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Oxford Symposium
School-Based Family Counseling
Webinar August 5-8

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2021 Presenter Videos
All presentations are shown in the order listed on the Program

Groups to Promote Intimate Parenting in SBFC


Zipora Schectman, PhD.                                                                                            

University of Haifa, Israel                                      


More than ever are modern parents mentally occupied with their parental role. They are aware of the importance of quality parenting in their child’s life, they are highly attuned to their children’s needs, and sensitive to their children’s challenges. At the same time, they hold high expectations for them to be successful, hope for them to avoid failure, and want to see them happy. Hence, many parents feel confused, stressed, anxious, and disappointed. They lose a sense of self-confidence and self-efficacy and look education and guidance, and receive concrete answers to challenging situations. I suggest, instead of guidance, a way of life based on intimate relationship with the child. “Intimus” means the “inner most” which is based on a sense of deep closeness, love and care, loyalty and trust, openness and sincerity, empathic understanding, mutuality and uniqueness, and mutual interests. These are the best buffer of loneliness and insecurity and require the commitment of both sides. Intimate relationships require that parents are aware of their hidden emotions, are able to use an emotional language with their children, and be a model to their children. Therefore the intervention should highlight emotions, promote self expressiveness and understanding, and enhance empathic understanding. However, many parents are not capable of being intimate in their relationship with others, including with their children. Unfortunately, intimacy is not a skill that can be easily taught—one should experience it, and the best place to do it is in a small counseling/therapy group. Group participation requires self-disclosure, trust in others, care for others, empathic listening. The unique therapeutic factors in such groups promote intimate behavior that is carried over to other relationships. This Emotion Focused Group Therapy (EFGT) is the guide to intimate parent-child relationships. Several large-scale studies support the evidence-base of this type of intervention in changing the lives of parents and children.


*This presentation is based on a new book named Intimate Parenting by Zipora Shechtman

Relational Awareness in Teachers’ and Counselors’ Practices


Anne Maj Nielsen, PhD.                                                                                            

Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Denmark                                                                              


Everyday work conditions in preschool and school are often characterized by demands for high efficiency, standards for ´best practice´ and goal orientation, and at the same time by consecutive encounters between professional adults and children (Jennings, 2011). Researcher in pedagogy van Manen (2002) and in education Biesta (2012) and Friesen (2017) argues for the importance of the adult to relate to both the perspective of the child as well as her/his own experience of being addressed in the encounter. It can be challenging, as such subjective experiences become articulated not only in clear reflections, but also as affects, emotions, and doubts in moments of ‘hesitation’ (Biesta, 2012). There is a risk that high demands and stressful working conditions disturb pedagogues’, teachers´, and counsellors’ potential for attentive presence and ´hesitation´ in challenging encounters in institutional settings and make the way for less contact and more automatic reactions or rule-based actions. In this presentation I introduce a theory of ‘relational awareness’ to conceptualize psychological processes and dynamics in challenging intersubjective encounters. Based on culture psychology (Leontjev, 1983; Vygotsky, 1987), phenomenology (Fuchs, 2017; Merleau-Ponty, 1945/62), and developmental psychology the presentation outlines how relational awareness appears as arousal, affects and emotions in embodied responses oriented by the contextualized situated interpersonal encounter and the participating subjects’ personal histories (Køster & Winther-Lindqvist, 2018) and unconscious embodied memories (Fuchs, 2011; Vedfelt, 1996). The presentation includes examples from two from two studies and from my practice with psychotherapy to illustrate, how relational awareness, which involves being consciously aware of embodied, pre-reflective relational responsivity; can be an object of and helpful in teachers’ and/or counsellors’ practices. Relational awareness differs from interpersonal perception in that it involves embodied activity mediated by embodied knowledge and social means of language and discourse.

Lakȟótiyapi Glukínipi: Lakota Language Revitalization


Lora Catches, BSc

Director of Lakota Studies Department

Oglala Lakota County School District, Pine Ridge, South Dakota.


Otto Flye

Lakota Studies District Coordinator, Pine Ridge, South Dakota


Nancy Iverson, M.D.

