Grade 6 Counselor, Middle School,
Hong Kong International School
Laura Cowan is an experienced international educator and counselor who has worked predominantly in Asia for the past 25 years. She currently works at HKIS as a Counselor in the Middle School and is the Team Leader for the Student Support Services Team.
Laura enjoys developing programs, presentations and workshops that offer understanding and support to students, faculty, administrators & parents alike.
She regularly gives presentations on a wide variety of mental health and educational topics both in schools and to organisations, including ECIS, EARCOS, ISS, and most recently at the Hong Kong Mental Health Conference. Her specific areas of interest include Child Protection, Trauma Informed practices, The Developing brain, Parent Education, and the Social & Emotional Wellbeing of all stakeholders in the school community.
Laura is an experienced counseling internship supervisor, having supported students studying from Lehigh University, George Washington University, and Monash University.
Her work as a therapist in the private sector has allowed her to develop a greater awareness and understanding for both the common and often unique presenting concerns and challenges that are prominent within the expatriate community. It has also given her the opportunity to support a diverse cross-section of ages, cultures, and family dynamics.
Laura supports the developmental counseling philosophy that aims to equip people with authentic life skills that will prepare them to deal with challenges as and when they arise. She is a strong advocate for positive psychology and positive education and applies a strengths based approach when providing therapy and support. Laura prioritises parent education opportunities & engagements as she believes this is an integral component in nurturing a child's ongoing health and wellbeing.
Her areas of expertise are:
- Trauma/Crisis Counseling and Support
- Child Protection
- Teen & Family Therapy
- Adventure & Experiential Based Counseling
- Supporting Third Culture Kids and their families
Believe and Achieve: School Based Mental Health Initiatives
With an unwavering belief that mental health is essential and must be addressed in schools, the HKIS MS Counseling Team have shifted from a reactive counseling model where counselors were the primary gatekeepers of the social and emotional domains to a proactive model where all stakeholders partner together to strengthen student mental health and develop student social and emotional competencies. Join the HKIS MS Counseling Team in this interactive workshop where they will share the counseling program infrastructure, strategies for parent engagement, and their comprehensive approach to social and emotional learning. Participants will have opportunities to share their stories and learn from others, which will present them with potential next steps they can apply in their learning environments.
Strengthening Social and Emotional Support in Online Learning Environments and Beyond
During these uncertain times, every school must be prepared to shift between in-person and online learning at a moment’s notice. Although online learning presents its own challenges, we can still nurture the social and emotional needs of our students. Join the HKIS MS Counseling Team as they overview the steps they took to address the social and emotional needs of students, faculty, and parents when their school transitioned to online learning. The team will highlight their successes as well as their learning moments along the way. Participants will get a chance to join the conversation by sharing their experiences and by adding to the group’s online learning toolkit, which will be collaboratively created throughout the workshop.