Why I Am Coming to #FIGT2019 - A Counselor's Perspective

19 Feb 2019 8:39 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)


“Attend, connect, hang out with a ‘community of strangers’-there really is

nothing else quite like it.”

(FIGT 2018 attendee)

Are you a counselor or coach looking to attend FIGT this year?

If you have not yet decided or are looking to find out more from a counselor’s perspective, here is Shellee Burroughs' personal FIGT story:

In 2017 I finished working as an international school counselor and went from being the family ‘bread-winner’ in Malaysia to the ‘stay at home’ mum back in the UK. As a result, I then decided to attend FIGT 2018 in The Hague in order to connect and re-evaluate the next steps in my journey after a very difficult repatriation.

Connecting with others could not have come at a better time for me. After spending time with counselors, coaches, other TCK parents and a huge variety of like-mind individuals, I realized that I had finally ‘found my people’. This resulted in my recognizing the importance and value of the changes I was experiencing and how I could utilize my unique skills as counselor and Art Psychotherapist within this incredible community and move forward from the paralysis of re-patriating without employment to self -employment within the globally mobile field.


Are you a coach or counselor?

2019 is an exciting new stage for FIGT as we will be meeting in South East Asia for the first time! This is a fantastic first for many coaches and counselors from the area who I know have been looking forward to this event and who are looking to connect with other like-minded people in Bangkok in April.


So, what can I gain from attending?

There are so many reasons, here are just a few:

  • Meet other professionals from the coaching and counseling profession and related fields.
  • Contribute your skills, experience and knowledge to the coaching & counseling field
  • Learn more about current developments and research in the globally mobile arena
  • Attend our first affiliate meeting and connect with other members.
  • Come and join the FIGT family.


What are the specific benefits for counselors and coaches?

Again, there is a long list, but professionally you will benefit from:

  • Connecting with other counselors and coaches
  • Learning about new approaches and developments relevant to the field
  • Developing exciting collaboration opportunities
  • Discovering and sharing exciting resources and ideas
  • Being on the cutting edge of new developments
  • Having access to an extensive knowledge base
  • Joining the Counseling and Coaching Affiliate and attending our first meeting
  • Professional networking opportunities
  • Continuing Professional Development


On a personal level, you will also benefit from:

  • Counseling and coaching can be isolating at times, connecting and sharing with
  • others is extremely beneficial.
  • Be energized and reinvigorated by the conference itself.
  • Are you in transition? FIGT promotes connection which can really help
  • Making friends and professional connections for FIGT 20 and beyond
  • Returning home with a fresh outlook and great memories


What sessions might be of interest specifically to counselors and coaches at #FIGT2019 this year? If you are interested in hearing more about developments in the field of identity from established pioneers in the field here are some sessions of particular interest:


Day 1:

Early Bird Forum:

Meeting of the FIGT Counseling & Coaching Affiliate’ Daniela Tomer & Shellee Burroughs

(This early bird forum is to gather as a group and connect as an affiliate for the first time. As a result, there is no presentation during this session).


Panel Discussion:

‘FIGT: Reframing Traditional Approaches to Identity & Belonging’ Ruth Van Reken and Daniela Tomer


Day 2:

Early Bird Forum:

‘Counseling & Early Bird Forum on Emotional Support of Children in Global Transition’ Emilie Frijs Due & Pascale Paradis

This session will consist of two presentations followed by an open discussion on best practices counseling children in a cross-cultural environment.


Concurrent Sessions:

If you are interested in learning more about a therapeutic art-based tool I have used for many years with the globally mobile, I will be presenting the following hands-on session:

‘Create an Island: A Hands-On Workshop Using This Art-Based Tool for Working with Globally Mobile Children, Adults & Professionals’ Shellee Burroughs

Other concurrent sessions of potential interest for counselors and coaches include:

‘Surveying the Landscape: Common Practices, Challenges and Opportunities in International School Transition Support’ Ellen Mahoney

‘How to Prevent Your Relationship from Being Put to The Test When Your Life Is In Transition’ Sundae Schneider Bean

Kitchen Table Conversation:

Is Online the Future of Therapy for the Globally Mobile?’ Sonia Jaeger & Vivian Chiona


Day 3

As an Art Psychotherapist and supporter of the arts in therapy, I personally can’t wait to find out more about:

‘The Universal Language of Music and Role in Fostering Identity, Understanding & Connection’ Melissa Indot

Take a look at the rest of the program -there are many other wonderful presentations, panels and discussions taking place over the three days of the conference.

Why am I excited about attending FIGT in April?

If it wasn’t for FIGT last year I would not have had the pleasure to have met Kelli, Tami and Jacqueline with whom I was approached by Daniela Tomer to help set up the first Counseling & Coaching Affiliate. Our first early bird meeting takes place this year and 2019 is already an exciting start for us as a new affiliate group because we started our ‘virtual coffee’ monthly zoom meetings in January. ‘Virtual Coffee’ has generated a great deal of interest and a growing affiliate group as a result which just illustrates the hard work and dedication of all involved.

I am also looking forward to meeting people I met at FIGT in 2018 and also seeing old friends from South East Asia who I haven’t seen since leaving Kuala Lumpur. Hearing new speakers, meeting people with exciting ideas, random conversations in lifts, laughter over coffee with strangers-the list goes on and on. Come and connect with your global family. It is worth it on a multitude of levels and for a multitude of reasons and I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

Shellee Burroughs is a Registered Art Psychotherapist and trauma specialist who repatriated to the UK from Malaysia in 2017 with her husband and two TCK children. She now runs 'Therapeutic Art Approach' courses and presentations to a wide variety of related groups (therapists, coaches, parents, staff etc) and is looking forward to presenting at FIGT in April.






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