PATHSTAR Director, San Francisco, California                             



Colonization can contribute to the corrosion of indigenous community integrity.  Language and culture are inextricably linked, and the long list (>100) of extinct North America languages demonstrates the deleterious impact colonizing forces have had in the United States and Canada. Less than 10% of residents of Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home to the majority of the Lakota tribe, are Native speakers.  Teams aspiring to restore, revitalize, and normalize Lakota language and culture are developing Lakota programs, with a special focus on offering Lakota teaching throughout the entire Oglala Lakota County School District on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Educators include Lakota fluent speakers, second language learners, and cultural leaders.  The learner circle includes children, school staff, parents and community members.  Moving from the days of isolated Lakota workshops, linguists, teachers, elders, spiritual leaders, and Native speakers have recognized a shared vision and are combining resources to develop and implement intergenerational and universal ‘Wo Lakota.’  As we acknowledge our setbacks and obstacles, we also celebrate our progress, and we continue to explore how best to support all members of Lakota Country in reclaiming ancestral heritage and realigning in the lineage of the Seven Generations.

School Based Family Counseling as an Alternative to Corporal Punishment: Multicultural Considerations


Kezia Gopaul-Knights, PhD.                                                                         

California State University,

Los Angeles, California, USA


Children who experience corporal punishment are at an increased risk for experiencing significant deleterious outcomes. These outcomes can be organized into two categories: internalizing behaviors (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation) and externalizing behaviors (e.g., juvenile delinquency, bullying, aggression). Despite this, corporal punishment is commonly used in many countries in the world including Caribbean territories. In fact, worldwide, there are only 33 countries that have banned the use of corporal punishment in the home and 25 more have started legal reform. In the Caribbean, all 32 member states still support the use of corporal punishment in the home. Children who experience corporal punishment are less likely to report parental warmth or having a close relationship with their parents. Using physical discipline can place a significant strain on the parent-child relationship and can lead to family dysfunction. However, parents continue to use corporal punishment for a number of reasons including the cultural acceptance of the practice and the immediate change that is brought about in behavior, although this change is typically short-lived. School Based Family Counseling (SBFC) has the potential to change the family’s pattern of interaction and bring about more positive ways of functioning. Through SBFC, children and parents learn to communicate and understand each other, and parents learn alternative discipline methods. Yet still, since corporal punishment is so deeply engrained in the fabrics of parenting practices in many cultures, the SBFC practitioner must use a multicultural lens in the counseling process. This presentation will highlight the current status of corporal punishment in the Caribbean, the impact of its use on children, and how SBFC practitioners can use a family systems perspective to provide a more impactful approach to physical discipline. Importantly, multicultural considerations will be highlighted and solutions to obstacles encountered in the counseling process will be provided.

Developing The School Library: Adjunctive and Preventive Strategies in SBFC


Harold Jimenez Canizales, Professor                                                                        

School of Design of Palma, Palma de Mallorca


Interventions in School-Based Family Counseling are classified in terms of whether they are made to treat distress—postvention—or to forestall it—prevention. The intervention of bibliotherapy, which can be done as both pre- and postvention, underscores the significance of the book collections in the school library and school based family counselor’s office, as a developmental and healing resource, not least in localities underserved as to SBFC professionals with specific mental health training. Representative examples from a large collection of children’s picture books, available in multiple countries and languages across the globe, will be presented, along with data illustrating children’s response, and the books’ themes and content, and effects on child self-development, will be analyzed.

Second Order Change in Schools:  Systemic Lessons from the Covid 19 Pandemic


AAMFT Family Therapy in Schools Topical Interest Network:                                          

Kathleen Laundy, PsyD., LMFT, MSW, Chair

Erin Cushing, M.A., LMFT, Chair Elect

Wade Fuqua, PhD, Secretary

Michael Rankin, M.A., LMFT, Treasurer

Eileen Klima, M.S., Family Team Representative


Erin Cushing, M.A., LMFT,

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

South Glastonbury, Connecticut, USA


Wade Fuqua, PhD, LPC, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA


Eileen Klima, M.A., LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Humboldt, California, USA


Kathleen Laundy, PhD

Department of Counselor Education and Family Therapy

Central Connecticut University

New Britain, Connecticut, USA        


Michael Rankin, PhD, MA, LMFT


The provision of special educational services in the US was originally based on a eurocentric model of service.  That is, students with special needs receive Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) of service following evaluation for specific categories of learning deficits.  Public Law 94-142, or the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975, established this precedent (Laundy, 2015). In decades since, systemic mental health practitioners in schools have worked to address a broader range of variables contributing to academic achievement and resiliency, such as family functioning.  Although programs and services vary across states, the growth of systemic interventions has resulted in more comprehensive, family friendly support for student success.  American schools have partnered with health care professionals and families to move toward multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to help students achieve and thrive.

 The coronavirus epidemic and recent social justice events have critically intensified the systemic stressors for students, families, and educators.  Despite current challenges, more educators and health care providers are becoming sensitized to the systemic impact of racism, and poverty and access to services on student resiliency.  Current events provide a timely, comprehensive opportunity to address needs more fully in schools, the place where children spend the bulk of their time outside of the home.

