Portugal Visit Enlightening for SOE Students and Faculty

Albany, NY (November 5, 2012) - The 2nd Joint Conference between the UAlbany School of Education’s Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology (ECP), and the specialty area of Educational, Developmental, and Counseling Psychology, and research group on Psychosocial Transitions, College of Psychology and Education, Universidade de Coimbra was held October 25-26.

The conference on Life Transitions: Contexts and Processes was a huge success. A dozen doctoral and master’s students and 13 faculty and alumni from ECP attended the conference in Coimbra, Portugal. For many students, this was the first opportunity to travel outside of the United States.

The ECP faculty and students found it extremely enriching to hear about the research endeavors of their own colleagues, as well as those their colleagues in Portugal were developing. Although the presentations varied in topics—from family therapy, theoretical models of transition, using technology in the classroom, facilitating writing in autistic children, substance abuse among young adults, supervising students in training, to helping children through divorce—there were clear themes that emerged across these disparate topics. Whether targets are mental health clients, elementary school students, teachers, graduate students, or university faculty, the collective group is clearly focused on facilitating change and transition in people and institutions. They explicitly consider the developmental trajectories and needs of their targets and change approaches to match developmental stages.

Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, LaRae Jome, reflected on the trip. “Listening to the various presentations and reading the poster sessions, it was obvious that we live in a global society that is highly influenced by technology; however, although the methods by which we communicate may have changed, the importance of maintaining communication, of coming together and listening to and learning from each other, is vital.”

The 1st Joint Conference between the two institutions was held in 2007, entitled Counseling Psychology at the Crossroads. UAlbany’s Counseling Psychology faculty and Psychology and Education faculty at Universidade de Coimbra have enjoyed a mutually-enhancing relationship since the early 1990s. 

Photos provided by Stacy Williams, Clinical Assistant Professor, School Psychology.