A Warm Welcome to You!

We invite you to attend our upcoming programs.

We are a membership, non-profit organization that sponsors Professional Development Programs for mental health professionals suitable to all stages of clinical training. Psychologists, social workers, and professional counselors can expand and refine their clinical expertise and skills while earning continuing education credits. We are a Continuing Education Sponsor of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

We also offer Public Lectures, co-sponsored by Smart Love Family Services, on contemporary issues in diverse fields, including early child development, education, parenting, child welfare, self-help, business, and social decision making.

2019 Programs

Next Program: November 2, 2019

Co-Sponsored by
Smart Love Family Services

The Walter D. Miller, LCSW Lecture
BREAKING NEWS: How Psychotherapists, Teachers, Parents and Other Caregivers Can Help Children and Teens Cope with Traumatic News in the Media and When Trauma Occurs in Their Communities

Carla Beatrici, Psy.D. and Felicia Owens, Psy.D.

Modern advances in technology have enhanced and improved our lives in many ways. While there are benefits to having information at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming for both children and adults to navigate this new world. How can adult caregivers help children digest the traumatic events they are exposed to on the news, the internet, social media and even in their own communities? The presentation will provide an overview of the negative effects traumatic news can have on children and articulate how caregivers can best help children cope. Special consideration will be given to helping children, including racial minority children, who are exposed to violence in their own communities--when the breaking news is real life news. The presentation will emphasize: (1) the importance of caregivers being available to listen to how children are feeling and providing a close relationship children can turn to for help with losses and their feelings; (2) how parents and caregivers can best regulate access to digital media to protect children and reduce exposure to traumatic information; (3) the value of adult caregivers getting help with their own intense reactions to traumatic events and of protecting children from these reactions.

November 2, 2019, 3-5 pm | Loyola University, Lewis Tower, Beane Hall, 13th Floor, 111 E. Pearson
Please come at 2:30 pm to sign-in/register, meet colleagues, and enjoy light refreshments. The program will begin at 3:00 pm sharp.

2 CEs for Psychologists, Professional Counselors, and Social Workers

Register Now!


Carla M. Beatrici, Psy.D.
Dr. Carla Beatrici received her Psy.D. at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She is a Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years of experience providing psychotherapy to individuals of all ages, with a specialization in child and adolescent mental health and the area of trauma. Dr. Beatrici is the Director of Clinical Services of an outpatient, not-for-profit organization called, Smart Love Family Services, located in Oak Park and Chicago, where she oversees and supervises 25 clinical staff. Dr. Beatrici has developed and implemented staff training programs on child development for mental health and medical professionals in many settings, including Easter Seals, Early Head Start, the American Medical Association, and formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital. For the past 18 years, Dr. Beatrici has been on the adjunct faculty at Loyola University Medical Center as a Clinical Assistant Professor, where she sees patients and teaches Developmental Theories to psychiatry residents.

Felicia Owens, Psy.D.
Dr. Felicia M. Owens received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Owens is a psychotherapist at Smart Love Family Services and also serves as the Director of Minority Families Program.  She has more than 15 years of experience providing psychotherapy to adults, parents, families and children in various settings, including private practice, community churches, DCFS, inpatient psychiatric hospitals and college counseling centers. Dr. Owens has worked in a range of capacities with minority families, strengthening service delivery to their communities and addressing the multicultural factors that exist for these families. Dr. Owen’s upbringing as a Black woman in underserved areas on the West Side of Chicago established her interests in the expansion of her multicultural competence and informed the experiences she has gravitated towards, including gun violence trauma relief and the de-stigmatization of mental illness for at risk populations. She is the founder of Dr Owens Speaks, a Faith-Based Wellness Firm devoted to helping others incorporate their faith and mental health while walking their destined path to purpose.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify four negative emotional, psychological and behavioral effects and symptoms children can experience when exposed to traumatic, violent news in the media or in their communities.
  2. Describe three helpful guidelines on how psychotherapists, teachers, parents and caregivers can have developmentally appropriate conversations with children to facilitate positive coping and emotional adjustment to hearing or living with traumatic news.
  3. List three guidelines and strategies on how parents and other caregivers can effectively regulate children’s access and exposure to media.


Our Most Recent Programs

"When Our Choices Are Not Really Our Own: How Hidden Motives for Unhappiness Keep Us from Creating the Life We Truly Want, and What Can Be Done"

Dr. Martha Heineman Pieper presented a new understanding of what goes wrong when choices are unfree, namely that an unrecognized addiction to unhappiness lies behind many of the large and small decisions individuals experience as freely chosen. She suggested ways in which parents, therapists, teachers, and individuals can enhance their ability to help others as well as themselves develop the capacity to make good choices that are not in the service of hidden agendas. Dr. Pieper framed her understanding in the broader context of selected philosophical and psychological views of freedom of choice while illuminating some limitations of these views.

