©2018 by Institute for  School-Based Family Counseling.


Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling

Who We Are

The  Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling


THE OXFORD SYMPOSIUM is an invited, residential conference limited to approximately 25 members.



Making A Difference

The objective of the Oxford Symposium is to make visible the “invisible college” of international experts in School-Based Family Counseling and to provide opportunity for information exchange, co-operation and collegial networking.

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A Global Community

The Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling (SBFC) is not simply a conference—it is a call to establish and participate in a worldwide community of stakeholders in School-Based Family Counseling, thereby opening the door to an ongoing process of information exchange and collegial discussion.

We are Interdisciplinary and Multicultural

Symposium members come from diverse professional disciplines and include: counselor educators, teacher educators, social workers, special educators, school administrators, counselors and principals, psychologists, family therapists, physicians, psychiatrists, experts in counseling theory and practitioners in social psychology, public policy and the law.


What Participants Like Best About the Symposium


“The relaxed, collegial atmosphere – opportunities to learn, to share, to have fun. Well organized.”

“Collegiality, respectfulness, international and multicultural, ‘similarities and differences’, personal contacts made, ideas, re-awakening of one’s own learning.”

"The spirit of the Symposium. There is a seriousness about the affair. This is not ignorant optimism. This is a group intentionally facing the challenges of our day and choosing to battle such obstacles with hope."

“Stimulating presentations; very good accommodations; great planned activities; plenty of opportunity for a meeting of the minds.”

“Meeting peoples from many different countries and agencies. Thank you for such a wonderful opportunity, it has been a great experience.”


"This is one of the best professional experiences I've had. The international, interdisciplinary & diverse perspectives that are presented are so valuable."

“The people who attended it, and their kind hearts.”


Special Interest Groups

Research, Intervention and Discussion Teams

Pine Ridge Reservation Collaboration Team

This collaborative team was initiated by Oxford Symposium member Amanda Carlow, a school counselor on the Lakota Sioux Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, to address youth suicide in her community. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Native American youth in the 15- to 24-year-old age group and 2.5 times the national rate.

Parent, Teacher, and SBFC Professional Communication Team

In order to reduce and minimize the gap between parents-children-teachersschool and communities

 school and communities, we have to learn more:

1. When and why are these worlds mismatched and competing?

2. What parents/teachers/principals/communities/governments doing to bridge this gap?

 3. What are the ways to understand and minimize the discontinuity between home and school?

SBFC Evidence-Based Research Team

This team will bring interested Symposium members together to look critically at the evidence base for SBFC and to plan projects to build the evidence base further over the next 5 years. Team objectives include:  To assess the current effectiveness literature for SBFC (does SBFC “work,” and what are the key components of SBFC that make it effective? What are the best extant studies for SBFC). To plan a multi-site, international pilot study using the SBFC model. To disseminate the work in various peer-reviewed journal outlets as well as social media spaces. To begin to think about using our pilot work to seek funding for a larger series of studies of SBFC across the varied national and international contexts we work with.

Disaster Coping Resources Team

The mission of the Disaster Coping Resources Team (DCRT) is to help children, families and schools cope with the emotional stress of natural and man-made disasters. Current projects of the DCRT are: a website and a clearinghouse for disaster coping research; online resources for teachers, administrators, parents, children, and mental health professionals; translating coping materials into different languages; provision of free resource materials to communities affected by disaster; grant funding for research into the effectiveness of university-based rapid response teams; and strategies for helping refugees cope with disaster.

SBFC Refugee and Immigrant Research and Intervention Team

Many refugees and immigrants experience hardship and discrimination in their new country. Common problems are: difficulty speaking and learning the majority language, challenges in raising children and helping them succeed in school, difficulty securing work and housing, challenges accessing legal and health services, using transportation, and dealing with cultural barriers. This team is committed to finding ways to empower refugees and immigrants through approaches that strengthen families and provide school support.

Internal Family Systems Team

The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) has evolved over the past twenty years into a comprehensive approach that includes guidelines for working with individuals, couples, and families. The IFS Model represents a new synthesis of two already-existing paradigms: systems thinking and the multiplicity of the mind.


Where We Meet

2003 Keeble College, Oxford

2004 Brasenose College, Oxford

2005 Brasenose College, Oxford

2006 Brasenose College, Oxford

2007 University of Hong Kong

2008 Brasenose College, Oxford

2009 University of Barcelona

2010 Brasenose College, Oxford

2011 University of Hong Kong

2012 Brasenose College, Oxford

2013 Brasenose College, Oxford

2014 University of Hong Kong

2015 Brasenose College, Oxford

2016 Brasenose College, Oxford

2017 Venice International University

2018 Brasenose College, Oxford

2019 Brasenose College, Oxford

Although Oxford is our home base, approximately every 3rd year we meet at a different location.

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Oxford View of Christ College with St. Mary's Church in the background

Past Symposia have attracted members from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, the Colville Federated Tribes, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Dining Hall, Brasenose College

2020 Oxford Symposium in
School-Based Family Counseling

Venice International University, Venice, Italy,  August 2-7

Conference fees include room and board and cultural program

Member       $2395.

Retired Member  $1795.

Guest           $1795.

To receive an invitation contact:

Dr. Brian Gerrard



Sponsoring Organizations

Institute for School-Based Family Counseling is in the business of changing and shaping lives. The work we do at our Non-Profit Organization is aimed at providing a holistic approach to solving some of our society’s biggest challenges. We make sure our partners are empowered by creating opportunities for individuals and communities.

Institute for School-Based Family Counseling

The Institute for School-Based Family Counseling is the primary sponsor of the Oxford Symposium in SBFC. The Institute for School-Based Family Counseling exists to promote the development of School-Based Family Counseling as a discipline through multi-culturally sensitive programs that educate mental health professionals, educators, and the general public on the nature and value of School Based-Family Counseling.

The Center for Child & Family Development, University of San Francisco

The USF Center for Child and Family Development is a co-sponsor of the Oxford Symposium in SBFC. The Center is committed to the academic, psychological, social, and spiritual development of children and families through teaching, research, and direct service programs in School-Based Family Counseling. The Center manages the largest, longest running university-schools partnership in SBFC in the USA serving more than 18,000 children and families since 1984.

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CONTACT: Dr. Brian Gerrard
Director: Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling gerrardba@outlook.com