Illinois Mental Health Counselors


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Annual Conference Saturday - 6 CEs Various Presenters

  • March 05, 2022
  • 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • The Drake OakBrook 2301 York Road Oak Brook, 60523


  • Attend all three days of the IMHCA Annual Conference at a discounted rate for members!
  • Attend all three days of the IMHCA Annual Conference at a discounted rate for members!

Registration is closed
IMHCA Annual Conference

Saturday - March 5, 2022
 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM


6 CEs


The Drake Oak Brook 
2301 York Road Oak Brook, 60523-2332 Phone: 630-571-0000 
ention you are attending the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Annual Conference and receive a special room rate of $149.00. Special room rates are available until Feb 1, 2022. Follow the link to book a reservation.

Book your group rate for Illinois Mental Health Counselors

3 Choices

Saturday, March 5, 2022
8:30 am - 11:30 am

Room A -

Gwendolyn J. Sterk, Attorney at Law

Gwendolyn J. Sterk has been practicing family law since 1989 and successfully started her own law firm, Sterk Family Law Group, P.C., in 2015. Gwendolyn and her team believe in a holistic approach to the practice of family law and strive to not only service a client’s legal needs, but also help manage a client’s emotional and over-all well-being.  Ms. Sterk and the Family Law team work hard to establish connections with a vast network of counselors, support groups, and various other non-traditional service providers, who the team regularly partners with to assist clients on a case by case basis.  Sterk Family Law Group strives to provide clients with the tools they need to be empowered by their life changes, and be encouraged to move on with integrity and dignity.

Workshop Description:

Family Law 101 for Mental Health Providers

Attorney Gwendolyn J. Sterk will speak on the interrelation of Family Law matters and Mental Health Providers. Ms. Sterk will divide her time to speak to issues relating to the differences between the  Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), how child related matters can affect your client(s) and how support/financial issues, including dissipation, come into play. As a mental health provider, you may be familiar with the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act. This act provides legal provisions for individuals with mental health diagnosis’s and/or who have a disability. In Illinois, there are statutes within this Act which don’t always align with other Acts, including the  Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Ms. Sterk will highlight some of these differences and your responsibility as a provider facing these situations.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  8:30am-11:30am


Saturday, March 5, 2022

8:30 am - 11:30 am
Room B

Lauren Raney, LCPC, ATR

Lauren is the Program Director at Willow House as of December of 2019. Lauren was drawn to the grief and bereavement field due to her own personal loss of her Mom and her passion for helping others through a difficult time. Lauren has her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Adler University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Arts/Painting from Illinois State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist. Lauren has previous experience working as the Children’s Grief Coordinator and Bereavement Counselor at JourneyCare where she facilitated grief support groups and a bereavement camp for children and families of hospice patients. She has also spent time as an Art Therapist at Chicago Children’s Center for Behavioral Health working with children and teens who have experienced trauma, grief, and mental health concerns. When words aren’t enough, Lauren enjoys using the creative process with families and children to help them honor and remember their loved ones while coping and processing their loss. In her free time, she enjoys painting, dancing, yoga, and being out in nature!

Workshop Description: 

ressing Grief Through Art Making

Expressing Grief Through Art Making is a presentation about how to use the creative arts as a form of expression for emotions, grief, and life experiences. Everyone seems to be grieving something during this pandemic, and if it’s not the death of a person, it may be a non-death loss such as a job or a normal daily routine. Education about grief and art therapy will be discussed, along with talking about different art interventions one can use when grieving. We will explore ways to support a grieving child, teen, and adults. Art is a universal language, it allows us to express how we are feeling without having to use verbal language. Sometimes grief has no words to describe how it is felt in the heart, mind, and body. By learning ways to share one's experience via creativity it can open doors into what someone is feeling and how to share it with others around them. This will be a hands on/experiential workshop.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  8:30am-11:30am

Saturday, March 5, 2022
8:30 am - 11:30 am

Room C

Brian Katz, LCPC, CADC

Brian Katz, MS, LCPC, CADC, and certified veteran’s counselor He has been working in the mental health/addictions counseling field for over 17 years.  Brian currently works in an inpatient substance abuse treatment program. He provides education and therapeutic counseling for patients and their families.  Brian also provides general outpatient mental health counseling to individuals, couples and families.  Issues addressed include: cognitive/emotional growth, personal fulfillment, family harmony, trauma and parenting.

