources on improving their study, which is still focusing on the academic pursuit. These in turns generated more strains in parent-child relationship on top of parents’ hidden difficulties in adjusting to and accepting their children who have more challenges than their counterparts in social, emotion, as well as education aspects. Most often, the concerns on social, relational and emotional needs of these children and their parents come second.
The presenters will illustrate through case studies and practice-based point of view in this EXArts joint and parallel group for parents of and children with SEN in Hong Kong. The session-by-session and step-by-step use of Person-Centered EXArts, both children’s and parents’ experiences, the presenters’ observation, goals, and rationales behind together with the practice wisdom will be discussed in details, in addition on how to make use of
different art modalities to focus on enhancing the emotion wellness, self esteem as well as educational abilities such as motor coordination, concentration, planning, communication skills. Besides, the magic of fostering positive parent-child interaction in group and the generalisation into their homes in enriching parent-children relationship in this therapeutic approach will also be shared. The presenters will address the potential application into social work settings and to other countries as well.
Eve Wai-Lan Wong
PsyD, MSW, EXAT, CST, PCCC(Hons)
Dr Eve Wong is a social worker, expressive arts therapist and family therapist in Hong Kong, who applied experiential therapies in her clinical work for more than twenty years working with adolescents and children with special needs and their families. She is the honorary lecturer at the University of Hong Hong, teaching the courses “The Use of Creative Arts” and “Children and Youth Mental Health” as well as honorary consultant of different community projects and providing clinical supervision to psychological counsellors, social workers and Satir therapists. She is also the honorary speaker at other institutes on the topics: Use of Arts and Play as therapy, Children Grief, Youth Mental Health and Suicide, Communication and Parenting, Health Counselling, Working with Children and Adolescents with Special Educational Needs and Developmental Disorders, and the Use of Satir Model, etc. Her doctoral research was on the Virginia Satir Family Reconstruction.
Brenda Hang-Wah Choi
Ms Brenda Choi is a psychological counsellor and expressive arts therapist in Hong Kong. She is passionate in using creative arts in her clinical work for over 15 years working with children and their families. She has also been teaching in using creative arts in clinical practices.
Introduction of Sandplay Therapy and its application in various social work practice settings
Social work practice is facing increasing challenges in recent decades, and mental health issues in all age ranges becomes a more complicated issue, affecting different social work services such as school, outreaching service, integrated family service centres, care-home, bereavement and mental health rehabilitation centres. It helps to facilitate the healing process and the engagement with clients, for instance children or deeply traumatised clients whom talking therapy alone couldn’t always be engaged and establish the therapeutic relationship effectively. Sandplay therapy, founded by Dora Kalff, is adopted world-widely as one of the expressive as well as experiential therapeutic tools in facilitate the establishment of therapeutic relationship as well as the self-healing process for different age groups of clients. However, the basic set-up (sandtrays, water and miniatures) also requires space and clean-up which induces problems to social work practice.
In this workshop, the basic set-up and practice on sandplay therapy and its application and challenges in different social work services would be introduced. Participants would be able to experience sandplay themselves, and cases would be illustrated as examples. Also problems aroused in different social work service settings would be explored with appropriate solutions for application. Sandplay Therapy provides us with an easily accessible tool for different social work services, especially those who are difficult to engage with. It also serves as an expressive tool for the healing process of clients in all ages or those who are not able to undergo talking therapy easily.
George Kar-Kin Kwok
Mr. Kwok graduated from the University of Hong Kong and obtained his master degree of Social Worker in 2007. Since then he has worked in various social work services, including counselling service, school, outreaching, and children/youth centre. Mr. Kwok has adopted sandplay therapy since 2009, and served as a committee member in Hong Kong Sandplay Therapy Association (HKSTA). He has attained his International Society of Sandplay Therapy (ISST) Certification as a Sandplay Therapist and recently as a Teaching Member. During the journey, his paper in “Chi-lin” was published in the Journal of Sandplay Therapy. He first presented his paper in ISST 2015 Congress in Ottawa, Canada. And he taught an introductory workshop with another teacher in New Mexico, organised by Sandplay Therapists of America. Locally, he has offered sandplay therapy training for HKSTA and NGOs such as Caritas in different occasions.
Therapeutic Presence – Workshop on Improving Mental Health Intervention Outcomes for mental health professionals working with clients with traumatic and distressful experiences
Sustained exposure to traumatic information and distressful materials in challenging issues like substance misuse and mood disorders, would render the mental health workers vulnerable to compassion fatigue and burnout, especially for mental health professionals who are able to develop a close connection with their clients. There is a balance between being “connected” and “differentiated” from the clients in nurturing a positive therapeutic relationship, which involves not only the engagement with clients, but also the management of “Self” of the mental health professionals. It is well established that positive empathic connection with clients is essential in the success of mental health interventions.
