WMU News

Bridging global, cultural and racial divides

April 3, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Successfully bridging differences in the world continues to be one of the most important challenges today facing humankind, according to the planners of the 2003 Great Lakes Regional Counseling Psychology Conference.

The two-day meeting begins at 11 a.m. Friday, April 4, in the Fetzer Center on the campus of Western Michigan University. The counseling psychology doctoral program in WMU's Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology will act as host to the event, which concludes Saturday, April 5, after a 2 p.m. presentation on cultural competence. Faculty researchers and counseling students from 23 universities and organizations throughout Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin are expected to attend.

Featured speakers include Dr. Louise A. Douce, director of the Counseling and Consultation Service at Ohio State University and president of the Society of Counseling Psychology. Douce, a past president of the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies, will discuss "Globalization of Counseling Psychology" during a 9:30 a.m. address Saturday, April 5.

Conference participants also will hear from Dr. Derald Wing Sue, a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University's Teachers College, who will lead "Overcoming Your Racism: The Journey to Liberation."

Sue, one of the most cited multicultural scholars in the United States, is co-founder of the Asian Psychological Association and is a former president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues. His work in the development of multicultural counseling competencies has had a major influence on counseling and mental health professions.

Dozens of poster presentations, research discussions and roundtable talks will focus on such issues as ability/disability, age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, relationship status, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status--all of which serve as prominent reference points and influence how people view themselves and each other, according to conference organizers.

"A great deal of professional work is still needed to help bridge differences and develop more effective counseling and mental health interventions in the world today," says WMU professor Dr. Patrick Munley, who is coordinating the conference.

Among the 49 informal or "poster" presentations are those focused on the following topics.

Developing Competence in Counseling African-American Males

Suburban Adolescents: What Do We Really Know?

Career-related Factors of Attending Women's Colleges

The Role of Hope in Aspects of Successful Aging: A Study of Older Adults

Multicultural Counseling and the Military

The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Students

Cancer Diagnosis: Attitudes and Coping Mechanisms

Several roundtable and research discussions will examine the following topics.

The Role of Culture in Work Stress Among Asian Workers

Measuring Post-traumatic Growth: Responses to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Racism and Progress: The Way Americans Talk About Race

Christian Beliefs and Counseling Women Survivors of Domestic Abuse

International Counseling Psychology

Women, Violence and Peace

Registration for the conference is required and registration information and the complete conference program are available online at <www.wmich.edu/cecp/greatlakes>. For information, contact Dr. Patrick Munley at (269) 387-5120.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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