Dr. Jan Johnston   DrJan@JanisJohnston.com
The Parent's Journey The Midlife Journey Retirement Journey About Jan Johnston Consulting Services

Consultation Services

Be here now, no other place to be
.This whole world keeps changing,
Come change with me!

Singer/songwriter Mason Jennings,
Be Here Now, from Boneclouds

Workshops and Presentations

Scheduling a Workshop

Book Release Press and Events

One of our biggest challenges in life is coping with a loss. Loss can trip you. We sometimes feel like the twelve-year-old child who anguished over the terrorist attack in the United States on September 11, 2001: “It’s too big…I can’t understand it…I’m sure it’s worse than I can imagine…" Family stories contain life and death issues, challenging everyone with worse-than-they-ever-imagined details. All of us have to embrace change in our lives, ready or not.

We were NOT ready for the COVID-19 pandemic. It has challenged nearly every extended family with loss of good health and grief for  family members or friends who died.  

Children, midlifers, and encore adults all struggle with “being here now” in the present moment, while they are trying to meet their daily energy, discipline, creativity, belonging and ability basic needs.When we see other people behave in some wayward direction, we initially may not recognize their intentions.  After all, we have needs of our own, and often, our immediate needs do not travel well with the immediate needs of another person.

Jan Johnston


This has been one of the best inservices I have been to… I have been teaching for 30 years and learned so much about myself and my students. 

Cindy Veren, 
Tamarak Country Day School 

Thanks for an extraordinary workshop! Teachers can go to many workshops and learn the “stuff.” But this workshop touches on the heart, soul and mind of the child, teacher and parent…truly inspired…truly will encourage our teachers to refer back to the inspiration of Janis! 

Monica Duffey,
Education Coordinator, Buffalo Grove Park District

Jan role-modeled her personal openness, creativity, and energetic life-fulfilling explorations. Her academic prowess and thoughtful questions helped us in our small groups to gently look at our identity in retirement now and safely explore "out-of-the-box" ideas with a much bigger "R"—giving ourselves permission to Rest, Rewire and Rejuvenate our personalities and skill-sets.

Louise Barder Corzine,
MPH, RN, Elder Care Consultant

I find Jan's twists on the aging process to be delightful and invigorating. She reframed the word retire to "rewire" which resonates and enlivens me, as does the phrase "crystalized intelligence" for the stored knowledge from experience and education which increases with age!

Margaret Burk,
Storyteller, Writer, and Producer

Workshops, Presentations, and Book Readings

Listen to:

Dr. Johnston
Monte Gerlach


Literary Salon, Transforming Retirement Book Reading, Arbor West Neighbors, American House Senior Living (February, 2024), Oak Park, IL 

Workshop, What Legacy Burdens Do You Carry from Relationships? What Legacy Blessings Do You Share? Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat (February, 2024), Darien, IL

Panel, “Creative Engagement: A Promising Tool to Promote Whole Health Among Community-dwelling Older Adults,” American Society on Aging (March, 2024), San Francisco, CA

Radio & TV Show, Y? Why Not! “Transforming Retirement Takes a Growth-and-grit Mindset!” (April, 2024)


Keynote Address, “To Turn is To Learn: Turning Points in Our Lives,” Unitarian Universalist Men’s Retreat (January, 2023), Des Plaines, IL

Workshop, “What’s It All About: Tai Chi Energy,” Unitarian Universalist Women’s Retreat (February, 2023), Darien, IL

Workshop, “Retirement Identity: Who Am I Now?” Forest Park Public Library (March, 2023), Forest Park, IL

Zoom Workshop, “Transforming Retirement: Rewire and Grow Your Legacy,” Illinois Mental Health Counselors’ Association (March, 2023)

Poster Session, “What Bodymind Parts Want to Retire? And What Bodymind Parts Say, ‘Never?’” American Society on Aging (March, 2023), Atlanta, GA

Panel, “Non-fiction Writing: Blogs and Books,” Illinois Women’s Press Association, South Holland Public Library (April, 2023), South Holland, IL 

Workshop, “It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent,” Green Hills Public Library (June, 2023), Palos Hills, IL

Book Reading/PowerPoint, “Transforming Retirement: Rewire and Grow Your Legacy,” Oak Park Public Library (July, 2023), Oak Park, IL    

Book Reading/PowerPoint, “Take the Tired Out of Retired! Transform Your Retirement,” New Buffalo Public Library (August, 2023), New Buffalo, MI

Book Signing 3 books, It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent, Midlife Maze, and Transforming Retirement, Printer’s Row Lit Fest, Illinois Women’s Press Association Tent (September, 2023), Chicago, IL

Book Reading, Illinois Women’s Press Association Fall Writer’s Workshop, Transforming Retirement,  Maze Public Library (September, 2023), Oak Park, IL