Advance in neuroscience has uncovered important information about empathy and the internal working models of human mind, emotion and relationship. We are now able to gain a deeper understanding into the why and how of effective therapeutic skills and approaches. In the realm of therapeutic relationship, which is essential in all mental health interventions and psychotherapy processes, the concept of therapeutic presence has been gaining increasing attention in recent times. According to Geller, therapeutic presence is a way of being with client that optimises the doing of therapy. Based on extensive experiences working with clients with issues of substance misuse, this workshop will provide experiential exercises to introduce the theoretical background and scientific support for the practice of therapeutic presence, and involve participants in experiential activities that are helpful for the nurturance of therapeutic presence in therapeutic works. We aim to support participants in improving their self-care and therapeutic outcome through this workshop.
Dr. Timothy Lam is a registered clinical psychologist. He is interested in neurobiology studies and its application in psychotherapy. He has extensive experience in treating addiction problems, mood disorders, and trauma, as well as helping clients in their relationship issues and personal development. He provided services for several social welfare organisations and clinics in Hong Kong, China and Australia. He also taught psychology courses and conduct clinical supervisions in tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. He can speak fluent English, Putonghua and Cantonese and has good knowledge about the cultures in Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia.
Cora Mei-Kuen Lau
PsyD, MA(CP), MSW
Dr. Cora Lau is a registered clinical Psychologist. She is currently working with people comorbid with substance abuse disorder, trauma and mental health problems in the Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service. Dr. Lau has extensive clinical experience in psychotherapy, family therapy, and psycho-education for adults, children, teenagers and families. Dr. Lau also provides clinical supervision to social workers in Hong Kong and China. She serves on the advisory board and is a clinical consultant to mental health organisations in Hong Kong and China. Dr. Lau is compassionately concerned with people suffering substance misuse problems with trauma experiences. She is enthusiastic in supporting mental health practitioners working with traumatised individuals as they are vulnerable to psychological distress and secondary trauma in their work. Dr. Lau’s research interest is on the secondary trauma of professionals working with substance abuse problems.
Ms Esther Cheung is a registered social worker and has 17 years of experience in social services. She has rich experiences in providing services for people suffering from substance abuse and their family. She is currently the Officer in charge of a Counselling Centre for Psychotropic Substance Abusers. She cares for the mental health of people abusing substances and the effect of trauma on their addiction. Being in charge of numerous programs of psychoeducation, outreaching services, school support services and professional trainings in the area of substance abuse treatment, she has an increasing interests on the issues of compassion fatigue and secondary trauma and endeavors in providing support services for professionals working in high risk environment for such problems.
Narrative therapy an evaluated intervention to improve social and emotional adaptation for Stroke Rehabilitation.
The participants of this workshop will learn to describe a theoretical and practical framework of using a train metaphor in narrative therapy for stroke rehabilitation in group practice. There is a paucity of literature on the application of narrative therapy in meeting the psychosocial-spiritual needs of stroke survivors in rehabilitation. In the current article, the use of narrative therapy being evaluated in a formal randomised study in stroke survivors is described in detail. The metaphor may be of practical interest to those working with populations confronted with unpredictable life challenges.
Narrative practice using the metaphor of ‘Train of life’ is an alternative practice to psychopathology, which provides a means for the participants to deconstruct from the illness experience, re-author their lives, and reconstruct their identity with hopes and dreams. This therapeutic conversations, primarily using questions, can be divided into six steps: (1) engaging participants to a Concord station; (2) unfolding the experience with Stroke: where each of the participants are coming from; (3) dialoging directly with Stroke; (4) co-constructing the train carriage; (5) planning for a future life journey with Stroke; and (6) celebrating the unlocking of a new journey. Along with the train of life metaphor, therapeutic documents and outsider witness conversations are used to strengthen the preferred identity, as opposed to the problem saturated identity of the participants. This metaphor poses an alternative methodology in stroke rehabilitation by reconnecting the survivors’ inner resources, skills, and competencies. Eventually, it could re-author the survivors’ identity developed from previous life challenges and reconstruct their purpose of life.
PhD, RSW, MNTCW (Melb & Dulwich)
Dr Esther Chow is an associate professor, Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, City University of Hong Kong. She is a registered social worker, narrative therapist, and committed to infusing strengths-and meaning-based perspective in sharing knowledge, and striving for excellence in research scholarship, dissemination and transfer of knowledge through teaching and collaborative practice in applying Narrative Therapy (NT) with individuals, families, and community.
As a leading therapist and scholar in applying NT to people with chronic disabilities, Esther investigates the impacts of NT on diverse groups, including social work and counselling students, older adults confronting ageing, older stroke survivors, and persons living with chronic pain, and their family carers in the contexts of higher education, health social and community care service provisions in Hong Kong. Other than publishing Practice Manuals and outcome studies with practitioners in health and social arenas, her academic articles appear in both Social Sciences Citation Index, SAGE and Routledge Journals. In recognitions of her contributions to the field of gerontological studies and social services, she have been named as Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation for her dedicated humanitarian services, awarded by Salome Raheim as a Narrative Practitioner in addressing privilege and dominance, a Fellow of Gerontological Society of America, excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award by City University of Hong Kong, a CADENZA fellow by Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and a Honorary Research Fellow of Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong.