Thrissur: The Postgraduate and Research Department of Clinical Psychology at Prajyoti Niketan College conducted a two-day national seminar from January 10th to January 11th on "Recent Trends and Challenges in the Mental Health Profession." The event brought together around 200+ experts, practitioners, and students from different parts of the country.
The event, presided over by Rev Fr Dr Harshajan Pazhayattil, OFM Cap, founder and manager of Prajyoti Niketan College, explained the “Existential Holistic Approach in Psychological Disorders and Management." Dr Bhasi Sukumaran, a distinguished figure in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, inaugurated the event and shared his 25 years of dedicated experience in the field. The principal, Dr. Binu P Chacko delivered the felicitation speech.
Dr Bhasi Sukumaran presented the keynote address on "Technological Innovations and Mental Health." The session provided the audience with insights into technological advancements in the mental health sector and the pros and cons of using technology. He also touched upon the emergence of VR technology in the realm of psychotherapy.
Dr P A Baby Shari conducted a session on "Need for Transformative Pedagogy to Address the Gaps in Higher Education Curriculum in Psychology." Dr Baby Shari discussed the importance of transformative approaches in education and how psychological concepts can be seamlessly incorporated into daily life.
The next session was conducted by Dr SV Subramanian on "Artificial Intelligence in Mental Health: A Psychiatric Perspective." He shared his insights into various AI-based mental health applications.
Dr Jyothi Verma conducted a session on the topic "The Conceptual Backdrop of Mental Health and Some Social Challenges of the Mental Health Profession: The Indian Scenario." Her session offered a unique perspective on the cultural and regional aspects influencing mental health professions.
Dr Devi Soumyaja, an assistant professor at Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, and an alumna of Prajyoti Niketan College, presented on the intriguing topic "Contemporary Trends and Scope of Organisational Psychology." Her presentation delved into innovative concepts within organisational psychology, drawing on various studies to highlight the evolving landscape in the field.
Ms Nitha Thomas is a clinical psychologist with over a decade of experience and an MPhil from NIMHANS. Her presentation, titled "Supervision in Psychotherapy: Models and Experience," explored the intricacies of effective supervision.
During the seminar, about 17 paper presentations were conducted simultaneously in the main auditorium and Assisi Hall. In addition to paper presentations, the seminar fostered an environment for meaningful discussions during panel sessions. The panel, comprising Vidhya K Nidhi, Ms Nimmy Michel, Sharikka Sham, Sreelakshmi Edavana Santhosh, and Sruthi Annie Vincent, practising psychologists, were all alumni of Prajyoti Niketan College. They shared their insights on "Recent Trends and Challenges in Psychotherapy," debated challenges, and explored potential solutions. The discussion was moderated by Dr Sowmya K Sukumaran.
The paper presented by Miss Bayana BOMS, Research Scholar, under the guidance of Dr. Sukanya B Menon, Associate Professor, Prajyoti Niketan College on "Understanding Adolescent Webholism: A Comprehensive Investigation into the Predictive Power of Psychological Variables" was honoured with the Best Paper Award.
The national seminar was organised by Dr Milu Maria Anto and other committee members, Dr Nice Mary Francis, Dr Soumya Starlet, Dr Sukanya B Menon, Dr Jaya A T, Dr Sreelakshmi N, Midhu K Johnson and student coordinators Akifah Jamsheed Hamsa and Shahana P H.
(The author is a second-year Bachelor of Commerce student at Prajyoti Niketan College, reporting for Onmanorma as part of our campus outreach programme, Onmanorma Campus Reporter)