Over the past three weeks we have featured a series of posts written by MSP students who attended or presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology: American Psychological Association: Division 32 that was held in Chicago on March 26-29, 2015.
Presenting a poster at the conference was an amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone. You may think that “I can’t do this,” but in reality, yes, you can. The poster presentation is not as scary as it may seem. There are wonderful staff members at the conference that help you every step of the way. You never have to feel lost or unsure, because they are always there and always helpful, in addition to the help your colleagues are willing to provide.
On the day of your poster presentation, you are shown to a room and your poster is placed on a pedestal stand or tacked on the wall. Conference attendees work their way around the room, stopping to read posters and ask questions about your presentation. It is a chance for you to stress the importance of your research and to relay the passion you may have had for your topic to others.
Our poster, “The Development of the Social Media Anxiety Questionnaire (SMAQ),” generated a great response. Melanie Ho, Priscilla Zoma, and I, were encouraged to publish our new survey instrument. We were given some wonderful advice and support as to how and where to publish our questionnaire in order for the SMAQ to become available for practitioners to use as a therapeutic tool.
In addition to the encouragement we received for our presentation, we were able to see the poster presentations of our colleagues, both from our own school and from the other attending schools, all of which were very informative. It was a great networking opportunity for all of us.
I also feel that our cohort was strengthened. Being able to bond in a setting outside of the classroom was therapeutic for us also. Often times, as doctoral students, we are so busy that we forget to take time for self-care, and maintenance of our own mental well-being. Just being free to allow for some down time and socialize during this conference reduced stress and recharged our minds as well as our hearts.
Deb Hamilton, MA, TLLP (PsyD 2)