A Seminar on Depression Treatment at USJ by MSRP





The Macau Society of Registered Psychotherapists held a Guide and Discussion Seminar about Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Depression on June 28, 2021, at USJ.

In order to improve the professionalism of Macao’s psychological professionals, especially their practical ability to identify and manage depressive cases, the Macau Society of Registered Psychotherapists (MSRP) held a Guide and Discussion Seminar about Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Depression on June 28, 2021, at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). The seminar served as a platform for professionals who are concerned about mental health well-being to exchange experiences, and also raised the attention of different sectors in the community to care about depression.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the society and the lives of its citizens have received the greatest guarantee being under the leadership of Macao SAR Government. For Macao, which is in the post-pandemic recovery stage, the daily life of the citizens is undoubtedly still affected by the global pandemic to various degrees. The changes and conflicts arise in employment, study, family and or in interpersonal relationship will affect the sense of well-being of individuals. The Macao SAR Government provided a lot of mental and psychosocial support. For instance, the establishment of a four-level barrier-free referral system, which its citizens who encounter emotional distress in their daily lives could actively seek assistance from professional medical services.

MSRP aims to support psychological professionals’ understanding and facilitate their practical skills in treatment on depression by organising the Guide and Discussion Seminar on the Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) published the manual about Group Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Depression (English Version) in 2016, which was recognised and clinically proven that this is an effective treatment for depression.

The seminar was guided by Mr. Henry Lao, Chairman of MSRP, Director Ms. Josephine Wong, and Ms. Helen Lao, who is also the Psychological Counsellor of USJ. At the seminar, clinical experiences about treatment of depression were shared to facilitate discussion and learning. There were nearly 20 participants at the seminar on the day, including registered psychotherapists, psychological counsellors from different social service units, and students from the departments of psychology, social work and special education. The responses from the participants were positive. They were enthusiastic by showing strong interest in learning professional knowledge, and indicated that they would apply and promote such knowledge in practical work in the future. At the same time, they hoped that there would be more professional training related to psychotherapy in the future.

There are increasing demands for psychological professional services from the community in recent years. The first demographically representative investigation of adult depression research conducted by a local academic institution estimated that about 30,000 citizens may need psychosocial support services. MSRP will continuously and closely work with the Health Bureau of the Macao SAR Government, to pay attention and support the mental health of the citizens. In addition, MSRP will comply to the requirement on the continuous professional development so to improve the quality of Macao’s psychotherapy services in the future. There will be more training activities with the objectives to enhance the professional abilities and quality of psychological services, to promote the professional development of psychotherapy, and at the same time improve the mental health of Macao citizens.