September – October 2011 Wrap-Up

It’s been a while since my last post (I should be thinking twice if I want to call myself: blogger!). Anyway, this is the wrap-up of what I’ve been doing in the past months – September and October 2011. It was busy months, but surely I had a lot of fun.

September 24, 2011: Protect-A-Child Seminar

This was a part of seminars held by Protect-A-Child organization in Surabaya with its founder Paul and Debora Hamel. It was held with support from JJFm Surabaya and I was given the honour to be the guest speaker. My talk was about: Recognizing Challenging Behaviors in Children and How to Avoid them from being Abused. The article that I wrote was then published at Gloria Tabloid (2 editions: 3rd and 4th week of October).

Me, Paul dan Debora Hamel, and Richie Lim

September 24, 2011: Managing Stress

It was a small gathering for about 20 women at Darmaria, Surabaya. The intention of this gathering was to learn about how to manage stress in our daily life. It was my second time giving the speech at Darmaria and I was honoured to be part of them.

October 3 – 8, 2011: School of Children Counseling

It was an annual seminar with Rev. David Goodwin from Kidsreach Australia. The seminar was about how to deliver counseling process from children in crisis or trauma for 88 counselors from all over Indonesia and Malaysia (Sabah). This year I got the honour to be the interpreter for David Goodwin.

With David Goodwin and Lexy Pello

Before studio recording

October 11, 2011: Teacher Training at Mawar Sharon Christian School

It was an honour for me to be the guest speaker at teacher training at Mawar Sharon Christian School. The theme was about Recognizing Challenging Behaviors on Children and how teachers can help them during regular classroom process. The whole training went well and we learned a lot from the case studies at the school. Nice to work with you all, teachers!

The teachers as participants


Group Counselling

Individual counselling has been known in therapy and other types of counselling, namely: in the church, in the cafe, during break time, etc. But, do you know that group therapy works well when handled by those who are expert? It can help the members not to feel alone and learn from others’ experiences too. When someone, let’s say being addicted to drugs, he may not be able to go out and join others because he feels alone. He may thinks that he’s the only who has been addicted to drugs and has no one to help him. By joining a group counselling, he can share his experiences with others and get support from others too.

In another case, group counselling may help someone who feels that he’s the one to blame for what had happened. It usually happens in sexual abuse cases. A little girl may blame herself for being raped because she was not able to help herself in that incident. Even though, clearly, it was not her fault, she will bring that feeling for so long, until someone can help her. Being in a group counselling will bring her self-confident back and boost her capability to show herself as a full-functioning person.



Besides sharing as a group, doing drama is proven to be helpful. People will learn other people stories through drama. The members of a group counselling can do the drama themselves. It will be a very useful tool in counselling.

On the next article, I will write more on Play Therapy in children.

Facts on Child Abuse

During our sessions in School of Children Counselling, all the participants were brought to the facts of child abuse. David Goodwin shared numbers of shocking facts about child abuse:

  • 50% of the abusers are the family member of the child – father, brother, uncle, cousin and other relatives.
  • 45% of the abusers are the people that a child knows – neighbor, pastor, other people in the church, etc.
  • only 5% of the abusers are strangers.

It must be very shocking to know that children had been hurt by the people they trust and love the most. There was one lady who had been raped when she was 5 years old by her neighbor – who was happened to be her uncle. She did not realized the meaning of that incident, until she was a teenager. She could feel that something has been stolen from her and she was looking around to find what it was. The little girl who had been hurt is still inside of her. She becomes a young lady who is afraid to lose someone that she loves, even though that person already hurt her in many ways. She looks fragile because no matter how hard she tried to look strong, that little girl is still inside her – a little who girl can’t get any help to help herself.

How many times adults hurt children?

As adults, we hurt children in many ways. Don’t talk about extreme cases. Let’s just talk about the abuse that we do in our everyday lives. We look down at our children, students at school and Sunday school. We also think that they have no understanding on what’s happening around them, even though in fact, they do understand. They know when their parents are no longer love each other. They can sense when something is wrong in the family.

How many times we talk harsh to them? How many times we called them ‘stupid’ for not being able to meet our requirements? How many times we blame them for the things that had happened without asking questions?

Think about that carefully … because when we look back, we will find out that we hurt our children for so many times.

And that’s the fact …

School of Children Counseling

I went to this 5-day school of children counseling with David Goodwin from Kidsreach in Australia and NZ. At first, I did not really know what to do or what will happen in that event. I just helped the committee to translate the original book (which was in English) to Bahasa Indonesia. Then, I got an offer from them to come and join the seminar. I agreed because I still have 2-week-off from school. Now, I feel blessed because I was there. Apart from being busy, I learned a lot about children counselling. I will divide the stories or report (whatever you name it) into a few articles. So, just enjoy it!

with David Goodwin and other participants

with David Goodwin and other participants

David Goodwin is a senior pastor in both NZ and Australia. He’s been working with children in counseling for more than 30 years. He’s an expert to combine the methods that we have been known in the world of psychology or counseling AND Christian Ministry. So, the children will be helped through counseling and also Christian values. But, don’t get me wrong. He’s not a type of pastor who’s merely believe in prayer and miracles without doing something about the issues that the children face. He always finds a way out for the children from their problems … and at the end, he will pray for them.

working with David was awesome

working with David was awesome

I feel so lucky for the rare opportunity of working with David. We talked and shared a lot of things about children, ministry and psychology. How the adults and the world treat children so badly, and therefore, they grow up with self-destructive behaviors and being destructive to others as well. This seminar was covering the topic of abused children who are angry, hurt and live in despair and how we can help them using professional therapy, such as: Rational-Emotive Therapy, Reality Therapy, Behavior Therapy and Client-Centered Therapy (his favorite above all!).

