Sonia Mukhtar

Sonia Mukhtar

Counseling Psychologist, Naturalist, Bibliophile, Yogi and in essence an Author
Sonia Mukhtar

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“This may sound like an odd question, but why do people attend conferences?”

Do you attend conferences? Many? But why do you want to attend a conference? Networking or Food? Food, mm… tempting? Well, what is your motive? What do you get out of it, besides food?

The great benefit of attending an academic conference, if not the professional so to speak, is the opportunity to build yourself a network and increase new trends happening in your particular area of interest.  The very recent conference held at Lahore and I had the privilege to attend and to revive the very question of “why do we attend conferences”. Attending a conference is not just a professionally rewarding experience but in addition to socializing with other professionals from various institutions also a possibly exotic locale of a knowledge base. Apparently, the two main reasons to attend a conference befell under: to hear the presentations of other professionals or peers (if not the presenting own presentation) and to converse with other researchers and experts in their areas.

And these purposes were served fully at the International conference entitled “Clinical Psychology and the Developing World: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions” on 9th -10th March 2017.  The conference took a start with Holy Quran’s recitation and as a token of appreciation opening words of the rector Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad emphasizing the importance of psychology in daily life and in particular of organizational theory and behavior in addition to human relations as common values to the understanding of what is stated and narrated.  And raising the most needed question that How can psychological services be made available to those who can’t afford?

Just as pertaining the pertinent inquiry Dr. Murad raises the question on an issue and received a response just elegantly by Dr. Zahid Mahmood – the chair of the Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, Lahore. By accentuating as since this profession is about the individual differences and submerged in cultural relevance so it must be taken in conclusions with being scarce indigenous knowledge and then this knowledge can be disseminated in the mass. Furthermore, his addition in regards to the importance of school psychology given the fact that underachievement is not about the intellectual deficiencies, but the general learning difficulties and emotional behavioral problems of the children.

Followed by the Dr. Douglas E. Trimble who highlighted the role of attachment to God in Muslim culture in particular by stressing on a fact that attachment helps a child to regulate own emotions and to help to develop the same connection with God as child’s internalization of parent-child attachment is congruent with spiritual attachment to God.

This stood out as a classical example of the benefits of conferences one can have and as a learner, student or professional, you’ll learn that even by listening to the talks is extremely valuable and hallway conversations could be even more fruitful than merely small talks. Listening to participant’s presentations will inform you of what your peers are doing (with the advantage of more clarity than on paper and a spin to ask questions), will inspire your very own research ideas for your projects and will help you witness the different styles of presentation (including excellent and non-so-excellent talks).

Conferences grow your professional network, build your knowledge base and expand your resources just as with other fields people in academic cultivate exceptions and the excitement to share them with likeminded colleagues. It provided with an opportunity to test out new ideas, review upcoming publications, share and learn teaching tools and obtain sample knowledge of textbooks and applications. Conferences are full of people promoting novel ideas, vendors selling, and consultants teaching new ways for anyone who would be willing to learn.

An opportunity to fill up academic toolshed with new techniques to improve your career!

Depending on the type of conference you attend, it’s possible to acquire and gain career advice, recruit potential ideas, negotiate your plans, expand communications, enhance skill building trainings and workshops. You will learn a lot from talking about your work, receiving ideas and suggestions by not just listening but also sharing – always a reciprocity.