Workshop Description:

Intro to Veteran's Counseling

Becoming familiar with the issues US veterans are currently facing: adjustment, education, collecting benefits, access to treatment, employment, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide. PTSD explanation. Traumatic brain injury.     Basic brain science, the three brain approach to PTSD. The cognitive/emotional/instinctual process. The neuro-science of stress and anxiety, the adaptive/maladaptive process, fight or flight. The neuroscience behind adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Chronic Pain and Pain medications. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  8:30am-11:30am

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Lunch: is on your own.

3 Choices
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Room A

Javon Garcia, LSW

Javon Garcia, LSW is a Licensed Social Worker and Therapist. Javon currently works as a Therapist at Howard Brown Health Center, providing individual and group therapy for Chicago’s LGBTQ community. Javon has a Bachelor's degree in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and a Masters in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Javon has spent the last 10 years working at nonprofit agencies in New York City and Chicago providing sexual health education, HIV testing, HIV prevention education, consent education, sexual assault awareness, intimate partner violence prevention, community mental health education and putting an end to healthcare disparities among BIPOC and LGBTQ communities.

Workshop Description: 

Addressing Racial Trauma within LGBTQ Mental Health Care

BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and other people of color) folks have been through so much mentally and emotionally in the last year and a half, with the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests and the collective trauma of COVID -19. The impact of COVID-19 has exacerbated the oppression, policing, poverty, discrimination and racism that BIPOC folks face on a daily basis.  People who are BIPOC and LGBTQ face even more barriers, discrimination and trauma. Javon started a BIPOC therapy group at Howard Brown Health Center to process racism, racial trauma, identity development, microaggressions and racial violence. This session will address the importance of acknowledging racial trauma as a mental health issue, the struggles faced by LGBTQ and BIPOC folks and the need for more mental health services for LGBTQ BIPOC folks.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  12:30pm-3:30pm

12:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Room B

Claire Openshaw, PhD, LCPC

Claire Openshaw is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. She is an Assistant Professor in the Addictions and Behavioral Health department at Governors State University. Claire has worked with individuals in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and inpatient settings conducting individual, couple, family, and group therapy, as well as case management services. She is also a QPR and Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Claire has conducted research on the topic of human trafficking and has presented nationally and internationally in the areas of ethics, sexual misconduct, human rights, trafficking, addiction, and youth suicide.

Workshop Description:
Human trafficking: What they don't tell you

Mental Health Counselors are involved in all aspects of prevention, development, wellness, and advocacy in various areas including child welfare, hospitals, youth and domestic violence shelters, and the criminal justice system, where trafficked persons have been found to be cared for (Dovydaitis, 2010). This presentation discusses the findings of a study conducted on the counseling field in 2020, which investigated the impact of an educational intervention on a counselors’ knowledge, awareness, attitudes, empathy, and efficacy of sex trafficking. It also discusses the definitions (and forms), prevalence, risk factors, and characteristics (of traffickers), provides some helpful questions a counselor can ask, and ways in which counselors can contribute to anti-trafficking efforts on a larger scale. A case study will also be conducted.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  12:30pm-3:30pm

12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Room C

Luis San Roman, EdD, LCPC, NCC

Luis San Roman is a bilingual (English / Spanish) Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Latino Studies from Northeastern Illinois University, M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Trinity International University, M.A. in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and his Doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Governors State University.

Luis considers counseling to be the key component in understanding the underlying issues surrounding our emotional well-being. Clients can expect Luis to meet them where they are with empathy and intuition. He has experience working with clients across gender, ethnic, generational, and religious differences. It is Luis's desire to help clients move beyond their present struggles and develop a healthier, holistic perspective on their lives. He is dedicated to creating supportive yet empowering relationships that allow his clients to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to continue the process of healing.

Workshop Description: 

Counseling Latinx Couples and Families

The Latinx population continues to grow in the United States. As of 2018, 59.9% of the  US population identified as Latinx and is expected to climb to 119 million by 2060. We will likely provide counseling services to this population during our professional careers. Taking a cultural humility approach, Dr. Luis will empower the attendees to increase their knowledge of the Latinx population. This workshop will address topics of immigration, acculturation, transgenerational trauma, family systems.

Date / Hours: Saturday 3/5/22  12:30pm-3:30pm


Worry free cancellation. If IMHCA needs to reschedule or cancel the conference or create virtual sessions you will be notified and offered a full refund. You may cancel and receive a full refund for any reason up to 7 days before the conference.

Contact Us
+1 (815) 787-0515

P.O. Box 706
DeKalb, IL 60115

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