Naifang Wang

April 1, 2020
Naifang Wang
Program: Master of Education in Counselling Psychology (Global Mental Health)
Expected year of graduation: 2020

What led you to apply to the Counselling Psychology (Global Mental Health) program and choose OISE?
When I was looking through all the graduate programs for counselling psychology, I found this specific program has a special focus on global mental health so it was a perfect fit for me, because counselling is interpreted very differently across different cultures, and as an international student I think it is very essential for me to learn how to incorporate the different cultures and values into counselling. 

What was your past work experience like?
Before coming to OISE, I was working as a behavior technician to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It was inspiring to help them to overcome their challenges and become more capable and self-sufficient. I helped the Board Certified Behavior Analyst to run the programs they created for the children, to help them acquire skills to function more effectively in their daily activities. They are very creative in designing the programs to learn different skills, for example, sometimes we will play games together to improve their fine motor skills. In the center I worked at, we needed a lot of extra support in developing these programs, but I didn’t have enough knowledge to help develop them, so I decided to further my education. 

What lessons helped you get to where you are now? What accomplishments stand out to you?
One thing I’m really proud of is during my senior year in college, I was fortunate to get the chance to conduct research on young adults with ADHD. I was investigating alternatives to ADHD medication, specifically mindfulness treatment. During the research process, I was really excited to find that mindfulness training could reduce the symptoms of ADHD and we presented our findings at the Western Psychological Association convention, my group got to exchange our findings with many student researchers from other universities. This experience made me want to seek additional opportunities to contribute to my field through research.  

What is the one thing you like about your experience so far at OISE?
My favorite thing about OISE is that I have met students from such diverse backgrounds. In my program, my colleagues are from different countries and some are even from different career paths, and we were able to learn new perspectives on counselling psychology from different countries and cultural views. 

What is your favourite thing about Toronto? 
My favorite thing about Toronto is that we have many diverse cultures and also the scenery of Lake Ontario. I love walking around the beaches near the lake and explore the different neighborhoods in the city. 

What does your "weekend" typically look like? 
On the weekends, I love to have friends over to cook together. Sometimes I will stay in to watch a movie or catch up on some reading. I hope when the weather gets nicer I could go out more to explore the city. 

What are some of your hobbies & interests?
I love cooking a lot, and I find it’s very fun and rewarding to try out new recipes, even when sometimes the results aren't as good as I expected. I remember one time I tried to cook Peking duck with my friends and it took three days to make it, but the duck came out a bit burnt! We had a lot of fun in the process - so to me it was worth it!

What is your favorite type of cuisine?
It’s not a surprise that my favorite cuisine is the food I grew up eating, Chinese! The great thing about Toronto is that there are so many great Chinese restaurants, one of my favorite places is Dayali, they have the most authentic Northern Chinese food in the city. You should check it out sometime!

Where do you see yourself after you achieve your degree from APHD? 
After I finish the program, I would love to gain some experience in working at clinics or schools, to use my knowledge to help with the Asian community. My goal is to become a psychotherapist, and incorporate the global mental health perspective into my practice.   

APHD Student
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