Podcast Interview, Women Over 70—Aging Reimagined, Transforming Retirement  (September, 2023), Chicago, IL

Workshop for therapists, “What Bodymind Parts Want to Retire? And What Bodymind Parts Say, ‘Never’”? Internal Family Systems (IFS) Retreat (October, 2023), Chimney Corners, MI

Workshop for therapists, “Transforming Ageism Legacies: Rewire with IFS Retirement Planning,” Internal Family Systems (IFS) Annual Conference (October, 2023), Denver, CO

Radio Interview, CUTV News Radio, It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent, Midlife Maze, and Transforming Retirement (October, 2023), NY

Workshop for therapists, “The Rift of Retirement: Rewire Your Counseling for this Developmental Stage,” Illinois Counseling Association Pre-conference (November, 2023), Lisle, IL


Zoom, “Radical Compassion Practice Group,” (Selected Sunday evenings, January–May, 2022)

Zoom, “Dealing with Adult Burnout and Childhood Meltdowns: Chicken or Egg?” Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium (February, 2022), Oak Park, IL 

Zoom, "Pearls of Strength,"  First Place Winner in 2021 Women's Press Association Professional Contest, (A reading from my Pearls of Peace Blog), (March, 2022)

Zoom Series, “Pandemic Time: Research, Responses, Resilience,” Arbor West Neighbors (June, 2022)

Panel, “What I Wish I Had Known: Reflecting on the Death of a Loved One,” (July, 2022), Oak Park Public Library, Maze Branch, IL

Book Signing for It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent and Midlife Maze, Printer’s Row Lit Fest (September, 2022), Chicago, IL

Workshop, “Self-compassion + Mindfulness = Best Practices for Taking Care of Kids,” West Suburban Home Day Care Association (October, 2022), River Forest, IL

Zoom, “Pandemic Parenting: What We Lost and What We Gained,” First United Nursery School (December, 2022), Oak Park, IL


Zoom, "Retirement Cycles: Rewire Your Identity," Carmelite Retreat Center (February, 2021), Darien, IL

Zoom, "ComPASSION for Oneself and Children through 5 Basic Needs," Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium (February, 2021), Oak Park, IL

Zoom, "Managing Fear During a Pandemic" First United Nursery School, (February, 2021), Oak Park, IL

Book Signing for It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent and Midlife Maze, Printer’s Row Lit Fest (September 11, 2021), Chicago, IL

Workshop, "Create a Mindful Space for Learning in a Pandemic," West Suburban Home DayCare Association, (October, 2021), River Forest, IL

Workshop for Therapists, "Compassion Starts at Home! Self-compassion Wires for Client Healing," Illinois Counseling Association (October, 2021), Lisle, IL


Workshop, "Mind the Stress Mess of Infants & Toddlers? Mend Your Mind!" Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium (February, 2020), Oak Park, IL

Workshop, "Good Grief! What Do I Tell the Kids About Death?" First United Preschool (March, 2020), Oak Park, IL

Workshop, "Who Needs a Growth-and-Grit Mindset More— Parents or Kids?" New Moms Parent Group (March, 2020), Chicago, IL

Workshop, "“The Oxygen of Love: From Self-criticism to Self-love,”  Carmelite Retreat Center (February, 2020), Darien, IL

Zoom, “Who Needs a Growth-and-Grit Mindset More—Parents or Kids?”  New Moms (April, 2020), Chicago, IL, 2020

Zoom, “Breathe! Breathing and Meditation Practice,” Quarantine Life Wellness Project (May, 2020), Chicago, IL, 2020

Zoom, “Passion for Retirement Possibilities!” 3-week series, Arbor West Neighbors (October, 2020), Oak Park, IL, 2020


Keynote Address, Unitarian Universalist Women's Retreat, "The Fourth Response: Tend-and-Befriend" (February 15, 2019), Darien, IL

Workshop, "Discipline is Not a Problem! Create a MINDFUL Space for Learning," Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium (February  23, 2019), Oak Park, IL

Workshop, "Retirement or Rewirement? Make Your Senior Years Electric!" Arbor West Neighbors (February  24, 2019), Oak Park, IL 

Workshop, "Discipline is Not a Problem!" Jewish Child and Family Services (May 21, 2019), Chicago, IL

Workshop for Therapists, "Retirement or Rewirement? IFS Personality Maps Uncover Inner Wiring," Internal Family Systems Annual Conference (September 27, 2019), Denver, CO

Library Book Talk, "It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent," Edgewater Library (October 26, 2019), Chicago, IL

Workshop for Therapists, "Retirement vs. Rewirement: Shared Transactions Across Life Uncover Inner Wiring," Illinois Counseling Association (November 9, 2019), Skokie, IL


Staff Development, Team Building for Trinity Lutheran Church Youth Ministry (January 20 & February 4, 2018), Lisle, IL

