Posts tagged international school
A Common Purpose: Working with School Counselors and Parents to Safeguard the TCK Experience.

Lois Bushong, Author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile brings us her 5 Essentials For Parents Transitioning Kids Abroad guide. Lois discusses the role of international school counselors and expat parents, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Adult Third Culture Kids to enable successful transitions between schools, locations and cultures.

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Every Time It Rains, I Go Home Again to Central America

Every time it rains, I go home to South America, by Lois Bushong, Author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile brings us her 5 Essentials For Parents Transitioning Kids Abroad guide. Lois has extensive personal and professional experience working with both expat parents, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Adult Third Culture Kids and her work focuses on embracing the benefits and managing the challenges that the expat families face when going through global transitions.

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International Parenting: 5 Things You Need to Know When Moving Kids Abroad

Lois Bushong, Author of Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile brings us her 5 Essentials For Parents Transitioning Kids Abroad guide. Lois has extensive personal and professional experience working with both expat parents, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Adult Third Culture Kids and her work focuses on embracing the benefits and managing the challenges that the expat families face when going through global transitions.

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I went to my 50th high school reunion and bumped into me.

for me, an adult TCK who didn’t go to just any high school but rather to a boarding school, it was a highly emotional event. Back in the day, landing at Toccoa Falls Academy in northern Georgia began for some of us the lonely path of adjusting to a new culture, grieving too many losses known and unknown to us, and experiencing a freedom (and a loss) of being several countries away from our parents. During my youth, I did not recognize the value of good friendships. Yet those Toccoa Falls Academy friends were to become my family for three years.

Sadly, after graduation, I lost touch with them. Now, I’ve come upon the landmark of the Academy’s 50th at the same time that I’m arriving at what psychologist Erik Erikson identifies as the stage where we reflect back on our life.

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TCKs and Anxiety and Excitement

The action of pulling my well-worn suitcase off the closet shelf never fails to awaken strong feelings of anxiety and excitement. Some TCKs feel only anxiety, others excitement.

But me? I sense both anxiety and excitement.

I believe much of this is due to my life as a TCK and moving from country to country, saying goodbye to new and old friends, leaving behind much-loved caretakers, the excitement of sensing that a new adventure is about to begin, fear of the unknown, wondering what will accidentally be left behind, and the anticipation of our new home, all mixed in with the silent pleasure of leaving behind some challenging relationships.

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Depression and Third Culture Kids

The TCK, who is depressed, may not know why they are depressed; all they know is they are miserable.  As therapists walk through the symptoms of depression with the TCK or gives them the Beck Depression Inventory, the client might certainly fit into that diagnosis. But rather than making the TCKs current situation as their only focus, such as what we do when we do Brief Therapy, here are some other areas we, as therapists, might explore.

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How to Spot the TCK in your Counseling Office

I have designed my Client Intake Form with the Adult TCK or the Cross-Cultural Kid in mind. Each of these questions gives me a clue as to their rate of mobility as well as their exposure to various cultures. Each question could result in a long discussion around their global lifestyle. Other clues might be . Their employment with an international agency or an NGO.
2. Some of the symptoms they often check on my Client Intake Form are: restlessness, loss of identity, grief, transitional challenges, relational Issues, depression or anxiety.
3. In answering the question, “Briefly describe your problem” they often give clues to their life as a TCK. An example might be “I struggle with making meaningful friends as people are so superficial”.

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