Leaders from the Family Therapy in Schools Topical Interest Network of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy will present their work to address these variables.  They will describe the bimonthly workshops, newsletters, and other services they provide to build a network of systemically trained school mental health practitioners across the US.  They will highlight innovative school-based leaders and initiatives they showcase.  And they will address their work to build multidisciplinary school relationships among mental health partners in schools.

Strengthening Children’s Executive Functions During Covid Pandemic: School Based Intervention Approaches


Celina Korzeniowski, PhD.                                                                           

National Scientific and Technical Research Council               

(CONICET), Argentina. Aconcagua University, Mendoza, Argentina


Families have experienced economic and social challenges as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, which has generated crisis and emotional stress in both adults and children. Children, in particular, have experienced significant changes in their daily routines and activities, as well as periods of confinement and social isolation. Emotional distress can impair adaptive coping and negatively impact children's academic performance, cognitive functioning, and social and emotional development. Executive functions (EFs) are among the cognitive systems that are most vulnerable to stress. EFs are a set of high-order cognitive functions involved in behavior and emotions self-regulation. EFs are powerful predictors of school performance, child’s well-being and health. Because of EFs’ extensive growth, there are many time periods during which experience has the greatest effect on brain development. As a result, it has been documented that children’s emotional distress is linked with attention problems, memory failures, difficulties in managing impulses and emotions, and difficulties planning ahead and setting goals. Failures in EFs impact on students' ability to learn and cope with school demands. Consequently, educators should foster a responsive trauma-learning environment and support students' self-regulatory capacities during crisis. Teachers are important adults in children's lives; they are crucial in identifying the signs of traumatic stress and, in assisting students in managing stress reactions, and fostering EFs. This study aims to present a set of evidence-based approaches and strategies for teachers to help children manage stress and promote EFs during Covid-19 pandemic. In conducting this study, peer-reviewed academic publications, books and web resources, published between 2010 and 2021, were selected for review. As a result, a collection of techniques was created that can easily be embedded into the school curriculum, while also encouraging cooperation between teachers, and between teachers and families. Developing school-based interventions to strengthen students' EFs is one way to enhance children’s resources for coping with crisis.

The Disastershock Global Response Team: The Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling Response to the 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic


Disastershock Global Response Team                                                                                  

Brian Gerrard, PhD., Western Institute for Social Research, Berkeley, California, USA

Sue Linville Shaffer, EdD, LMFT, Educator, Consultant, Marriage and Family         

               Therapist, Menlo Park, California, USA

Damián Gallegos Lemos, M.D., Career Officer Physician, Spanish Ministry of Health,

                Madrid, Spain Madrid, Spain

Zongpu Yue, PhD., Dawning Consulting, Macau, China

Lina Cuartas, Author, Artist and Podcaster, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Karen Buchanan, PhD., School of Education, George Fox University, Oregon, USA

Thomas Buchanan, PhD., School of Education, George Fox University, Oregon, USA

Suzanne Giraudo, EdD., Clinical Director of the California Pacific Medical Center     

                 Department of Pediatrics Child Development Center, San Francisco,

                 California, USA

Robyne Le Brocque, PhD., School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Faculty                     of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane,


Celina Korzeniowski, PhD., National Scientific and Technical Research Council of                      Argentina    (CONICET Argentina) and Faculty of Psychology, Aconcagua                    University, Mendoza, Argentina

Bridget Steed, M.A., Mental Health Counselor, Oregon, USA

Masamine Jimba, M.D., Department of Community and Global Health, Graduate                      School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Toni Nemia, M.S., LMFT, Executive Director, Center for Child & Family                 

                Development, Western  Institute for Social Research, Berkeley, California

Judy Giampaoli, M.A., LMFT, Lately: Principal: Francisco Middle School, San       

                Francisco; Member: Advisory Board Center for Child & Family

                Development, Western Institute for   Social Research, Berkeley,

                California, USA

Nurit Kaplan Toren, PhD., Oranim Academic College of Education, Faculty of

                Graduate Studies and Education and University of Haifa, Israel

Jacqueline M. Shinefield, EdD, RN, LMFT  Adjunct Faculty: Marriage and Family

                Therapy Program, NYU  Langone;  Chair: Advisory Board, Center for Child

                & Family Development, Western Institute for  Social Research, Berkeley,

                California, USA


The Disastershock Global Response Team played a critical role in intervening during the 2020-21 Covid 19 Pandemic. This was accomplished through four related Disastershock groups: the Disastershock Global Volunteer Team which prepared 26 language translations of the book Disastershock: How to Cope with the Emotional Stress of a Major Disaster and made them available free globally; the Disastershock Global Response Team which further developed resources on the website, including webpages for Arts & Recovery, Healing Lectures, and Resources for Educators; the Disastershock Research Team, which conducted a pilot survey titled: Survey of Ways of Coping During the Covid 19 Pandemic and interviewed 75 persons in 10 different countries; and the Disastershock Educator Collaboration Team, which developed the free ebook Disastershock: How Schools Can Cope with the Emotional Stress of a Major Disaster. Fifteen members from these Disastershock teams will briefly describe their international relief work during the pandemic.

