Chi-Yun Lin, Ph.D., received her Doctorate degree in Sociology in 1993 at Tunghai University in Taiwan. Presently, she is a professor at the Department of Thanatology and Health Counseling and the dean of the College of Human Development and Health at National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences (NTUNHS). In addition to teaching, Dr. Lin holds a post of director and supervisor in various counseling-related Councils and Associations. She further founded “Taiwan Association for Caring and Counseling for Loss” in 2007.
Dr. Lin devotes herself to Thanatology, Life Education, Death Education, Grief Counseling, Suicide Prevention, and etc. She publishes scores of researches, discussions and books in relevant fields in Taiwan. Dr. Lin has been hosting annual international workshops for the past few decades, including several seminars and conferences regarding meaning reconstruction. Dr. Lin directed the planning of Healing Garden (namely Grief Healing Garden)” in 2004 at National Taipei College of Nursing (namely NTUNHS). In 2009, she founded Health and Grief Counseling Center at NTUNHS, and has begun to provide community services with her graduate students. Her pioneered work in education and counseling has significant influence on Taiwan and the Asian societies.
Invited Lecture Title: Taiwan Experience: The Role of Meaning in Life Education and Counselling
The purpose of Life Education is not only to impart students with core concepts of the meaning of life, but also to teach them how to cultivate these concepts, such as meaning and purpose, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, family, ethics, caring for others. In other words, it represents a holistic, person-centered positive education, aiming at equipping the whole person to be a healthy and fully functioning human being, who can maintain a state of harmony with the body, mind, spirit, and at the same time with society. Such a person would be resilient in adversity, courteous in competition, forgiving in conflict, and facing the end of life with equanimity.
Life Education has become one of the special areas of Taiwan Education. Its value is now fully recognized in mainland China and beyond. Hong Kong and Macao have already implemented life-education. Life education in China is also becoming a priority in its national education at different levels of schooling.
The discussion about the meaning of life and death is a core area in the curriculum design of life and death education. It remains a challenge how to help people construct meaning in times of loss and grief. Dr. Paul Wong and Dr. Robert Neimeyer have been instrumental in training mental health professionals in Taiwan in this area, because they have been invited to speak in Taiwan conferences and universities several times.
My presentation will also introduce the Grief Healing Garden, which I have created at the NTUNHS campus. It was built to help people cope with their loss, grief, and life transitions. The objective of this garden is to encourage people to learn how to take care of themselves or ask for help; allow themselves the right to feel sorrowful; and then develop effective approaches to cope with their grief and sorrows in life.
The garden is divided into three sections: the Self-care Area, the Counseling Area, and the Reconciliation Garden. A winding waterway which starts at the Tear Pool and ends at the Wish Pool runs through the Healing Garden. The water which flows from the Tear Pool to the Wish Pool symbolizes the process of healing grief. This is a process of finding a new balance among the changes that have occurred in a person’s life, reconstructing relationships and meanings of the sad events they have experienced, reconciling with themselves, and finally taking a step towards restarting a new life.
- To familiarize attendees with the history and development of Taiwan’s Life Education as a response to adversities
- To explain the role of meaning of life and death as a core area in Life Education curriculum
- To introduce the design and construction of the unique Grief Healing Garden as a practical way to help people in their grieving process
- To discuss the role of meaning reconstruction in Life Education and Counseling