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2020 ISCA Annual Conference

Rescheduled: October 23-25, 2020

Bangkok, Thailand

"Upskilling Counselors: Strengthening Your Practice"

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As professionals in our field, we all know the importance for school counselors to refresh and upskill individual counseling techniques, as well as to stay current on mental health trends and to improve skills to best navigate counseling sessions. To support these efforts, ISCA has invited Dr. Sean Truman, clinical psychologist, third culture kid and counselor educator, to be this year’s keynote speaker. 

During the conference Dr. Truman will be addressing the following topics:

  • Understanding expatriate mental health:  What we know and what we don’t.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression:  Why is it so common in our kids and what can we do about it?
  • Developing emotional and professional support for school counselors; including understanding secondary trauma, self-care, establishing consultation groups
  • Differentiating clinical from non-clinical problems in students, and what to do with distress.
  • Supporting students with anxiety disorders and depression.

In addition, we will be holding various breakout workshops focused on strengthening your Counseling Program with a focus on the following: Core Counseling Curriculum, supporting TCKs and Crisis Management, as well as Wellness Sessions designed to give you practical tools to bring back to your students and school. 

ISCA Annual Conferences are dedicated to providing attendees with the most relevant, focused, hands-on experiences that will help international school counselors build strong counseling programs while being a contributing member of the professional international school counselor community. At ISCA, our conferences based on best practice and use the International Model for School Counseling as our framework for school counseling programs. 

We hope you will join us in Bangkok for a rewarding, educational and fun professional development weekend. 

2020 ISCA Annual Conference Flyer

keynote presenter

Dr. Sean Truman

Sean TrumanSean Truman spent the majority of his childhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where his father worked for the United Nations and his mother was a teacher at the International School of Kenya.  He attended college in the US and received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut. He was a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he worked both at the Child Study Center and in the Department of Psychiatry. 

He is a Licensed Psychologist and runs a private practice where he sees individuals, adolescents and couples. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Truman has worked as both a researcher and a professor of undergraduates and graduate students. 

In 2010 Dr. Truman co-founded, and is the Chief Medical Officer of the Truman Group, a practice that provides remote mental health consultation and care to expatriates living abroad.  He is responsible for the oversight of thirty clinicians. 

Dr. Truman is an expert in international expatriate mental health.  He has published in the area and is regularly sought out as a consultant in the international school community.  He works frequently with school leadership and school counselors and is involved in program and policy development in the communities in which he serves.

Dr. Truman’s work takes him to development organizations, government agencies and international schools around the world; he has provided consultation, education and expertise regarding mental health care and policy to organization administrators, international school leadership, faculty, as well as the larger expatriate community.  He has led continuing education and professional development sessions for school counselors.

Based in Minnesota, in the United States Dr. Truman travels extensively working with counselors, schools and individuals. Dr. Truman currently oversees an initiative to support school counselors in Africa. In partnership with the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) and with funding from the Office of Overseas Schools, he designed and implemented a program to provide consultation groups for counselors to improve their systems, programs and counseling skills. 


2-Day PREPaRE Workshop Two  

"Crisis Intervention and Recovery: The Role of School Based Mental Health Professionals"

Thursday and Friday, October 22-23, 2020

This 2-day workshop from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) provides school-based mental health professionals and other school crisis intervention team members with the knowledge necessary to meet the mental health needs of students and staff following a school-associated crisis event. With updated research and crisis intervention strategies, this workshop teaches participants how to prevent and prepare for psychological trauma, helps to reaffirm both the physical health of members of the school community and students' perceptions that they are safe and secure, evaluates the degree of psychological trauma, responds to the psychological needs of members of the school community, and examines the effectiveness of school crisis intervention and recovery efforts. This workshop is an excellent course for all mental health professionals in your district who provide mental health crisis intervention services.

