Free Miscellaneous Topics in Chicago

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  • Transgender Identity and A Third Gender of the Future

    Melanie Griffis Jones, MA, LPC, ACCTH, TraceSuccessful and Griffis/Jones & Associates

    I have been working as a therapist with individuals with Gender Identity issues for close to 15 years. When I started most of my clients were mature adults who suffered from fear, shame and guilt. They kept this part of their lives as a deep secret, sometimes not even telling those closest to them about their gender issue. Today, with celebrities going public with their gender changes and TV shows and movies featuring trans individuals, I am seeing more and more teenagers "coming out" as transgender. It is almost becoming "in" to be trans among younger people. MORE >

    Years ago when I first started talking to groups about gender identity, there would be uncomfortable murmurs in the audience. Then I stated that everyone in the room knew someone one was transgender but just didn't know that about them. Today, almost everyone does personally knows someone who identifies as trans; either in their own family, at work, or via a friend talking about someone else in their life.

    While I am thankful having a gender identity issue isn't the terrible secret or shame it was 15 years ago, a new concern has surfaced. Having doubts or confusion about gender identity doesn't always mean a person should change from male to female or female to male. Rushing into hormones and surgeries without due process is now causing as many suicides as did identifying as trans 10 years ago. Truly getting to know oneself and how to identify as male, female, non or bi, gender fluid or whatever the newest key word is for those who see themselves as neither male or female, regardless of genital organs.

    My other concern is with those who want to change immediately and unethical doctors willing to go along with that. There are guidelines to follow, there is extensive counseling to work through, and resolving other issues first all need to be part of the process of coming to a healthy place with one's gender, one's body and one's mind. I welcome helping individuals work through all of this and the general population to better understand all the components of gender identity.

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  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

    Jackie Gibson, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pillars

    A Pillars staff member can be available to present such topics as “Healthy Teen Relationships,” “Domestic Violence in the Workplace,” and “Smack’d” (separate presentations available for teens and adults).“Smack’d” involves a Pillars staff member offering statistics and a survivor sharing his/her personal story; this presentation is regularly provided to hospitals, schools, and churches, among other venues. MORE >

    A Pillars staff member could also present on sexual violence topics such as “Sexual Health,” “Stop Porn Culture,” “Stalking Awareness,” “Sexual Assault Awareness,” and “Child Abuse Awareness.”
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  • Travel Hacking

    Edwin Goitia, Founder and Visionary, I Am A Brand

    Often travel is seen as a luxury and an expensive hobby, but there is a way to access the world with less money or resources - travel hacking. Edwin dives into this incredibly hot and trending hobby that has picked up the pace globally with people of all ages and backgrounds.

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  • Fatal Incident

    Jim Proebstle, Author

    Inspired by the true events of an Air Transport Command aircraft disaster in Alaska in 1944, Fatal Incident reveals the dark secrets of a WW II conspiracy and cover-up of how twenty U.S. military deaths have gone unsolved for over 70 years. The story will attract men and women interested in intrigue, Russian espionage, and heart-pounding drama; as the human emotions and lives of people in love, separated by war, are changed forever. MORE >

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  • Elder Mediation

    Karin McNicholas & Dennis McNicholas, Mediation Services

    Mediation allows families to explore mutually acceptable solutions to difficult problems with parents and elderly relatives. It encourages creative problem solving within the private family setting rather than relying upon the legal system to resolve these issues.

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  • Domestic Violence: Treating the Abuser

    Rob Johnson, LCPC, Crossroads Counseling of Chicago

    It is not widely recognized that the perpetrators of domestic violence need help. In Partner Abuse Intervention, participants learn skills for handling conflict. Rob will discuss the background, curriculum and outcome of this intervention.

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  • Theology & Spirituality

    Dr. Cliff Brickman, Doctor, Therapist, Researcher, Wellness Clinic, The Still Soft Voice

    Dr. Brickman will discuss the religious topics covered in media like FoxTV, such as “to be religious, you must be judgmental,” “how many religions will kill you if you leave it?” and “as Americans with our PC, and our priorities, we should all have our heads examined.”

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  • Take the Mystery Out of Selling Your Home

    Dale Tippett, Managing Broker, DALE D. TIPPETT, Licensed Real Estate Managing Broker

    Especially if you haven't moved for a long time or feel overwhelmed with change, you will learn how to deal with the challenges home owners face when they are hesitant to sell their homes, even though they know that they should. Join the discussion on what to do and how to do it to make your next move less stressful. MORE >

    We'll talk about the process of selling your home, getting help with your stuff, the professionals involved and more... A must for adult children and Baby Boomers.
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  • Picture Perfect Interiors

    Hilary Rose, Field Editor & Photo Stylist, H. Rose Inc.

    How did that house get published in Better Homes & Gardens? Do people really live like that? What color should I paint my living room? How do I decorate my bookshelves/mantel/coffee table/whatever? What’s it really like on a photo shoot? What’s wrong with perfect? I can answer those questions and more! MORE >

    As a field editor and photo stylist, I’ve been finding locations and producing stories for national interior magazines for close to 30 years. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’d like to share my experience as well as my new book, Been There Shot That. With beautiful photography by Jenifer Jordan, Been There Shot That is a playful mix of good advice, inspiration, and humor.
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  • What Your Kids Don’t Know About You

    Janet Lee Kraft, M.A., Ed., Creator and Director, Leaving Lightly

    You are a product of your time, and from that perspective, you are living history. You may not be the "official" family historian, but you know things that no one else does, or you know whom to ask. But have you written down or recorded your family history? Do your loved ones know what it was like growing up in your family and in your culture? Have you shared with them the things you are most proud of, or confided in them the things you regret? MORE >

    Chances are, these and other colorful stories are unknown to the people closest to you.

    I can guide you in thinking about and capturing the personal, substantive stories that your children and grandchildren will cherish forever. Your familial history can last in perpetuity, but only if you take action now.

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