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Lois Bushong Is a counselor, coach, adjunct faculty at Indiana Wesleyan University in the Graduate Counseling Department, published author, and international speaker. She has a Master of Science from Georgia State University in Community Counseling and is licensed in the state of Indiana in Marriage and Family Therapy. As owner and a counselor at Quiet Streams Counseling in Fishers, Indiana, her clients include internationals, Third Culture Kids (TCKs), Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs), and multicultural couples. Lois is available for coaching TCKs and expats through transitional points in their globally mobile lives.
Lois is an Adult TCK from Latin America and worked in Honduras with an international agency for ten years. Las Americas Academy in Siguatepeque, Honduras, is where Lois attended boarding school from grade three through grade eight. The campus for this small boarding school was filled with not only children, but chickens, donkeys, cattle, birds such as Toby the Toucan, an old swimming hole, a swamp where frogs quickly scampered away to escape the small hands of little boys and of course many varieties of trees with all kinds of fruit were consumed as soon as they came into season.
This was the world that formed Lois’s identity and continues to have an influence on her perspective on life. This world and the many other worlds in which she lived as she followed her parents to various parts of the world. As an adult, she continued the nomadic lifestyle until she settled down in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Lois maintains an up-to-date passport and shot book in anticipation of yet another adventure to a new (or old) country.
Blog written for Expat Bookshelf
December 8, 2013….
Lois Bushong shares what she has learned from writing “Belonging Everywhere & Nowhere”
What did I learn in writing this book?
At the young age of ten, I read the old classic, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote many “great” works of fiction growing up which were easy for me to do with my vivid imagination. Several of those stories came to life through the artwork of a young classmate or as I told them with great enthusiasm to my peers. Some day, I would write like Louisa May Alcott.
About two years ago when I began the daunting job of putting down in writing what I do so automatically as a marriage and family therapist in my office. All of a sudden I began to doubt my skills as an author as this was hard, lonely work. I began to doubt I could accomplish this project. It was so much easier to write the stories of growing up in Central America or my fictional stories of adventures in the rain forest. This writing assignment I had given myself was different and much more difficult. It was hard to put down on paper what I do and think in the very “free floating” environment such as counseling.
In the end, what did I learn in the process of writing my book?
That if I am willing to dedicate myself to the lonely task of pulling myself away from all of the many distractions in my life and actually sit down and write, I could do it. Once, I stopped listening to all of the reasons why I did not have the time, was not the right person to write this book, did not have the proper credentials, and all of the negative self talk, I could do it. I learned that I could realize my dream of being an author.
As I evaluated and documented what I did in my counseling office with my clients, I was able to understand that there was an order, a reason and resources to this process of counseling.
I was able to find many therapists who do good work with Third Culture Kids and was able to benefit from their knowledge.
I read many books, surfed the Internet for hours, talked to other therapists, read the journals and literature for counselors, and talked to many graduate counseling students and Third Culture Kids. I learned so much from others that helped me. In the end, I learned the most while writing to teach others.
I learned that it takes many people in the background, yet they are critical as they are the ones who either make you sound like you do not know what you are writing about, or they make you a best selling author. The supporting team of the author i.e. editors, artists, illustrators, must work well together in order to produce a final product.
I now have an even greater admiration for Louisa May Alcott.