The Department of Student Affairs’ Counselling Guidance Unit organised the Counselling and Wellness Week (CWW) 2019 at UTAR Sungai Long Campus from 11 June 2019 to 13 June 2019.
The theme of this year’s event was ‘Honouring Your Feeling is the Mathematics of Life’. The event aimed to shed light on the importance of feeling gratitude to experience the fullness of life. It also aimed to provide participants with information and knowledge to customise their strengths when facing life challenges.
“Unlocking First Love”
UTAR Psychologist lecturer B. Brahmmakumari presented a talk titled “Unlocking First Love” which focused on the meaning of “First Love”. During her talk, she said, “Life is a gift, so is love. The first love comes from loving your own self.” Quoting the Buddha, she said, “You yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” She then shared the benefits of loving oneself.
She presented the “love wellness model” to guide the participants on how to love themselves and shared the concept called “I AM” which refers to Investigate, Accept and Manifest. She explained, “Investigate who you really are, discover your likes, dislikes, motivation and fears. Accept who you really are and look out for your strengths and weaknesses. As for Manifest, learn to be true to yourself by being the person you truly want to be.” She also shared her personal story, explaining how proud she was to see the changes that took place in her life, from feeling low to being a cheerful person. She added, “You have the power to be confident, but you have to make it real and just be yourself. Be grateful to yourself and take the initiative to understand yourself better.”
The second talk titled “Pursue happiness as a lifelong learning process”
The second talk titled “Pursue happiness as a lifelong learning process” was presented by Counsellor-cum-former UTAR undergraduate Nelson Tan Yan Xun. The purpose of the talk was to make participants understand the essence of lifelong learning and to set a happy lifestyle as a lifelong goal. The talk began with a Q&A session for the participants. The three questions were, “What is happiness?”, “How to achieve it?” and “How to prolong it?”.
“Personal happiness is what matters. Take care of yourself first. It does not matter what other people think,” he said. He taught a simple method on how to prolong happiness, which was through developing habits that could help achieve life goals. He added, “Life is like a marathon, it is about how to prolong happiness.” The talk ended with a group discussion where the participants were taught an effective technique to make positive changes in life, which include changing the way one speaks.
“Be the top fans of yourself”
Moreover, professional writer Ma Long was invited to deliver a talk titled “Be the top fans of yourself”. In his talk, Ma encouraged the students to listen to their inner heart and interact with their inner self. In order to assist the participants to recognise their personality traits, he categorised them using several shapes, namely triangle, square, circle and the S shape. These shapes represent different characteristics. They were determined through a personality assessment.
“You should honest with how you feel and what you want,” he said, adding that being honest would allow them to connect with their inner self and other people on a deeper level. He also shared some techniques that help students to better understand their relationship with themselves and others.
The Happy Relationship Formula”
Another invited speaker, Counsellor Joanne Chin shared her personal story and highlighted the importance of worldview, the principle of life and values in a relationship. Her talk, “The Happy Relationship Formula” provided some guidelines for successful communication and conflict resolution.
According to her, communication and attitude are important elements to manage a relationship. “To gain a positive outcome from a conversation, you need to understand and express your feelings in a non-judgmental way. Stop blaming your loved ones for minor things,” she said. She also shared some great techniques to improve communication.
Various game booths were also set up at the event area to attract more participation from the students. The games included woollen heart making, bingo, mix and matching, cup stacking and other exciting activities. The event also held a sharing session called “Life Journey café”. The participants were given the opportunity to discuss matters concerning life and death.
The Department of Student Affair Counselling Guidance Unit organised the Counselling Wellness Week (CWW) 2018 at Sungai Long Campus from 12-14 June 2018. The event featured exhibitions, relevant games, activities and talks. Themed ‘Living in Gratitude: A Journey of Healing’, the event aimed to spread the awareness of feeling grateful in life and also to set a platform for students to acquire skills that would enable them to live better.
