UniPsych Symposium 2018 (Part 5) - Coverage on Sessions C

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This is the last part of the whole series for UniPsych Symposium 2018. Make sure you have read the past 4 posts as well!
UniPsych Symposium 2018 (Part 1) - Keynote Address by Dr Majeed Khader
UniPsych Symposium (Part 2) - Advice from Panel Speakers
UniPsych Symposium 2018 (Part 3) - Coverage on Sessions A
UniPsych Symposium 2018 (Part 4) - Coverage on Sessions B

For this post, we have covered 3 talks in Session C.
  1. Session C2:  Experiment with your future (or How to have fun with Facts)
  2. Session C4:  Applied Cinematherapy - The Patient-Audience Relationship
  3. Session C8:  My Job Explained: Clinical Psychology in a Tertiary Mental Health Hospital
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Session C2:  Experiment with your future (or How to have fun with Facts)
Speaker:  Dr Denise Dillon (Associate Dean of Research and Research Education of James Cook University Singapore)
Covered by:  SGPsychStud

Dr Denise started the session stating doing psychological research is a viable career in these days, and she will share a few fun and interesting facts regarding psychology research and careers.

What is the stereotypical look of a scientist?  How do children think of a scientist and depicted us in a drawing?
  • Wearing a white coat (thinking of a lab coat situation)
  • Male
  • Messy / Fussy hair (probably linking to Einstein?)
  • wear spectacles
  • working with beakers
Which all these may be contrary to what a real scientist really looks like.

She shared about the different types of research and how they can be used:
1.  Basic research
  • Characterised by experimental and theoretical work to acquire knowledge, e.g. 

2.  Applied research
3.  Translational research
  • Applied findings to enhance human well-being and experience, e.g. 
  • Inattentional blindness in sports  -  Tactical instructions in sports will increase inattentional blindness and lead to narrower breadth of attention
  • Change blindness in pilots - Pilots having change blindness due to constant focus, resulting in failure to notice salient unexpected events outside of foveal vision.
  • User Experience (UX) testing for online games

Nontraditional new careers for psychology majors:
  • Human factors/Ergonomics researcher to look at intelligent solutions for health career industry to improve well-being of individuals
  • User experience researcher  with scientific research knowledge and ability which can be applied to product/technology development
  • Human factors/Ergonomics engineer to design products for user well-being and productivity
Advice from SGPsychStud:
If you plan to pursue the nontraditional careers, make sure you acquire as much knowledge as possible. Do explore as many jobs from different fields!  Read this SG Psych Stuff post for why and how you can do it.

Session C4:  Applied Cinematherapy - The Patient-Audience Relationship
Speaker:  Dr Ruth Manasseh (Founder / Psychoanalyst of Dr Ruth Manasseh Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Services)
Covered by:  Rachel Lim

Could the introduction of film extracts into group psychotherapy sessions enhance patients’ ability to reflect?  Dr Ruth Manasseh, a trained psychoanalyst, explored in her clinical methodology.

Originally a filmmaker before becoming a psychotherapist, Dr Manasseh was inspired by her love for both psychoanalysis and films.  She adopted post-Kleinian ideas and theories as intellectual theoretical and practical framework in the concept of Applied Cinematherapy (AC).  Using film extracts as a supplement technique to analytic group work, AC is the clinical execution of the Patient-Audience Relationship (PAR).  The key innovation of AC is the controlled way film extracts were introduced into a therapy session.

This methodology is suitable for severely traumatised patients and young adults who remain in impasse despite having undergone previous pharmaceutical, cognitive and psychodynamic interventions.  The practice begins with 30 minutes of psychodynamic session in a group setting, followed by 10 minutes screening of film extracts, then 15 minutes of analytic work.

Dr Manasseh facilitated a space where patients were allowed to feel safe and open up.  When film extracts were screened, the conflict occurred with characters in the film.  Dr Manasseh thought if patients could observe the conflict, could they also take a step back and reflect on themselves?  The effects AC have on the group and individual process, as well as the possible mechanisms behind these effects were examined.

The results indicated that AC could potentially allow impasse trauma patients to re-engage in treatment through Patient-Audience Relationship.  Using this methodology, patients could gradually work through the more concealed parts of their trauma and integrate it more wholesomely with their daily functioning.

Session C8:  My Job Explained: Clinical Psychology in a Tertiary Mental Health Hospital
Speaker:  Dr Hanita Assudani
Covered by:  Nelson Toh

Dr Hanita is a senior clinical psychologist in the Gender Care team, Institute of Mental Health.  Dr Hanita’s talk revolved around the her job as a clinical psychologist and how it may differ from other mental health specialists.  She spoke about what the differences between a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist and counsellor are.  Read this SGPsychStuff post for more information.

Dr Hanita also emphasized that it is important to empathize, not sympathise with the client.  It is important to guide the client instead of tugging them along for the healing process.  In many way, this is parallel with teaching.  Instead of spoon feeding answers to students, it is important for an educator to allow their student to grow independently.

How does one become a Clinical Psychologist?
  • To start off, an undergraduate degree in Psychology with good honours followed by Masters/Doctorate in clinical psychology is a must as the field is very competitive. 
  • It is also important to be a teamplayer as a clinical psychologist is required to cooperate with other mental health specialists frequently. 
  • Finally, it is key to be resilient both emotionally and physically.  A clinical psychologist also experiences strong emotions from interacting with a patient, thus it is important to prepare oneself.
Additional advice by Dr Hanita can be found here in UniPsych Symposium (Part 2) - Advice from Panel Speakers

Key advice and Takeaway:
  • Consider your ability to regulate your own emotions before diving headfirst into the world of clinical psychology.
  • Practice being a teamplayer through school, work, or other communities by being active. 
  • Decide for yourself the purpose of venturing into this field of psychologist as it is a difficult job.

This is the end of our coverage of UniPsych Symposium 2018.  Hope you have enjoyed all 5 parts!
This post is written by SGPsychStud, Rachel Lim, and Nelson Toh.
Rachel Lim is a first-year psychology student from the Singapore University of Social Sciences. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is currently working as a writer.
Nelson Toh is a first-year student at Singapore University of Social Sciences, and is currently pursuing a career in the education industry.