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Learning Session 2: Ayoko ng Masikip, Ayoko ng Putik: Harnessing the Environment for Personal Wellbeing

1.How the Environment Influences our Behavior and WellbeingOliver Sta. Ana
2.The Role of Nature on Mental HealthJohn Jamir Benzon Aruta
3.Bloom with Grace: Flourishing Amidst the Gloom of PandemicLeilani Verzosa

LS2.1: How the Environment Influences our Behavior and Wellbeing

This workshop provides an overview on the impact of the environment to human behavior and wellbeing. The focus will be on the interplay between humans and its environment, taking into account the positive effects of caring for the environment to one’s well being and the negative consequences of environmental neglect to one’s health. Participants will engage in discussions using annotation tools, mentimeter and breakout sessions. Interactions will revolve on understanding fundamental concepts and principles in environmental psychology. The expected outcome for the session is to identify actions that encourage behavior that are sustainable and eco-friendly.

Facilitator: Oliver B Sta Ana, PhD (Maynilad Water Academy, Chair of Environmental Psychology SIG PAP)

Oliver B. Sta Ana, PhD is Chair of the Environmental Psychology SIG and currently heads the Academic Services of Maynilad Water Academy. He teaches part-time at the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department of De La Salle University - Manila and Department of Psychology, University of the Philippines-Diiman. He actively advocates for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Education to teachers and students all over the Philippines

LS2.2: The Role of Nature on Mental Health

This session aims to provide undergraduate students an introduction to the important role of nature and nature experiences in promoting mental health, with a particular focus on up-to-date scientific evidence. It also aims to inform the participants on how to use their training in psychology in enhancing their personal and other people’s connection to nature as a way to promote meaning and happiness.

Facilitator: John Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, Ph.D. (De La Salle University-Manila)

Dr. Aruta received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from De La Salle University-Manila in 2019, where he also works as a lecturer. He ranked 8th in the 2014 Board examinations for Guidance Counselors. He is a private clinical practitioner handling children, adolescents, and adults with mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, and trauma. In terms of research, he is actively developing a research program in the following areas: 1) the cultural aspect of mental health, and 2) application of psychological principles in promoting environmental sustainability.

LS2.3: Bloom with Grace: Flourishing Amidst the Gloom of the Pandemic

Since Covid 19 pandemic began, housebound people turn to nature to seek solace in plants. Against the threat of disease and uncertainties of the time, plants in its diversity and beauty offer the promise of hope, healing and regeneration. Though plants have long been accounted for its power to heal, increasing evidences sprouted proving that interacting with plants, either indoor or outdoor is beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing.

This workshop is designed to provide participants opportunities to enhance and practice mindfulness, stress management and self-understanding through care of plants. It aims to gain insights into gardening’s value as a compelling tool for improving health and wellness. The webinar is grounded on basic horticultural/ gardening therapy and on how active or passive involvement in plant and plant-related activities foster growth, healing, hope and self-understanding for a better normal.

Facilitator: Leilanie R. Verzosa, M.Ed, RGC, RPm, LPT ( University Santo Tomas Counseling & Career Center)

The speaker/workshop facilitator is a registered Guidance Counselor, Psychometrician and a Licensed Professional Teacher. She was a graduate of Masters in Education Major in Guidance and Counseling at Philippine Normal University. She also pursued MA degree in Developmental Psychology at UP Diliman.

Her extensive working background in Counseling; Career Guidance; Group Dynamics; Admissions and Placement; Test Administration, Scoring and Interpretation; Program Development and implementation; Organizing events, trainings, seminars; Evaluation & Research, she gained from her 20 years of devoted Guidance & Counseling experience at St. Paul College Pasig. Currently, she works as a College Counselor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas.

She believes in the saying, “wherever life plants you, bloom with grace”. And yes, she is one of the many whose interest in plants bloomed during the pandemic, she is a self-confessed “Plantita!”