The Disastershock Surveys: The Ways of Coping with the Covid 19 Pandemic Survey and the Disastershock Team Survey: SBFC Implications


Disastershock Research Team:                                                                                             

Olufunke Adegoke, PhD., University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria


Lenka Josífková, B.A., Compassionate Supervisor and Human Ressources                Specialist for Kindergarten Educators, Czech Republic Czech                          Republic


Ilene Rusk, PhD., Co-Director of the Healthy Brain Program, Boulder,           

            Colorado, USA, Neuropsychologist, Ontario, Canada         


Emilia Suviala, PhD., Psychologist, Palo Alto, California, USA


Brian A. Gerrard, PhD, Chief Adademic officer, Western Institute for Social

             Research, Berkeley, California, USA


This preseatation will report on two surveys conducted by the Disastershock Research Team. The Ways of Coping with the Covid 19 Pandemic Survey was an action-research project which invesitgated the effect of the pandemic as well as ways that helped people cope with the pandemic. This pilot study was conducted as a small non-random sample interview based survey of approximately 6 persons in 12 different countries. The Disastershock Team Survey will describe how Disastershock Team members experienced being involved in the Disastershock global relief effort. The implications for SBFC will be discussed.

The Hidden Wounds from Childhood: Helping Adult Caregivers Heal


Glenn Schiraldi, PhD.                                                                                    

Resilience Training International,

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have been consistently found to predict a dizzying array of psychological, medical, and functional problems in adulthood. Any kind of abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction in childhood has been linked to stress-related conditions ranging from anxiety/panic disorder, depression, ADHD, low self-esteem, suicidality, and PTSD to heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and early death, to name a few. ACEs typically cause much suffering and dysfunction in adults, which can be transmitted intergenerationally and interfere with effective parenting and caregiving. The disturbing memories from the first eighteen years of life that cause so much suffering and dysfunction in adulthood are not situated in the logical, verbal region of the brain. Thus, they are usually not effectively treated by traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. Fortunately, new understanding of the brain and nervous system has led to the development of effective strategies to help adults heal the hidden wounds from childhood that continue to “run their show” in adulthood. Once healed, they can better guide children to become happy and healthy adults. In this webinar, we’ll overview the ACEs research and the principles, self-managed skills, and effective professional treatments for healing. The vision of this presentation, consistent with the SBFC model, is that caregivers who are restored to wholeness will be more fully and productively engaged with children, less likely to pass on maladaptive patterns intergenerationally, and better able to teach and model resilient coping skills to the rising generation. In this webinar, we’ll overview the ACEs research and the principles, self-managed skills, and effective professional treatments for healing.

Welcoming Newcomers Beyond the Border


Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, PhD.                                                                             

University of San Francisco,

San Francisco, California, USA


During the past years we have seen children detained in cages, separated from parents and living in difficult conditions of tent camps, fleeing violence and economic disparities. As they enter the United States, understanding their emotional, societal and academic needs are critical to understand. Entering the border is only the beginning, the challenges they experience here in the United States are extensive. Creating community, raising awareness and advocating for newly arrived children and their families within systems of education, immigration, social support and mental health is critical. Dr. Hernandez-Arriaga, University of San Francisco Assistant Professor and Founder of Ayudando Latinos of Soñar of Northern California has been working closely with children and families both at the South Texas Border and supporting them through their journey into the United States. As a Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Hernandez-Arriaga has been able to understand the critical challenges new arrivals face beyond the border as they continue to inspire us with their faith, hope and vision for family. The continued need to address human rights, mental health and social justice advocacy for immigration policies that protect children and families must continue while at the same time increasing visibility of support that families need in the United States.

