Why is ROL in China?
Reach Out And Learn Volunteer Professionals help those in need by learning together in training meetings where professionals, faculty, and students from the U.S. share experiences and best practices with their colleagues abroad.
Our efforts in China, as of late, have been to work with Chinese mental health professionals and psychological faculty and students to provide training and resources for current and future therapists as they help those with mental health challenges.
Dr. Fang, PhD, pioneering mental health in China
Sheila, Isaac, and I, along with Rick Miller and his son, David, met with Dr. Fang at Beijing Normal University (BNU). Rick Miller, a long-time colleague of Dr. Fang, flew from Utah to Beijing to make a personal invitation of Reach Out And Learn, to Dr. Fang, who is famous among University Mental Health faculty, throughout China as a renown researcher and expert.
Introductions, in China, must be done in person.
We had a wonderful informal meeting with Dr. Fang, where we chatted about what Reach Out And Learn is doing and how we can work together to help those with mental health challenges both in the U.S. and in China, by "learning together" and sharing best practices and outcomes between U.S. based and Chinese mental health professionals, researchers, faculty, and students.
Down the hall from Dr. Fang's office is a counseling room used by University graduate students to get internship hours practicing the methods gained during their studies.
BNU Community Counseling Center
Dr. Fang arranged for us to tour a University Counseling Center that is located on the second floor of the Jingshi Hotel, which is on BNU's campus.
During our tour of the center we saw therapy rooms used for play therapy, sand tray therapy, observation, and dance therapy. The primary clinicians there received some of their education in the United States.
Cultural and Historical Training at the Great Wall
Most of the members of ROL's CMHS group arrived on Friday evening, Ben, Karla, Colleen, Kristan, Le, and Ryan and Jamie. On Saturday, we boarded a bus that took us to the Great Wall, at Badaling, for some Cultural and Historical training. This outing gave us a chance to reflect on China's history, its past leaders, and the Chinese culture. Our time at the Great Wall represents the sacrifice and time offered by our mental health volunteer professionals who will be presenting to Chinese mental health professionals, faculty, students, and citizens as we seek to support those with mental health challenges both in the U.S. and in China.
On Saturday afternoon, we took a bullet train from Beijing to Jinan. When we got to Jinan, we were greeted by Star, loaded on a bus, and taken to the Quancheng Hotel, which is directly east of Quancheng Square, which is directly East of Baotu Springs (more on that later).
Thousand Buddha Mountain
On Sunday morning, we had cultural and historical training activities at Thousand Buddha Mountain, the New World Market, and making pot stickers at Dr. Li's (the dentist) office.
Not many in our group actually saw the gold Buddha higher up on the hill, as they were enthralled by all the vendors and crowds that were on the "mountain" as part of the Double Ninth Festival, celebrated in China on the ninth day of the ninth "lunar calendar" month and runs for a week to 10 days.
In the afternoon we all strolled through and had lunch in the New World market. Isaac was measured for a trench coat (they're very popular among the young adults in China).
In the evening we joined Dr. Li's matchmaking group to learn the art of making pot stickers. We each had a turn to do the actual stuffing, folding, and pinching the dough.
On Monday morning, we got on the bus and drove a mile and a half (2.5 Km) to the Jihua Hotel, located northwest of our hotel. Here, our group of therapists did presentations on the topics of ?? with a large group connected to the Qiu Wen Psychological Counseling Society.
The Participants received presentations from,
- Ryan on Anxiety
- Le on Depression
- Karla on How to Setup a Community Clinic
- Kristan on Mindfulness
After the presentations we broke into smaller groups, with a presentor and a Chinese to English Interpretor in each group. The smaller groups allowed Participants to get more detailed information about the topic and content from each presentor. Our Interpreters were Emma, Freya, Patrick, and Sans.
At the end of the day, Monday, we had our luggage loaded on the bus from this morning and the driver drove us through traffic to the outskirts of this big city. It was nearly 11pm before we arrived at our hotel, which is a new and clean hotel located in a sparce industrial type area.
Our first day at Qilu University, we presented to more than 80 students and faculty. Our presenters this morning were,
- Ryan on Anxiety and Addiction
- Ben on Knowing and Doing
- Sheila on Neurofeedback
- Jamie on Self Regulation
- Colleen on Trauma Informed Clinical Practice and Adverse Childhood Experiences
In the evening we moved to a large auditorium that was a short walk from the classroom where we had been during the day. The evening presentations included,
- Kristan on Mindfulness
- Le on Treating Depression through Interpersonal Process
- Ben on the Knowing and Doing Gap
Day 2, Qilu University
On Day 2 at Qilu University the presentations included,
- Colleen on a Case Study, UNLV Counseling Center
- Karla on Psychological Assessments
- Kristan on DBT and Mindfulness
After the presentations we walked to a meeting room located amongst and in a dormitory hall and had a collaboration with Cici and other professors from several different universities.
Thursday, University of Jinan
Today we had a bus ride to the University of Jinan. While we waited for our class to begin, we toured a museum of sorts in a walled area with three separate small building with displays.
We walked a short distance into a building and to a nice auditorium where we had the following presentations,
- Jamie on Emotional Regulation
- Karla on Creating a Clinical Practice
- Ben on Trauma that Leads to Addiction
- Kristan on DBT and Mindfulness
On Thursday evening, we bid farewell, with tears, to our friends and colleagues in Jinan, and made our way back to Beijing for our flights, some traveling on to Cambodia and others returning to their homes in the U.S.