UMak-CGCS Attends the 59th PGCA Annual National and International Conference

Manila, May 20, 2024 — The Center for Guidance and Counseling Services (CGCS) participated at the recent three-day annual national and international conference, held at the prestigious Manila Hotel and La Consolacion College Manila from May 16 to 18, 2024.

Director Ryan Villanueva with Guidance Counselor Liezel Mendoza, and Guidance Coordinator Estella Obnamia participated the event as esteemed delegates of CGCS. The conference commenced with a captivating plenary session emphasizing the exchange of ideas, practices, and experiences across Southeast Asian countries, providing a platform for mutual learning and collaboration in the field of mental health.One of the highlights of the conference was a panel discussion featuring representatives from various countries including Cambodia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These distinguished panelists shed light on the perception and value of mental health within their respective contexts, emphasizing the profound impact of COVID-19 and artificial intelligence (AI) on counseling practices.

The panelists expressed a shared commitment to advancing the counseling profession and promoting mental well-being within their communities. They underscored the necessity of cross-border collaboration and knowledge sharing to develop culturally sensitive interventions and a comprehensive understanding of mental health issues.

Looking ahead, the panelists outlined strategic initiatives to enhance the counseling profession in their respective countries. These initiatives include investing in professional development opportunities, raising awareness, destigmatizing mental health, advocating for policy reforms, and leveraging technology to expand the reach of counseling interventions.The second day of the conference featured a series of workshops covering topics such as Leadership in Counseling, Self Care and Self Compassion for Counselors, and Marital Counseling. On the final day, counselors delved into sessions on the Basics of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Commitment Therapy, Counseling Early Trauma, Animal-Assisted Interventions, and DBT.

The three-day conference provided a valuable platform for professional development and networking opportunities, reinforcing UMak-CGCS’s commitment to excellence in counseling services.