Award for Best Practice in School-Based Family Counseling

Award for Outstanding Contribution to School-Based Family Counseling



Online Teaching for Children during COVID-19 Lockdown Phase and Its Efficacy


Sibnath Deb, PhD.                                                                                                      

Director, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development,

Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India


COVID-19 brought unprecedented problems for human civilization across the world psychologically, physically, socially and economically. Quality education at all levels is also badly affected. Lockdown in India and other countries started sometime in March 2020 with little variations from country to country, in a phased manner, for arresting the spread of virus compelling all the educational institutions to shutdown and depend on online mode of teaching as education should never cease. The broad objective of this article is to examine the issues and concerns related to online teaching and learning with the help of virtual classes during the lockdown, with special reference to India. Initially, most of the students, especially students in lower grades, struggled to cope with the online mode of teaching and gradually they have become acquainted with the system and attend online classes sincerely following the same schedule as followed in the education institutions under normal circumstances. Continuous attendance of online classes caused fatigue and a large number of students started complaining and some even skipped classes. Examinations were also conducted in a flexible manner. All the students gained knowledge and remained connected to their classmates and teachers. However, some students struggled to pay attention to online teaching because of various reasons. By and large, online teaching and learning succeeded in continuing education and disseminating knowledge in addition to clarifying the queries of the students. Nevertheless, there are a number of advantages of online education and they include continuation of education in this crisis situation, clarifying the confusion of the students, keeping students engaged when they are house arrested and giving them a scope to see and listen to the voices of other students, getting acquainted with basics of computer and so on. Disadvantages include fatigue caused by long exposure to mobile or computer screen, headache, vision problem, internet connectivity problems, deprivation of children from poor families from online teaching, as they could not afford to buy smartphones and/or computer, lack of flexibility in attending classes, lack of doubt clarification, to name a few. Nevertheless, no country was prepared for such a pandemic and could not plan for effective online teaching as a replacement of regular teaching. Well planned online teaching with flexibility like online courses offered by Coursera, edX (free online courses), SWAYAM MOOCs platform for similar situations perhaps will be required for future education and accordingly, education policy makers should investigate the issue for adopting situation specific strategies for online quality education and evaluation of students’ performance.   

School Psychologists and School-Based Family Counsellors: Building Family Supports for Learning


Jeff Chang, PhD.                                                                                                        

Athabasca University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada                              


Psychoeducational assessments done by school psychologists are often mystifying to school-based family counsellors. Counselling and marriage and family therapy (MFT ) masters training typically includes at least one course on psychometrics. Typically these courses feature a “family of tests” per week (e.g., achievement, child behaviour cognitive ability, personality, vocational interest), scarcely enough to distinguish the constructs measured, let alone the various tests used to measure each construct. Furthermore, the professions of counselling and MFT pride themselves on not labelling or pathologizing clients, so may eschew the kind of diagnostic psychoeducational  assessments found done by school psychologists. Indeed, counsellors and MFT students often choose these professions instead of clinical or school psychology in part because they do not want to do “assessments”.  Psychoeducational assessments may simply be a confusing jumble of test scores expressed in different ways (e.g., deviation IQ scores, t-scores, and even stanine scores), purportedly measuring constructs such as memory (working, short-term, long-term), followed by a long list of recommendations.While school psychologists’ education usually includes ecological and systemic intervention, their efforts are often directed heavily toward assessment, where expertise is often needed to evaluate eligibility for special education, which may include funding and support education accommodations.In this presentation, Jeff will advocate for enhanced partnership between school psychologists and school-based family counsellors (SBFCs). Collaboration between school psychologists and SBFC would include:


  • SBFCs supporting parent and family readiness for assessment;


  • School psychologists sharing assessment results with SBFCs and other school mental health personnel to support case therapeutic case conceptualization;


  • SBFCs helping school psychologists to understand the systemic dynamics of schools and families to assist them to craft recommendations;


  • SBFCs supporting parents and teachers to implement recommendations collaboratively;


  • And, your ideas.

How Teachers Can Help Students and Families Cope with Disaster


Sudia Paloma McCaleb, EdD.                                                                                   

Western Institute for Social Research,  

Berkeley, California, USA


When a disaster strikes, be it nature or human generated, children can be some of the most vulnerable individuals and often need a special kind of attention and nurturing. As adults, we can provide this attention and nurturing in a variety of ways.. We can sing to and with children; songs about friendship, peace, rainbows and more.  We can have dialogues about what is going on and also about books we read together, proverbs we may share and about ways that we can help each other.   There are also many ways that we may generate artistic ideas or simply by providing art materials with which children can express their feelings. Doing activities cooperatively or in small groups can generate new ways of thinking and perhaps take tension away from the immediate challenges that are going on; this could include murals/collages or building with blocks and creating new cities and towns. In this presentation I will include some special songs, proverbs, books and ideas for group murals and block buildings. I will also be interacting with my eight year old granddaughter.

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