He also asked me on the topic for my upcoming thesis (within the next 1.5 years!). So far, I can think of depression or anxiety in primary school-aged children due to the load of school-work. He agreed that children nowadays have no time to play and be children, act as a child and enjoy their time as what it used to be…

I will write more on the next articles!

Youth Retreat – Batu, June 2, 2008

I never imagined that one day I would be a group leader for youth retreat. If it was not for Ike, then I might refused. Ike was one of my best friend. We were together in university (doing psychology) and still together when we worked in Jakarta and Cirebon. But guess what, I learnt a lot today…

Ike was the speaker on the session about ‘Who Am I?’ She could handle those bunch of teens who were barely know her. The session went well with about 50 teenagers altogether. The point that she made was the importance of self-image. How do they see themselves and how do they perceive others’ opinion about them. Sometimes teens are easily distracted by tiny-bity appearance problems (let’s say: weight gain, pimples, no boyfriend/girlfriend around) and ignore the more urgent matters (how to be fight our weaknesses, how to build good and healthy relationship with others). It is an important task for parents, teachers and those who are working in youth care to promote positive self-image, so the teens won’t get disappointed with what they have but working hard to boost their talents.

with my group

As a group leader, I was a bit awkward at first, but then I could blend with the teens. I could sense why parents are usually stuck with their teens. It seems that the age gap and different way to view the world have separated them away. My responsibility was to explain the process of the activities and make sure the whole group to finish their works. Each activity was designed to help the teens to understand more about themselves. At the 1st session, they were asked to write down 3 good and bad experiences in which they were labeled by others (for example: Teacher A said that I’m stupid, I feel sad OR Teacher B said that I’m creative, I’m so excited). Each experience then need to be match with certain feeling that followed. This introduction into feeling was made to help the teens understand that there are numbers of feelings, not just happy, sad, mad or excited.

group discussion

The 2nd session was designed for the teens to find about the strength of a friend on their left and a friend on their right side. It could help some teens to realized that others view them positively. Sometimes they just not realized their own strength. On the 3rd session, each person got a feedback from their closest friend in a group to fix their weaknesses and be more confidence with themselves. The feedback given must be in positive term, such as: you will look nicer if you brush your hair nicely OR you will make more friends if you can smile more often.

The final session was closed with 1.5 hour activity in which they drew their own universe in a paper. This activity was meant to help the teens to understand and realized the components of themselves and appreciate others who were meaningful to them (family, friends, teachers, those who sponsor their school fee, etc). And… I had a duty to close the session with short message for the participants. All I said was to boost their positive self-image by doing positive activities and be open to all the criticism and advices that come from others. Not to take the criticism without any thoughts but… critically think through it.

closing session

International Convention – Surabaya, June 25-26, 2008

With the title “Exploring the Role of Psychology in Creating Healthy Society”, Widya Mandala Catholic University – Surabaya (UKWMS) presented a forum to share thoughts, knowledge, scientific research and ‘the stories behind’ from the experts. This two days convention was held in Mercure Grand Mirama Hotel, Surabaya. I consider myself as lucky to be there. I joined the whole sessions of seminars and workshop for 2 reasons. Firstly, I have to prepare myself to complete my masters in Psychology and secondly, I need to build relationship with the experts if I want to be succeed in this field.

Day 1

Opening Choir of UKWMS Convention 2008

The first day was opened by a wonderful performance from UKWMS Choir, Cantate Domino. They sang two Balinese songs and they even danced! It was totally outstanding. Not long after, the seminar was started by two keynotes speakers, Heather Gridley (School of Psychology, Victoria University) and Margaretha Sih Setija Utami (Soegijapranata Catholic University, Semarang).

Heather shared her experience and research on the connection between community art and health promotion. Her research proved that singing has good effects for health and wellbeing of individuals and community. She is a member of community choir in Melbourne which consists of numbers of women with their own backgrounds. They support each other in a way that can transfer the positiveness of being together. Meanwhile, Bu Sih talked about the contributions from psychology to safe motherhood. It was her dissertation for her PhD.

The next two speakers were Associate Professor Rozmi bin Ismail and Yohan Kurniawan, PhD. Both were talking about Road Safety and Engineering Psychology consecutively. Prof Rozmi found that traffic fatalities has become a public health issues in many countries, especially in developing countries. It seemed that reckless driving behaviors were connected with mental health. Doctor Yohan brought a new topic of engineering psychology in Indonesia. It mostly talked about the connection of human and machine elements.

With the experts

During breaks, there were numbers of presentations from lecturers, psychologists and researchers who were consistently worked hard in the field of psychology. Their topics ranged from child education, child abuse, parenting education, healthy habits, self-image, smoking and drug using, safety riding, community health and many more. I believe that one day I will be part of them and not just the listeners.

Day 2

It was workshop time!

Robert Yates, Linda McDonell and Beverly Revin were the lecturers from Malaspina University – Canada ( They were presenting a workshop on ‘Addressing Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood & Child and Youth Care’. They came up with the topics of what the ECEC and CYC professionals do in their field and what are the barriers and challenges that might come.

Rob, Bev, Linda

All the participants were actively involved in discussion, asking and answering questions. We shared our own experiences in Indonesia, because all the materials were presented in Canadian perspectives. Nonetheless, it was a useful tools for all the participants, because now we know what is the ideal form of how to take care the child and youth in advance.

With Linda and Bu Mimi

Ongoing Discussion

It’s so good to know that psychology faculty of UKMWS had succeed to celebrate this event. By the way, I haven’t mentioned that this International Convention was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the faculty. I wish I will stand up in the podium as a speaker one day. I will be part of this community and play a role. As Linda told me to keep up until PhD (well, it’s not just a dream… ). I’ll check the opportunity to fly to Canada!