The University Sponsors the Humanistic Psychology Symposium for Younger Generations


The Department of Human Development and Psychology recently concluded its two-day 2023 Humanistic Psychology Symposium for Younger Generations with the theme of “Seeing Through Psychology: Challenges of Existence,” which focused on the principles and applications of humanistic psychology. Spearheaded by department chair, Rong-Bang Peng, with collective efforts from faculty members and students, the event was a success. In the opening address, Vice President Yun-Chi Ho remarked, “While Tzu Chi faces its own challenges, there are even greater trials in the wider world. Our role in navigating these challenges deserves deep reflection.” The symposium gave attendees a unique perspective on suffering, offering profound insights into the human experience.

Inter-school and interdisciplinary gathering

The event featured distinguished scholars such as Professor Wei-Lun Lee of National Chengchi University, Professor Yaw-Sheng Lin from National Taiwan University, and Professor Jen-Yu Peng of the Academia Sinica. Additionally, Professor Yi-Jia Tsai and Professor Wan-Lin Lee represented Fu Jen Catholic University. At the same time, the University of Taipei’s Professor Shyh-Heng Wong was also in attendance. Tzu Chi University’s delegation included Professor Shao-I Mo and Professor Rong-Bang Peng. These middle-aged academics boast a wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge in their respective fields.

The event highlighted speakers primarily consisting of students and colleagues of these middle-aged scholars. In attendance were practitioners who ventured into clinical or community fields, and master’s graduates and students from Tzu Chi University. The term “new generation” conveys the idea of succession, signifying the inheritance of the dual lenses of humanistic psychology, which strives to delve into the complexities of human suffering.

Remarkably, this year’s seminar attracted double the number of registrations compared to the previous year, boasting over 250 in-person and online participants. Many attendees hailed from western Taiwan, drawn in by their prior experiences or enthusiastic recommendations from friends. This conference transcended geographical boundaries, with many participants embarking on long journeys to Hualien to glimpse the captivating world of humanistic psychology.

The speaker’s topics revolved around two main subjects: Taiwanese families and families of political violence victims. They delved into the relationships between individuals and their families and the relationship of families and society, meticulously exploring the challenges one might face in life.

Jia-Yu Tu, Shu-Yin Zhuang, Yu-Qing Tseng, and Hui-Qin Li explored the intricate theme of family relationships from a female perspective. They delved into women’s multifaceted expectations concerning familial dynamics and their evolving identities. They probed into how women navigate the societal norms that often pigeonhole them into roles as homemakers and unpacked their own personal journeys in shaping their identities.

Furthermore, they embarked on a nuanced discussion of the challenges faced by parents raising children with autism and those in the LGBTQ+ community. These four thematic threads were skillfully interwoven, allowing for a deeper understanding of how traditional Taiwanese society has imposed expectations and stereotypes upon women throughout their lifetimes.

Hao Yang and Yi-Jing Chen provided valuable insights into the environment in which the families of political violence victims grew up and the challenges they encountered. They shared the difficulties experienced by these families, who found themselves unable to alter their destinies, often living in constant fear and under immense pressure.

Sharing the difficulties of caregiving through real-life examples

Bai-Wei Hao and Shi-Hong Zhu delved into practical cases. They offered valuable insights into the unique challenges faced by individuals who are members of specific families. They engaged in a thoughtful discussion on the various difficulties professionals in such family situations encounter.

Furthermore, Li-Hsin Tseng and Cheng-Wen Hou delved into the topic of coping with grief and loss. Cheng-Wen Hou’s focus centered on the roles of middle-aged individuals in caring for their elderly parents, marking a reversal of the traditional generational caregiving dynamic. In contrast, Li-Hsin Tseng emphasized the influence of Taiwanese cultural values on spousal relationships and how these norms can impact the journey of a bereaved spouse through the grieving process.

The above subjects all revolved around family integrity and its impact on our perception. Chia-Chi Lee’s work, dedicated to assisting families with members affected by rare diseases, shed light on the origins of our preconceived ideas about family and their potential influence on our efforts to nurture familial bonds. Additionally, Hong-Wei Ji’s counseling indigenous youth offered a glimpse into the capacity for challenging traditional cultural hierarchies within family relationships, ultimately helping individuals find their way back to their roots.

Reflecting on the speakers’ topics, each resonated with the human experience. Professor Jen-Yu Peng from Academia Sinica highlighted the interconnectedness of these topics and received enthusiastic feedback from the participants. The content of this segment demanded undivided attention, consistently captivating people with its deep portrayals of the diverse range of life experiences and the accompanying suffering. It put aside superficial theories, empty criticisms, and abstract constructs. This was precisely the essence that humanistic psychology strives to communicate to all of us.

During the feedback session, participants openly expressed their opinions and emotions. Professor Rong-Bang Peng, the department chair, confronted the difficulties involved in preserving and nurturing the rich legacy of humanistic clinical care professionals. His emotions welled as he concluded his speech, reflecting on the enduring growth and flourishing of humanistic clinical care, which originated from Professor Der-Heuy Yee. Professor Peng deeply valued the occasions when we all came together and expressed his hope that younger professionals would continue to excel and impact the field.

Setting up the stage today, and tomorrow, the spotlight is on me.

A successful conference relies on the dedicated efforts of the backstage team responsible for setting up the stage. For this seminar, the backstage crew consisted entirely of students from the Department of Human Development and Psychology. These enthusiastic members, under the mentorship of master’s students, joined hands and collaborated seamlessly to ensure the event’s success.

For a solid month leading up to the release of the first poster, they diligently prepared. Even after the event’s conclusion, their dedication persisted as they cleaned up the venue and produced subsequent reports. Their unwavering commitment exemplified the enduring humanitarian ethos that Tzu Chi has championed. Their active involvement in the conference undoubtedly augurs well for the organization’s future capabilities. Department chair Professor Rong-Bang Peng voiced his optimism, stating that the backstage team would eventually take center stage as seasoned professionals. He hoped this legacy of dedication and excellence would continue to thrive and endure for generations.


This conference featured an engaging program that included an opening speech, speaker presentations, a Q&A session, and a roundtable forum. Attendees left the event with valuable insights and returned home with deep reflections. The spirit of the conference continued to thrive through lively discussions and information sharing on the dedicated online fan page. This further highlights the profound allure of humanistic psychology. To stay informed about this conference or receive the latest updates, please watch for future announcements.