  • Provides a specific examination of the school-based mental health professionals' roles and responsibilities, with a special emphasis on crisis intervention and recovery.
  • Completion of the PREPaRE Workshop 1 "Crisis Prevention and Preparedness: Comprehensive School Safety Planning" is not necessary to enroll in this workshop.
  • Maximum size of the group: 40 persons 

Who Should Receive Workshop 2 Training?
PREPaRE Workshop 2 is appropriate for any individual filling the role of crisis intervention specialist. This includes school mental health staff (school psychologists, social workers, counselors and nurses), administrators, and other individuals whom the team has identified as appropriate providers of psychological first aid. Additionally, this workshop can be very helpful for community-based mental health practitioners who may work with the school crisis team and/or may be brought in to the school assist in response to a crisis.

For more information on PREPaRE and NASP please visit their website. 

Cross-Cultural Kids: The Growing Cultural Complexity of Students in International Schools with Ruth E. Van Reken

Friday, October 23, 2020

The changes in our world have come with dizzying and accelerating speed since World War II. The increasing cross-cultural mobility we all face is rapidly challenging former assumptions about the ‘normal’ process of identity formation and development. ‘Cultural fluidity’ is creating a new reality that replaces traditional patterns of growing up, living, and working in the more ‘mono-cultural’ experiences of the past. Nowhere is the effect of these macro-changes seen or felt more clearly than in the microcosm of international schools. To be effective counselors in this evolving environment, this highly interactive workshop will consider:

  • What are some of the differences between international schools of the past and present?Image result for third culture kids
  • How have these new global realities and changes in international schools affected us personally in our personal and professional lives?
  • What are emerging challenges international school counselors must deal with for educators, staff, and students?
  • How can international school counselors build on past skills and knowledge to adapt and create new programs and strategies to help those in the IS community thrive and use well the gifts also inherent in these changes?

Join us for this an interesting and fun conversation not only on where we’ve been, but all the exciting places there still are to go!


Ruth E. Van Reken, co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. 

Ruth is a second generation adult Third Culture Kid (TCK) and mother of three ATCKs. She speaks nationally and internationally on issues related to global family living. She is co-founder of Families in Global Transition (FIGT). In May, 2019, FIGT won the Global Relocate Award for Excellence in Employee and Family Support and Ruth received an honorary doctorate degree from Wheaton College for her work in this field. While Ruth continues her relentless quest to try to better understand and normalize the Cross Cultural Kid (CCK) experience, she also knows to help such children deal well with the challenges and build constructively with the many benefits will take a team. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and author of Letters Never Sent.

Chrystal Kelly, PREPaRE Trainer and International High School Counselor 

Chrystal Kelly is a passionately committed educator who has been advocating for students, staff and families through counseling, teaching, coaching, and mentoring for the past twenty years.  She currently works at The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) in Oman where she enjoys being a leader in all domains of school counseling. She serves as a Student Protection Team Member, Wellness Team Advocate, Muscat School Counselor Group Coordinator, and ISCA Task Force Member.  As a past Department Leader, Chrystal helped her high school in Colorado, USA become a Recognized American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Model Program and feels very strongly about the importance of delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program.

Chrystal is dedicated to empowering counselors to be leaders in their schools with crisis response and planning. She will be leading a pre-conference training at ISCA 2020 on the PREPaRE Curriculum, Workshop 2. PREPaRE is a school crisis prevention and intervention training and curriculum, which supports comprehensive physical and psychological safety in schools.  Chrystal has attended a variety of trainings in the United States and internationally, focused on suicide prevention, safeguarding children, and trauma and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and learning from others.


High stress, anxiety and depression are experienced by millions of young people. Screenagers: Next Chapter follows physician and filmmaker, Delany Ruston, as she discovers solutions for improved adolescent well-being in the digital age. www.screenagersmovies.com

LIKE is an IndieFlix Original documentary that explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain. The goal of the film is to inspire and help equip us to self-regulate. Social media is a tool and social platforms are a place to connect, share, and care… but is that what's really happening?

Watch the trail here. 

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