Search This Blog

Friday, May 16, 2008

PGCA 44th Annual Convention INVOCATION

The following was my prayer during the Invocation portion of the PGCA 44th Annual Convention and Workshops:

Our loving Heavenly Father, Your grace has brought us all here today to convene this year's event of the PGCA. We thank and praise you! It was also through Your will that all will learn to live as your beloved sons and daughters, entrusting gifts to those You have deemed the task of helping others - the Guidance Counselors. Bless each and everyone here present today that we may live up to the mission You have entrusted to us.

Our Lord, Friend, Counselor and Savior Jesus Christ, You have shown us through Your life the way to fulfill the Father's plan. You gave Your life in order that we may learn and understand what loving service is all about. You lived and moved about with people, and became intimately involved in the struggles we all face to be free, strong, generous, compassionate, and empowered with life as we all came from the One Who truly lives and gives life.

Holy Spirit, our Paraclete, hover over us and recreate each one here anew, that whatever we do, think, feel and envision will always be aligned with whatever the Father has planned for all of us. Stay with us. Inspire us. Make us docile to Your promptings so that we may truly be Yours and for others.

All our concerns we pray them to you: for our fellow Counselors who are in situations of difficulty, both in body, work, money and spirit, accompany them with Your strength, peace and joy. And for our fellow Counselors who have died, especially Drs. Gabriel, our first PRB Chair, and former PGCA President Naomi Ruiz, we ask Your forgiveness for their failings and sins, and in Your mercy, grant them your peace and joy together with the angels and saints.

For You, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

One of the Counselors attending the event approached me and requested a copy of the above prayer, and so that others may also get it (as I only had 1 handwritten copy then), I told her I'd blog it here. You may copy it, and may I request that this site be cited too so that others can read the news in here, particularly as the field of Guidance and Counseling, and/or Counseling Psychology in the Philippines continues to grow and become more participative in Philippine society. May God bless us all.

PGCA 44th Annual Convention & Workshops News

By this time, the 44th PGCA Annual Convention & Workshops should have been over. It opened at the Century Park Hotel last May 14, 2008 and was attended by over a thousand Counselors from all over the country. The theme was: "The Professional Counselor in Action." There were three panels that discussed the role and relationships of Counselors vis-a-vis other professionals including the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the physician, the lawyer, the social worker, as well as institutions. Many among us may have worked in tandem with at least one of these professions in our work settings. Reflecting on the format of the panels, three areas where Counselors may be actively involved would be the school setting, the hospital, and the community or institutional settings.

The first panel particularly gave a clear team approach in doing counseling, particularly when there is a need for case management. In this panel, what seemed missed out in the discussion was the social worker who many also be involved in the school setting.

The second panel became more obviously about Counseling in the hospital setting. The two speakers very much gave an idea about working with those clients having physical ailments like cancer, etc. However, it was rather unfortunate that the profession that wasn't represented there, although it was in the program was the lawyer. This is one of the areas that we may need to get more training and continuing education in. In fact, one of the participants approached me after the paper presentation session inquiring about this matter, in anticipation of legal implications of one's current practice.

The third panel dealt with some social concerns, particularly as the social worker's role was discussed in tandem with the Guidance Counselor's which was looked at from the Consultation frame. The last speaker was the CEO of one of the substance rehabilitation centers.

One message was clear: that now that Counseling is a profession, we will have to work side by side other professionals, and we may need to know our "turf," our weaknesses, our strengths, the pitfalls and the challenges of harmoniously relating with others who also work for our clientele. Indeed this matter anticipates more developments to consider. By the way we do things we can promote or demote Counseling as a profession.

Since there were just too many participants which challenged the PGCA Board, I was asked to shoe myself in as moderator of the last panel discussion. Even if I am only considered an affiliate member of PGCA, but due to our collaboration with the other Counseling-related organizations at the IPCAP, it was an honor to pitch in my skills. I already opened the event with an Invocation which I shall blog in my next entry.

NEXT TWO DAYS: May 15-16, 2008 Events

The next two days saw similar formats of events. The first two hours were filled with four groups of paper presentations and mini workshops. Then the next seven hours were for concurrent workshops, at least 8 per day. These were all jampacked, with the rooms really overflowing with interested presentors, listeners and facilitators. Again I pitched in as moderator for the concurrent paper presentations, particularly on papers presented regarding Classroom Related Behaviors (2nd day), and Stress and Healing (3rd day).

If I were to make a countdown of what has been printed in the Programme, there were 17 papers presented, as well as 17 workshops. I bet there were workshops that did not push through due to the many surprises that took place, including the sickness of many in the PGCA Board, the illness of some of their loved ones which definitely took some Board Members away from more active involvement, really stressful that warranted all the help they could get, and I saw many. May this spirit continue so that PGCA can survive the professionalization process, a challenge each Counseling-related professional organization will similarly have to face. My hope and prayer is that we work harmoniously among ourselves in our specific specializations and also other professions. All the best and God bless to our efforts and Actions!