As a first-time convention attendee, I honestly did not know what to expect. But this morning as I walked through the convention doors, I immediately felt the energy, excitement and brilliance surrounding me — and also the slight feeling of being overwhelmed! All of these feelings at 7:30am on a Thursday meant that this was going to be a great day.
I took the advice of many of my colleagues who told me to “definitely download the App” to help organize my plan for balancing networking, learning and simply being around other like-minded individuals. The APA Convention App has been fantastic in helping me find the sessions that I’m interested in.
Through the app I found one of the best sessions of the day — a presentation from those at the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston Medical Center.
In a session chaired by Dr. Kermit Crawford, four speakers delivered multiple perspectives on the role of resilience in surviving systemic oppression and trauma in marginalized communities. These soon-to-be doctors absolutely blew me away with their research, which highlighted topics on ethnic identity among Asian Indians in the United States, culturally informed responses to sexual trauma, stereotype threats, and the interdependence of risk and protective factors. They advocated for assessing and emphasizing factors that promote resilience, rather than simply assessing stressors associated with being a member of a marginalized community. Their presentation was beneficial to any practicing psychologist working with minority populations.
These first few hours at APA 2014 have been exhilarating. I hope all of my fellow first-time attendees are getting as much out of this experience as I am.