Overview - published in Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource, Edition 2007
The Second Middle-East and North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology (MENA RCP2) was held in Amman, Jordan, April 27th – May 1st. This conference was organized by the Jordanian Psychological Association, under the auspices of the International Union of Psychological Science and co-sponsored by the International Association of Applied Psychology and the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. The conference languages were Arabic and English, with simultaneous translation. Some 200 psychologists from a dozen countries in the region and several outside the region contributed to the conference’s success. There were Pre-conference workshops for CE credits, and during the conference, there were Keynote addresses, paper presentations, and additional workshops and discussion groups. Focus was on advancing psychology as a practice, as a science, and as a formally organized discipline within the region. The atmosphere and the discussions following the presentations were spirited.
Conference Goals The overall goal of the conference is to create an open learning community for sharing highly effective skills in Psychology in the Middle East and North Africa. Participants will acquire knowledge and skills which they can implement in their academic and professional lives. Also, the conference is expected to achieve the following goals:
To increase the collaboration of academic and applied psychologists within the Middle East and North Africa region.
To increase the knowledge of academic and applied psychologists of what is going on in other parts of the world.
To organize a number of workshops, that would allow psychologists of the region to learn techniques, methodologies, and theories that are vital and important.
To enhance capacity building and the development of psychology in the region, through increasing both the institutional, as well as the individual capacities of psychologists in the region.
Conference Topics and Themes Presentations were invited on the following topics and themes:
1. The Role of Psychology in Disasters and Crisis intervention The application of crisis intervention techniques specific to particular crisis situations (e.g., war, suicide, death, natural disasters, physical and sexual abuse or trauma) — Models of crisis intervention — Assessment instruments in crisis intervention — Crisis intervention planning — Service delivery in a variety of local agencies. 2. The Role of Community & Applied Psychology in the prevention of Unemployment and Poverty Professional issues for psychologists & community practitioners — Psycho-social aspects of mental & physical health — Stress — Addictions — Immigration — Ethnicity — Gender — Identity — Environmental issues — Crime, police and legal processes in the community — Deviance & delinquency — Family problems — Deprivation — Poverty — Homelessness. 3. Psychology and Cross Cultural Issues The influence of culture on human behavior — differences and commonalities in behavior, attitudes, and values across a range of cultures — Cross-cultural research on topics like: perceptual processes, cognition, intelligence, consciousness, development, gender, mental health, emotions, nonverbal communication, and social interaction. 4. Psychology of Media and Mass Communication The psychological effects of mass communication on behavior — The impact that media has on gender roles, violent behaviors, education, values — The role that media (TV, movies, newspapers, radio, magazines, etc.) play in today's society. 5. Psychology and Management of Human Resources Understanding and measuring workplace behavior — Improving employees’ satisfaction in their work — Promoting employers’ selection skills — Making the workplace better environment. 6. Psychology and Information Technology Human-computer interaction — Virtual reality — Human response to computers & IT — Brain, mind & computers — Children & technology-internet addiction. 7. Psychology as a Profession The regional and national organization of psychology as a profession — The curricula of psychology in changing world — Training and licensing of psychologists. 8. Psychology, Psychiatry, and mental health issues Mental health screening, comparisons of efficacy of drug and non-drug treatment programs, assessment and management of different disorders — Collaboration between psychology and psychiatry — Promotion of mental health & well-being — Advances in behavioral medicine, psychiatry and the law.
National Capacity Building workshop (during the Conference) This workshop was conducted during the conference for representatives of the different national psychology associations of MENA region. Theme is “Peace in the Middle East: What Can Psychologists Do?” The structured workshop deliberations and exchanges are targeted to yield actionable plans over a defined time-frame, which would be presented by country representatives at the main Congress at an extended Symposium. Duration: (Two half-day sessions / Four 2-hour sessions) Co-Chairs and Co-Conveners: Elizabeth Nair, PhD, National Psychology Capacity Building Chair, IUPsyS, and Treasurer, IAAP Hassan Kassim Khan, PhD, First MENARCP Scientific Program Chair, and IUPsyS Executive Board Member Discussants: Bruce Overmier, President, International Union of Psychological Science Mike Knowles, President, International Association of Applied Psychology
For more information on the 2007 MENA RCP, see:
Knowles, M., & Sabourin, M. (2008). Psychology and modern life challenges: The 2nd Middle East and North Africa Regional Conference of Psychology—Amman, Jordan, 2007. International Journal of Psychology, 43 (2), 130–139. Click here to read the full text