Professional writer Ma Long presented a talk titled “The Power of Thank You: Can Change Your Life”. The talk focused on the power of gratitude and explained how the word, “thank you” can change one’s life. In his talk, he advised students to appreciate the little things in life, to focus their attention on what is pleasurable rather than distressing themselves over little issues. He also provided the participants with information and knowledge that could help them realise their strength in facing life challenges. He said, “The same fact can be very different when you see it from another perspective. Sometimes we just need a different angle to help us see things as they really are.” He also shared with the audience about the water molecule experiment, which was done by Japanese scientist Dr Masaru Emoto, in order to highlight the importance of positive thinking and to show the great power of thoughts and emotions.
The second talk, titled “Four Colours Personality Analysis: Knowing Self, Understanding Other”, saw Focus Personality Analysis (Malaysia) Ng Chian Jean using the colour personality test to assess and help participants to know more about themselves and why people react to certain situations in a certain way. In relation to the colour red, blue, yellow and green, Ng shared about the four basic personality types and analysed each of its strength while giving insight into the potential downsides of each type. He added, “It is perfectly normal if you have more than one colour. Some people might have bits of each colour personality, although some colours may be more predominant than the rest.”
Vincent Leong from Plato Experiential Consultancy conducted a workshop titled, “Keep Calm and Rasakan Gratitude”. He shared on ways to experience and show gratitude in life. Some of the highlights he mentioned in the workshop were self-reflection, self-acknowledgement and self-worth. He said, “We must remember that the only person who can help us is ourselves. We have to cultivate the best in ourselves. We have to accept our good and ugly sides to acknowledge ourselves.”
An awareness campaign was organised by the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) Counselling and Guidance Unit at Sungai Long Campus from 22 to 23 January 2018.
The theme of the campaign was “In-motion: Walk with Emotion”. It was held with the objectives of promoting the importance of emotional health among students as well as helping them to manage their emotions properly.
The campaign saw a series of talks which was presented by invited speakers Lily Wong, Liang Yaw Wen, Ma Long and Lee Shae Nee. The topics covered during the talk were “Anger Management for Students”, “Hypnosis: Managing Emotion at the Subconscious Level”, “Good Thought, Good Feeling” and “Emotional Blackmail”.
During the talk, Wong shared some tips to the audience on how to control their emotions. She urged the participants to recognise the reasons behind anger and figure out some healthy ways to manage it. She advised the audience not to suppress the feelings of anger but rather to de-escalate the emotions by diverting the negative energy through certain activities.
In Liang’s talk, he spoke on topics such as the concepts and myths of hypnosis, alpha and beta state of mind, and managing emotions through hypnosis. “Through hypnosis, we are able to calm ourselves down to realise and understand the current situation and solve issues in a rational way,” he said. He also provided some experiential learning for the participants to experience hypnosis and learn how to perform it individually.
On the other hand, Ma said, “Our thoughts will determine our feeling, and our feeling will influence our judgments and decisions, which in turn, influence our destiny.” He mentioned that negative thoughts could lead people to experience the negative emotions of sadness and depression. This leads to further negative thinking and suicidal mindset. Therefore, he encouraged the audience to maintain a good thinking and good emotion in their daily life.
With her talk titled “Emotional Blackmail”, Lee gave a comprehensive definition to make the audience understand on this novel type of emotional abuse. She taught the audience to understand the different type of emotional blackmails and guided them to recognise the signs of emotional blackmail as well as to understand what to do in the event of a given circumstance.
“In order for emotional blackmail to work, there has to be a willing victim. Knowing what emotional blackmail looks like and understanding how to deal with them, will prevent you or someone you know to fall victim to an abusive or manipulative person,” said Lee.
Meanwhile, several activities such as interactive games, psychological test and awareness exhibition booths were offered to assist participants in managing and expressing their emotions in a healthy way. Bearing the theme of five basic emotions, namely ‘Happy’, ‘Fear’, ‘Sad’, ‘Disgust’ and ‘Angry’, the booths aimed to provide an opportunity for the participants to reflect upon their emotions, verbalise their concerns and express their innermost feelings. During the event, the participants were also given a chance to make “emotion ball” as a memorable gift for them to remember what they have benefitted from the campaign. One of the highlighted activities was tarot card reading which enabled the participants to express and clarify their feelings on a particular issue, as well as to find answers to their most important questions, besides providing an in-depth guidance.