Book Reading/Signing, Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery and Rediscovery after Loss (February 9, 2018), Tuscan, AZ

TV Cable Taping for "Open to Hope," Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery & Rediscovery after Loss (February 10, 2018), Tucson, AZ

Teacher Workshop, Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium, “Sow the Seeds of Grit for a Growth Mindset for Preschoolers” (February 24, 2018), Oak Park, IL

Workshop for School Counselors, “Name It to Tame It! Interventions with Grieving Children and Adolescents,” Illinois School Counselor Association (April 20, 2018), Rosemont, IL

Radio Interview: “Let’s Talk About Grief,” Voice America Empowerment Channel (July 30, 2018), 2018

Preschool Teacher Workshop, "Part Art: Creative Teaching of Emotions to Equip Every Child in Learning Anything!" Concordia University Early Childhood Conference (August 3, 2018), River Forest, IL

IFS Psychotherapists Training Retreat, "Parts' Creative Stories: Re-authoring the Stories We Tell Ourselves (September 27-30, 2018), Chimney Corners, MI

Book Reading/Signing, Midlife Maze, Satin Gloves Book Group (November 5, 2018), Oak Park, IL

Workshop for Psychotherapists, "CHANGE...DON'T CHANGE! Counseling Opposite Personality Roles," Illinois Counseling Association Conference (November 9, 2018), Itasca, IL

CUTV News Talk Radio Interview (December 7, 2018)


Teacher Workshop, Collaboration for Early Childhood Symposium, (AM) "Problem Solvers in Early Childhood" and (PM) "Mindfulness for Caregiver/Teacher Problem Solving" (February 25, 2017), Oak Park, IL

Book Reading/Signing, Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery and Rediscovery after Loss, Oak Park Main Library (March 8, 2017), Oak Park, IL

Book Reading/Signing, Midlife Maze, Francie & Finch Bookshop (March 17, 2017), Lincoln, NE

Radio and Online Interviews: Boomer Talk Radio, WGVU Morning Show, Fab Over Fifty, Feisty Side of Fifty, WGN Steve Cochran Show, A Touch of Grey, From Grief to Grace Unity Radio (March-April, 2017)

Book Signing for Midlife Maze, Printer's Row Lit Fest (June 10, 2017), Chicago

Teacher Workshop, NAIL IT! 5 Things that Children Wish their Teachers Knew, Vernon Area Library (August 3, 2017), Lincolnshire, IL

Preschool Teacher Workshop, Concordia University Early Childhood Conference, "EQ, CQ, and IQ: The Quest for Great Teaching" (August 4, 2017), River Forest, IL

Book Reading/Signing for Midlife Maze, River Forest Public Library (September 10, 2017), River Forest, IL 

Book Reading/Signing for Midlife Maze, Forest Park Public Library (September 13, 2017), Forest Park, IL

Workshop for Seniors, Belmont Village, "Mindfulness and More: How to Cope with the Loss in Your Life" (September 21, 2017), Oak Park, IL

IFS Psychotherapist Training Retreat, "Self-Led Grieving: A Map to Recovery and Rediscovery after Loss" (October 6-8, 2017, Chimney Corners, MI

Workshop for psychotherapists, IFS Annual Conference, "Self-Led Grieving" (October 6-8), Providence, RI

Workshop for psychotherapists, Illinois Counseling Association Conference, "Creative Grieving" (November 10, 2017), Lisle, IL

See Resume for presentations from 1979 to 2016.

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To Confer with Dr. Janis Johnston about Scheduling a Workshop

Consultation services blend problem solving techniques with exercises from cognitive therapy and family systems therapy. Participants learn to identify underlying basic needs in order to understand their current dilemma. Personality mapping helps participants explore the roles they play in relating to others. Some common consultation issues include: 

  • Childhood/adolescent/adult development
  • Single parenting/dual career parenting
  • Stress management/time management
  • Child behavior problems
  • Anger management
  • Crisis intervention/grieving
  • Performance enhancement
  • Team building
  • Communication/assertiveness training

Call or email Dr. Janis Johnston to discuss your workshop or other consultation needs.


Life can only be understood backwards,
but it must be lived forwards.

Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard

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Dr. Janis Clark Johnston
Email DrJan@JanisJohnston.com • Telephone 708-334-9126

Become a subscriber to Jan's award-winning blog Pearls of Peace: A Family Psychologist’s Circle-of-Life Blog
Peace in parenting, peace in grieving, and peace in retiring

The Parents' Journeys
Family Stories: 5 Needs
Savvy Traveler: 4 Keys
Be Here Now: 1 at a Time
Personality Map: Calm Core
About Dr. Johnston





copyright Janis Clark Johnston, Ed.D., designed by Hannah Jennings Design