Saturday April 13, 2019, 3-5 pm


Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D.
Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D., is an author and psychotherapist who works with children and parents, and serves as a consultant to agencies and other mental health professionals. She authored two best-selling, award winning children's books, Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! and Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them. And she co-authored with the late William J. Pieper, M.D., the best-selling parenting book, Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child; the popular adult self-help book, Addicted to Unhappiness: Free Yourself from Moods and Behaviors that Undermine Relationships, Work, and the Life You Want; and Intrapsychic Humanism: An Introduction to a Comprehensive Psychology and Philosophy of Mind.

Co-Sponsored by the Women's Issues Section of the Illinois Psychological Association

“In the Cultural Awakening of the #MeToo Movement, How Can Psychotherapists Help?”
“Using the Therapeutic Relationship to Build Her Inner Strength, Resistance to Mistreatment, and Pursuit of Mutually Caring Relationships”

Carla Beatrici, Psy.D., Marian Sharkey, Ph.D., Tamara Garrity, Psy.D., and Michael Zakalik, Psy.D.

Experienced psychotherapists discussed the impact negative gender related messages can have on female teens and adults. Using clinical material from teen and adult cases, the presenters described how the therapeutic relationship can strengthen and stabilize genuine, internalized self-worth, constructive self-caretaking, and pursuit of mutually caring interpersonal relationships. The presenters included how to help female teens and women within the therapeutic relationship develop their own minds, take themselves seriously, care for themselves while also caring for others, use their voices to share losses and mistreatment in relationships, stand up for themselves, and turn away from relationships that are harmful to them. They addressed how male therapists can think about their roles, and how to help parents provide accurate caregiving responses that foster genuine self-worth. There was plenty of time for questions and discussion with audience participants.

June 22, 2019, 3-5 pm | Loyola University, Lewis Tower, Beane Hall, 13th Floor, 111 E. Pearson

Photos from the event:


Carla M. Beatrici, Psy.D.
Dr. Carla Beatrici is a Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience with a specialization in child and adolescent mental health. Dr. Beatrici is the Director of Clinical Services of Smart Love Family Services. Dr. Beatrici is an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at Loyola Medical Center.


Marian Sharkey, Ph.D., LCSW
Dr. Sharkey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 25 years of clinical experience in inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, community mental health, and private practice. She is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago and has been an instructor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.


Tamara T. Garrity, Psy.D.
Dr. Tamara Garrity is a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience. She is the Director of Training and Staff Supervisor at Smart Love Family Services. Along with treating patients, she manages the Internship and Postdoctoral training program. Dr. Garrity is a bilingual, Spanish-speaking psychologist.


Michael Zakalik, Psy.D.
Dr. Michael Zakalik is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience working with diverse populations of children, adolescents, parents and adults. Dr. Zakalik supervises doctoral candidates and staff at Smart Love Family Services. He has provided parent education seminars on important mental health topics.

Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas in the Psychotherapy Relationship: A Reflective Approach

Susan S. Zoline, Ph.D.

This workshop will address contemporary and sometimes vexing ethical dilemmas which arise in clinical practice, requiring clinicians to make difficult judgments regarding perceived benefit and potential harm to our clients and other impacted parties. Topics will include confidentiality/disclosure of information (particularly with regard to children, teens and families), management of high risk or crisis situations such as suicide and risk of violence towards others, and emerging standards regarding the interface of technology and psychotherapy. Special emphasis will be placed upon the centrality of the psychotherapy relationship and its foundation of trust and integrity, as well as the critical role of therapist self-reflection, as each of these factors is essential in providing ethically optimal care. Strategies for utilizing informed decision making while balancing clinical, ethical, legal and risk management considerations will be presented. Case vignettes will be examined and group discussion will be integrated into the presentation to illustrate the grey areas surrounding these complex issues.

October 5, 2019, 2-5 pm | Loyola University, Lewis Tower, Beane Hall, 13th Floor, 111 E. Pearson
Please come at 1:30 pm to sign-in/register, meet colleagues, and enjoy light refreshments. The program will begin at 2:00 pm sharp.

3 Ethics CEs for Social Workers, Psychologists, and Professional Counselors

Register Now!


Susan Zoline, Ph.D.
Susan Zoline, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been involved in practicing, teaching and consulting in the Chicago area for over thirty-five years. Dr. Zoline was a Professor of Psychology and University Fellow at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Chicago, where she taught clinical masters and doctoral students for thirty years. More recently, Dr. Zoline is a Clinical Faculty in the Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology at Adler University. Dr. Zoline’s areas of professional expertise include professional ethics, suicide, violence and abuse assessment and intervention, clinical supervision and risk management. Dr. Zoline is a longstanding member of the Illinois Psychological Association Ethics Committee which she currently Co-Chairs. She has worked clinically in a broad variety of settings and regularly consults and provides workshops to mental health and other professionals both locally and nationally on topics related to professional ethics.