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Course Title

Cultivating Wellbeing and Resilience: Strategies for School Counselors

Course Number

ISCA 507

Course Overview

How can I be helpful to others if I’m not feeling well and balanced myself?

We know the well-being of educators and staff is foundational to providing a high standard of care and professionalism in their critical roles of trust. When they learn how to prioritize and enhance their own wellbeing, they are better equipped to create a nurturing and supportive environment for students. This matters immensely because the tools and information they have to support themselves enhance their ability to perform professionally and cultivate an environment that empowers students to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.

Join us for this transformative 7-module course with both live and asynchronous learning experiences, to focus on personal and professional care that guides us to monitor mental, emotional, and physical health. Led by experts Lindsay and Kirsten, you'll gain a rich toolkit of strategies to nurture self-compassion, resilience, and sustainable self-care routines - both for yourself and to infuse into your school community.

Consider the historical, psychological, and cultural influences of work ethic and norms, including the addiction to stress, desire for busyness, and prioritization of productivity. This class will include reflection on both personal and collective care and the overlap between individual and institutional responsibility for workplace wellbeing.

Through engaging content, practical resources, and thought-provoking reflection, you'll feel equipped to prioritize your needs while inspiring a culture of care.

Don't miss this life-changing opportunity to replenish your cup and become a catalyst for holistic wellbeing in your educational realm. We have created this sacred space for you to reflect on personal and professional self-care practices.


This course is primarily focused on the responsibility of the professional counselor. While the skills        learned will be transferable to students, the primary emphasis is on the professional standards and        development.

ASCA Ethical Standards 2022

B.3. Responsibilities to Self

g. Develop knowledge and understanding of historic and systemic oppression, social justice and cultural models (e.g., multicultural counseling, anti-racism, culturally sustaining practices) to further develop skills for systemic change and equitable outcomes for all students.

h. Recognize the potential for stress and secondary trauma. Practice wellness and self-care through monitoring mental, emotional and physical health, while seeking consultation from an experienced school counseling practitioner and/or others when needed.

i. Monitor personal behaviors and recognize the high standard of care a professional in this critical position of trust must maintain on and off the job. School counselors are cognizant of and refrain from activity that may diminish their effectiveness within the school community.


d. Providing opportunities for professional development in current research related to school counseling practices, competencies and ethics.

i. Providing staff with opportunities and support to develop knowledge and understanding of historic and systemic oppression, social justice and cultural models (e.g., multicultural counseling, anti-racism, culturally sustaining practices) to further develop skills for systemic change and equitable outcomes for all students.

Intended Audience

This course has been created for School Counselors and Educators of any level.

Essential Questions

  • What is my role in my own wellbeing, and how do I support a community of wellbeing in my school and life?
  • How can I ensure that I prioritize my own health and wellbeing with the workload and demand I have?
  • How might I infuse self compassion and joy into my day to day personal and professional care practice?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • The historical, cultural, and systemic influences on work ethic norms that influence our ability to care for our personal and professional lives.
  • The benefits of prioritizing personal and professional self-care for maintaining a high standard of care and professionalism.
  • Self-compassion practices and their importance in nurturing personal and professional resilience.
  • Tools to ground themselves and establish practical routines and self-care practices.
  • The importance of cultivating a culture of care and holistic wellbeing within educational institutions.
  • Articulate the need for both personal attention to wellbeing and also a collective and institutional responsibility for a culture of wellbeing.
  • Identify key components of personal and professional self-care for educators, and how they can be effectively integrated into daily routines
  • Work to change systemic and cultural practices that promote unsustainable work environments.
  • Develop and implement sustainable self-care routines and practices for personal and professional wellbeing (self-compassion and resilience in the face of stress and demanding work environments.)
  • Increase self-awareness and recognize times when a refocus might lead to a stronger sense of wellbeing.
  • Techniques for reflecting on and addressing personal and collective care needs within educational settings.
  • Plan for ways to apply their learning to further support their community through inspiring and modeling a culture of care and wellbeing.

About the Facilitator

Lindsay Kehl is an experienced licensed School Counselor who has dedicated over 12 years to supporting international educational communities across Romania, India, Zambia, Panama, and Japan. Recently repatriated to the United States, Lindsay has established an educational consultancy offering private college counseling, creating professional development experiences for School Counselors, providing short-term coverage, and collaborating with non-profits like Meto to revolutionize the college search process.

Additionally, she enjoys interviewing for InitialView, and coaching school tennis teams. Her favorite pastimes include playing pinochle with her friend Kirsten, where conversations often meander into their shared passion for health and wellness topics. In her downtime, Lindsay can be found reading Louise Erdrich books, savoring tranquil moments on the pontoon at her cabin in Northern Minnesota, or attempting to make healthy baked goods.

Kirsten Pontius is an International Wellbeing Consultant and holistic health coach with a multifaceted educational background spanning communications, a master's in administration, and specialized training in behavioral science from Yale's School of Public Health. Her expertise encompasses integrated nutrition, complemented by her role as a seasoned yoga instructor and practitioner of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Kirsten's dedication lies in fostering wellness within international communities, collaborating with schools, embassies, and organizations to provide comprehensive support for workplace wellbeing and assisting expat communities.

Through her business platform, www.kirstenpontius.com, she extends her reach globally, drawing from her vast experience living in diverse locales such as Japan, The Republic of Georgia, Cambodia, Romania, and her current residence in Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa. Beyond her professional endeavors, Kirsten finds joy in the timeless game of pinochle, especially when played with her friend Lindsay, as well as cherishing moments of forest bathing, lakeside serenity in Minnesota, and exploration through travel.

Dates and times of offerings

Synchronous Sessions (90 min/each) - 12:00PM UTC

  • October 22, 2024
  • February 4, 2025
  • April 10, 2025

Asynchronous Activities

  • November
  • December
  • January
  • March

Contact hours

6 hours

Time commitment between sessions

Required Resource(s)

A journal, notebook, or diary. A calendar or planner may also be helpful.


Follow APA 7th Standards

  • Nagoski, E., & Nagoski, A. (2019). Burnout: The secret to unlocking the stress cycle.
  • Sood, A., & Mayo Clinic (2015). The Mayo Clinic handbook for happiness: A four-step plan for resilient living.
  • Kelly, K. (2022). American Detox: The myth of wellness and how we can truly heal.
  • Lakshmin, P. (2023). Real self-care (Crystals, cleanses, and bubble baths not included).
  • McKeown, G. (2021). Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less.
  • Hersey, T. (2022). Rest is resistance: A manifesto.
  • Simmons, R. (2018). Enough as she is: How to help girls move beyond impossible standards of success to live healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives.
  • Bunting, M. (2005). Willing slaves: How the overwork culture is ruling our lives.

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