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Date and Time
July 12-13 2024

This is a hybrid event. For those who wish to attend in person, the location is Deree in Athens, Greece. For those who wish to attend virtually, please see below for more information.


2024 Learning Institute: 
Counselor MakerSpace


Get ready! This Learning Institute will take a shift from our past Learning Institutes. We are creating a MakerSpace for you to be able to bring your ideas, questions, and challenges with you and walk away with support to implement your new ideas specific to your setting with our guided topics! Our speakers have been chosen based on feedback from our members and their ability to help you craft your knowledge and meet your setting’s needs. 


DAY 1:  You and your colleagues from across Europe, the U.S., and more with discuss how to create social-emotional supportive school environments, and how to enhance sexual violence prevention in your community and schools.


DAY 2 (am): Choose Your Adventure! 

You can choose to take a deep dive into Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and how this can be a game changer at your school or university setting OR if you are thinking about relocating to Europe (specifically Greece) come with your list of questions and ideas to participate in: “It’s All Greek to Me” where presenters will discuss working in Greece as clinicians, school counselors, and in private practice and have our speakers help you understand what you need to become a counselor or counselor educator in Greece. 


DAY 2 (pm): You will then have the choice to choose between learning how you can support your school or clients who have been impacted by secondary trauma and learn about what selfcare you may need OR for those who are interested in creating a counseling clinic in a very modern way you will find our speakers will help you with that process.

 Bring your thoughts, half-baked ideas, and/or partial paperwork of what you would like to work on and our speakers will work with you to personalize your experiences to take back to your setting! 

Session Details:

Carol Dahir

Creating Social-Emotional Supportive School Environments

Session 1

Now more than ever before students need mental health support in school to address stress, trauma, and feelings of insecurity. Recent data shows adolescent mental health has worsened during and since the pandemic and this reinforces the important role schools play in promoting mental health and well-being (CDC, 2023). Children, youth, and teens face an increase in anxiety and insecurity which may be attributed to issues such as social media dependency, exposure to world-wide violence, and upticks in bullying. Schools and school counselors increasingly need to identify and respond to student social/emotional development and mental health issues. Students in International and DoD school may be seeking a place to belong as oftentimes their families move frequently. For children and youth, mental health also includes reaching developmental and emotional milestones, and acquiring learning skills to cope with challenges and function well at home, school, and in their communities. Mental health is a component of behavioral health, which also includes choices or actions that affect overall wellness. Social-emotional learning (SEL), as a component of comprehensive school counseling programs, include universal interventions for every student to help them process their experience, promote resilience to adversity and help our students and families’ cope.This session also will incorporate transformative social and emotional learning which focuses specifically on advancing equity among all students and addressing inequity (e.g., how issues of race, class, and culture influence society). Building a successful SEL program involves engaging administrators, teachers, and school staff in a collaborative developmental process and can become a key asset in the mental health climate and culture in your school community.


Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Examine current challenges to students’ feeling safe and secure in our schools.

  • Explore how social/emotional learning contributes to a positive learning environment.

  • Recognize factors in the school environment, school climate, and school culture, that

  • influence and impact students’ success.

  • Identify the steps necessary to incorporate social/emotional learning as an integral

  • component of the comprehensive school counseling program.

  • Problem-solve your school’s needs through discussion of case studies.

  • Exploring the link between SEL and sexual violence prevention.

Pritha Mani

It’s On US! Sexual Violence Prevention

Session 2

Sexual violence as defined by WHO refers to “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act,unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work” (WHO, 2021). Violence against women and children permeates all societies and crosses boundaries of race, religion, and cultures. The effects of sexual violence are extensive and long lasting. It impacts the whole community. An individual’s psychological/socio-emotional and their academic performance do not exist in isolation from each other and cannot be treated as such. The rise in sexual violence in schools is very worrisome indeed and needs to be viewed as an epidemic that necessitates immediate action. This workshop aims to address the urgent need for effective prevention strategies and interventions to combat sexual violence in educational settings. It will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the prevalence of sexual violence in schools and its impact on a students’ physical, psychological and emotional well-being. Participants will learn evidence -based prevention strategies that can be implemented in schools to create a culture of consent and respect. This includes educating students about boundaries, consent, bystander intervention and healthy relationships. This in turn, will equip students with the skills needed to help peers who may be survivors of sexual violence and promote an environment that is safe and supportive.

In addition, this session will provide counsellors with practical guidance on how to respond to the disclosure of sexual violence, ensuring that they are aware of legal procedures and pathways to help survivors navigate their traumatic experience. Finally, the session will emphasise the importance of a collaborative approach when addressing sexual violence. Sexual violence prevention programs are successful when there is a collaborative and repetitive effort from all stakeholders including: school counsellors, directors, principals, school staff and teachers in order to create effective policies and procedures that address prevention and support services. While, we still have a long journey in front of us, it is my hope that this talk will provide counsellors with clear guidance on how to address sexual violence effectively and empower them to foster positive change.


Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of sexual violence

  • Evaluate personal biases and assumptions related to sexual violence prevention

  • Examine evidence-based strategies and interventions for preventing sexual violence in school settings; tailored to the needs of students

  • Identify steps in providing a supportive, trauma-informed response to a disclosure of sexual violence

  • Explore the importance of collaborating with other disciplines, SEL and sexual violence prevention.


3rd session

Maker space 2:15 – 3:15 pm (2 workshops to choose from)

Self-care (combined) 3:15-3:45pm

Participants will choose one of two maker space workshops:

  • Building a SEL K-12 School Counselling Curriculum/Program Tool Kit

  • Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence: Creating a Tool Ki

Participants in both groups will come together for the last half hour to create a self-care box to support emotional regulation.


Dr. Alessandra Sax-Lane & Dr. Mari Janikian

It’s All Greek to Me

Are you interested in working overseas as a counselor or counselor educator? Specifically, in Greece? We would love to share our experiences and share our journeys with you. The idea of counseling, psychotherapy, and the helping professions can differ based on what country you are considering. Everyone’s journey is different and we would like to share both of ours in hopes that it offers some clarity to navigating establishing yourself in private practice, schools as a counselor, or as a faculty member in Greece. 


Learning Objectives: 

  • To understand the Greek definitions of what a counselor is and who gets to call themselves a counselor. 

  • Greek law and limitations to what a person can do with an American or “out of the country” license to practice. 

  • To learn how “community mental health counselors” differ from “professional school counselors”

  • To support you on your journey to learning our experiences

Lillian Nave & Jill Weidknecht Van Horne

Supporting Our Work with Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

This workshop introduces participants to the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Using the lens of learner variability, we will take a strength-based, talent-focused approach to designing learning environments in which every student can succeed. We will discuss neurodiversity, disability, and cultural differences and how they relate to the 3 UDL principles of Multiple Means of Engagement, Multiple Means of Representation, and Multiple Means of Action & Expression. Using some of these UDL principles could be a game changer in your school, practice, or in your institution in academia! You will walk away with a starter kit of ideas that will impact your direct work environment. 


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify 3 components of UDL

  • Explain that valuing reflection comes from a culturally integrated (as opposed to individuated) perspective

  • Choose interventions in their teaching practice to provide students with multiple means of engagement through self-assessment and reflection

Rachael Marshall & Michael Levine

Modernizing University Counseling Clinics:

Updates, Lessons, and Best Practices through a Global Pandemic

It has been four years since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. The developments spurred by the Global pandemic have increased the need for access to mental health services. As university clinics transitioned to telemental health, this created new obstacles for training and services, however it allowed for new accessible avenues for clients to get healthcare services. Master’s-level students provide services at university clinics, which are offered to the students and the local community at a significantly reduced cost. Presenters will introduce their work from The Center for Counseling and Diagnostic Services (CCDS) Clinic, which offers three distinct services: counseling, psychoeducational assessments, and reading intervention (Ortiz & Levine, 2021). The functional nature of this clinic dedicates time and resource to collaboration across multiple helping professions, including school psychology, counseling, and language and literacy. Participants in this Counseling Makers Space can work with multiple helpers on how their clinic can transition to telemental health, maintain safety, and continue to transition with community needs. Presenters will provide updates, lessons learned, and ethical considerations for best practice, explicitly addressing client, counselor-in-training, and supervisor experiences through program evaluation. Participants can attend at any level of interest or creation. Presenters will collaborate to personalize and develop a plan for starting, establishing, and updating clinics through the current health, safety, and security developments. The overarching goal is to increase access and decrease barriers to mental health, training, funding and education.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand clinic expansion and examples and apply them to their current clinic development.

  • Analyze their clinic development with accessibility standards, ethical practice, and cultural relevance.

  • Create an implementation plan for their next steps in clinic development, including client experiences, counselor-in-training supervision, supervisor support, marketing, community immersion, funding, and program evaluation.

Juliana Deans

Secondary Trauma and Self-Care During War Times

During war times, it is understandable that anxiety and trauma would arise. It is these times that it is imperative we utilize self-care to help deal with the crisis of war. Practicing self-care is a valuable way to maintain personal well-being amid challenging circumstances. This training will identify 5 ways to help cope during times of war.


By the end of the training, attendees will learn that self-care includes: 

  • Maintaining mental well-being

  • Preserving physical health 

  • Having safety and security measures in place

  • Seeking emotional support

  • Engaging in community


In order to receive CEs, all attendees (in-person & virtual) must complete and submit the proper documentation! More details to come! 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at


Facebook: @eurobranchaca

Instagram: @european_branch_aca

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