Department of Psychology hosted talks by Dr Edward Ong, Lecturer in Forensic-Clinical Psychology from Coventry University, UK

The Department of Psychology at the School of Science and Technology played host to Dr Edward Ong, who is a lecturer in forensic-clinical psychology from Coventry University, UK. He was here on 23 April 2019 to give two talks to current psychology students as well as staff. The first talk was on his research area of child maltreatment and the other talk was on becoming a psychologist in the UK.

Dr Ong’s talk on child maltreatment delved into the various aspects of maltreatment in children and adolescents, including but not limited to: the factors that constitute maltreatment, the forms of maltreatment, the cases of child maltreatment in Malaysia, the legislation concerning maltreatment, as well as the difference in cultural views regarding maltreatment. An especially thought-provoking moment was after watching a video of a 5 year-old boy being challenged by his parents to deliver a suitcase to his father, alone. In the video, the boy was asked to deliver a suitcase to his father’s office (which was many train-stops away from his home) by himself and without the supervision of his mother. Although extremely reluctant at first, the boy eventually left his home and successfully delivered the suitcase to his father, who later on claimed that the challenge was beneficial as it taught his child independence and resourcefulness. Despite the successful attempt, it was clearly observed that the request was initially very distressing for the young boy, as seen by him crying out for his mother and repeatedly saying ‘No’. This led the participants of the talk and the speaker to engage in a discussion on whether the parents had maltreated their son in any way, seeing as how the child had been so distressed at first.

His second talk, which discussed the pathway to becoming a qualified psychologist in the UK, was well-received by the participants, most of whom found it to be highly informative and inspiring. Overall, both talks by Dr Ong were enlightening and generated much interest among the participants of the talks. According to students Lew Zi Ling and Chiang Jing Ying, who attended both talks, they found that his talk on child maltreatment greatly increased their awareness and also inspired them to think about and contemplate more deeply on the forms as well as implications of child maltreatment. Another participant, Anastasia Lim, also commented: “Before today, I was unsure about the forms of child maltreatment, I mean… I didn’t really know what exactly was considered as maltreatment, but I definitely have gained a better understanding after Dr Ong’s talk.” Graduating student from the BSc (Hons) Psychology Programme, Ng J-Wen, also mentioned that Dr Ong’s talk on becoming a certified psychologist in the UK, was very helpful and gave her valuable insight in pursuing her postgraduate studies.

Coventry University’s School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences is passionate and committed to supporting people in need, developing a better understanding of human behaviour within a social context, and providing a learning experience that is engaging, informative and exciting for students. Furthermore, it is internationally recognised for its high standards of teaching and research, and provides many courses which are accredited by various professional bodies such as the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). A few of their postgraduate courses include: Applied Psychology (MSc), Business and Organisational Psychology (MSc), Forensic Psychology (MSc), and Clinical Psychology (Doctorate).