2020 ELC English Festival Presents – Guest Talk: Cultivating Personal Boundaries to Achieve Better Mental Health

As the 2020 English Festival “Tending to Your Mind” draws to a close, the English Language Centre (ELC) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH), University of Macau (UM), invited Dr. Esther Hio-Tong Castillo to give a guest talk about mental health via Zoom on November 25, 2020. Dr. Castillo received her PhD in Sociology from Temple University. Her recent projects focus on cultivating mental wellness within Chinese immigrant community in the United States.

Attendees of this talk were not only undergraduate and postgraduate students, but also teaching fellows. After Dr. Castillo gave examples of boundary violations, attendees learnt how to identify signals of personal boundaries being violated and gave their opinions on how to assert personal core values. Through lecture and hands-on practice, Dr. Castillo demonstrated how healthy personal boundaries benefited our mental health and how to safeguard our boundaries. In the practice session, she highlighted the importance of being assertive and introduced the “I” statement for effective communication. By learning and practicing the “I” statement, attendees learnt how to take care of their feelings and express their needs more clearly.

At the end of the talk, attendees gave positive feedback as they commented that the guest talk was “very useful” and “inspiring”. Dr. Castillo also encouraged attendees to practice assertive communication so as to set up more stable personal boundaries. Through this guest talk, the ELC hopes to bring in more positive energy to the UM community.

English Language Centre

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

University of Macau