Monday, February 6, 2017
Learning Better Than Shopping?
I just came back from the 23rd Annual SPI Counselor’s Institute on South Padre Island, Texas. The event was put together by the hard work of the Tip of Texas Counseling Association, a great group of counselors from the Brownsville area. While I was at the conference sessions and presenting; my wife and daughter enjoyed some time shopping on the Island and nearby Port Isabel. Personally I felt I had the better time learning from the various presenters.
Some of the topics I enjoyed the most were learning strategies for dealing with anger; understanding the emotional needs of millennials, and re-wiring the addicts brain which looked at neuroplasticity. I was also glad to sit in again on a creative vision journaling session conducted by a dear friend Dr. Marsha Nelson. If you get the chance to attend one of her sessions they are life inspiring. I was also glad to see a former Counseling program classmate and friend, Rosa Linda Cruz and picked up a copy of her children’s book, My Favorite Bubbles. I have a hyperlink on her title if you are interested in purchasing it. I plan on using that book with younger clients in my counseling work.
Usually after a conference I do a post about a favorite session I attended. This time I want to focus in on the session I did twice. The session was “Bibliotherapy Tips From Mr. Bookhead”. I appreciated the Counselors who attended it and brought to the discussion their insights. I usually do not like being a talking head for a whole hour so I try to draw out thoughts from others so we can all learn from each other. That came to pass at this conference as many were open to sharing their thoughts.
I take the definition from the American Library Association “The use of selected reading materials as therapeutic adjuvants, (enhancer of treatment), in medicine and psychiatry; also guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading. (AHIL Quarterly, Summer 1966, p. 18.From http://www.ala.org/tools/bibliotherapy). I emphasized that it is not a miracle cure but it is another tool that counselors can use in serving their clients. This tool can help clients gain insights into their particular problem area. This tool can also promote communication between the client and counselor concerning their problems so as to move to solutions.
We discussed the various types of literature to use Fiction books, non- fiction books, Magazine articles, Chapters in books, Poems and Song lyrics. Some of the book titles attendees suggested were: “When God Winks” by Squire Rushnell, “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton, “7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Sean Covey, “Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes” by Eric Litwin, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” by Aesop, “The Bible”, and “Dynamic Catholic” by Matthew Kelly. They all provided a wide variety of meaningful books. Of course here I need to mention my book, Living More Than OK, as the purpose I wrote it was for personal self-growth of individuals on their life journey. It can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
I also looked at songs by having them discuss through the song “Story of Your Life” by Matthew West and discussed a poem from off the website https://www.poemhunter.com/poems/change/page-1/24402/. Poem hunter is an excellent poetry website to gather poems from various topics. I wrapped up the session also discussing how counselors can use movies and videos for self-growth and overcoming problems. Some of the meaningful movies they shared where: Angry Birds (2016), Saturday Night Fever (1977), Good Will Hunting (1997), and Finding Nemo (2003).
So I will let the reader decide what is more fun learning or shopping? For me when it comes to conferences learning is always more fun.
Reflection: Think through what is a book that has had special impact on your life? Think over the movies you have seen what is one that has had special impact on your life?