by Gary Gilles

Workshop Offerings and Training Opportunities

Training and development are essential if your objective is to have a motivated, creative and competent workforce. The most beneficial training is content-rich, interactive and focuses on timely topics that are immediately applicable to the participant’s professional and personal lives. The most popular training topics are described below. One, two, three and six- contact-hour presentations can be customized to fit your group’s unique learning needs. For more information or to schedule a training session, call (847) 520-7523 (ext. 1) or email

Relational Attachment Across the Lifespan

To feel a strong relational connection with other people is one of our deepest needs. Yet a significant number of people are unable to experience this kind of relationship due to early relational attachment issues that carry through the life span. This workshop offers an overview of attachment theory and traces the developmental process of maladaptive attachment in childhood, adolescence and adulthood with special emphasis on romantic relationships. Diagnostic techniques and treatment approaches will be discussed in the context of case studies. Participants need not have prior knowledge of attachment theory.

Learning Objectives

  • Review classifications of attachment styles and the origins of each
  • Exposure to the primary concepts and research pertaining to attachment theory
  • Explore how psychopathology develops as a result of attachment issues
  • Identify and describe the pertinent attachment issues in select disorders
  • Discuss therapeutic interventions for each condition presented
  • Examine common transference/counter-transference issues
  • Help student explore your own attachment style and begin investigation of implications



Motivation and Behavioral Change:  Clinical, Management and Personal Perspectives

Self-motivation is at the heart of creativity, responsibility, healthy behavior and lasting change. Yet, anyone who attempts to promote behavior change in their students, employees, organizations and even in themselves know how elusive motivation can be for even the simplest of changes. This workshop will explore the process of behavioral change as it relates to the development of intrinsic motivation and sustained, progressive change. Personal, organizational and cultural barriers to motivation and behavioral change will also be examined. Practical application will be emphasized in clinical practice, supervision, management, and personal development through lecture, discussion and case study.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the fundamental differences between extrinsic motivators and intrinsic self-motivation
  • Apply principles of self-efficacy to behavioral change and motivation
  • Study and apply a multiple models of behavioral change
  • Discuss the importance of choice, ownership, autonomy, and a personal sense of competency as essential components of self-motivation
  • Assess self-motivation abilities in others and devise strategies for overcoming barriers
  • Consider cultural trends that undermine self-motivation and contribute to mentalities indicative of irresponsibility, victimization and counterproductive learning
  • Practically apply the principles of self-motivation to the personal lives and professional aspirations of the participants.


Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Disease

The prevalence of chronic illness is redefining how healthcare is delivered today. With new pharmacological discoveries and technology to treat chronic conditions comes an ever-increasing need to address the psychosocial needs of patients, family members and caregivers that must share the burden of ongoing treatment. This workshop explores in detail the many-faceted and often complex dynamic of chronic illness. Topics will include: the common emotional and social symptoms of patients, families and caregivers, barriers to compliance with the prescribed treatment regimen, and practical methods for facilitating self-management. Application of the learning will be applied to a variety of chronic conditions.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish chronic from acute illness
  • Understand developmental issues and stressors facing patients with chronic illness
  • Weigh the emotional and physical impact chronic illness care takes on families and caregivers
  • Apply the developmental and emotional issues to cases studies
  • Identify principles of compliance and non-compliance among chronically ill patients
  • Learn methods for enhancing patient and family self-management of chronic illness



Tapping the Power of Emotional and Social Intelligence in Relationships

This interactive workshop is designed to expose participants to the basic components of emotional and social intelligence and then apply them in practical ways to workplace, family and social settings. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand your own emotions and appropriately respond to the emotional expressions of those around you. Social intelligence (SI) takes EI further by emphasizing the ability to get along well with others by increasing knowledge of interaction strategies. Particular emphasis will be placed on the appropriate use of empathy, perspective taking, listening skills and expressing one’s own emotional condition appropriately to others.

Learning objectives

  • Identify the characteristics of the emotionally and socially intelligent person
  • Describe the four key emotional skills: identifying, leveraging, understanding and managing emotions
  • Examine emotional expressions and underlying messages that enable us to read people more accurately
  • Identify specific behaviors that allow us to manage emotions effectively
  • Learn skills for applying accurate empathy


Workload Management: Finding Work-Life Balance

In a society that works 24/7 the line that separates work from non-work is increasingly blurred. Many people are driven to work just as hard in their “leisure” time as when they are in the marketplace. This workshop explores the cultural, corporate, and personal forces driving this trend toward greater productivity and efficiency and the toll it takes on the work environment, families, and individuals. Topics to be discussed include: patterns of unhealthy work habits, career burnout, aspects of meaningful work, stress resulting from overwork, preparing youth for the world of work, among others. Alternative ways of managing work and work habits will be discussed and applied to individual participants.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine cultural, corporate and personal factors that encourage overwork
  • Identify the characteristics of personal and occupational burnout
  • Describe characteristics of healthy and unhealthy work habits and their developmental roots.
  • Understand healthy developmental process of industry in children and adolescents
  • Discuss stress response and the relationship between stress and overwork.
  • Explore participants’ personal work patterns and thought processes as it pertains to work, leisure, and activity.



Stress and Disease: The Mind-Body Connection

Because stress is so prevalent in modern life we often take it for granted. But increasing numbers of people are living with chronic diseases that are attributed to or made worse by stress. This workshop examines the how stress affects both physical and emotional health and its role in the development and progression of disease. Discussion, lecture and case study will focus on understanding specific physiological and cognitive processes that accentuate or effectively control individual responses to stress. In addition, participants will inventory their own response patterns to stress and develop a plan for combating problematic behaviors.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the stress reaction from both a psychological and physiological perspective
  • Apply Selye’s three stage model to the stress cycle
  • Understand the primary maladaptive coping mechanisms used in the stress reaction
  • Explore how stress compromises the immune system and contributes to the development of disease
  • Inventory personal levels of stress and identify problematic behaviors and patterns
  • Identify practical methods to counteract stress reaction


Building Strong, Attached Parent-Child Relationships

This course focuses on helping parents to understand healthy emotional development in children and how to use that knowledge to build strong parent-child relationships. Participants will learn practical ways to nurture that emotional development in children and teens. The class will also help parents take a closer look at their own emotional resources and assess how those resources can be used toward building emotionally close relationships with their children.

Topics covered:

How children emotionally attach: the foundation for strong parent-child relationships.

  • How attachment begins.
  • The link between a securely attached relationship and healthy emotional development. The possible consequences if a secure attachment is not developed.
  • How a child’s attachment style affects his or her ongoing relationships with parents, peers, and others throughout the life span.

Nurturing healthy emotional development in your child.

  • What characterizes an emotionally nurturing home?
  • What children and teens need in order to be emotionally intelligent?
  • Concrete ways parents can foster healthy, attached relationships with their children.

Meeting the challenges of being an emotionally nurturing parent.

  • Helping parents understand their own attachment style and how this can be used in parenting their child.
  • Seeing how a parent’s own emotional development affects his/her ability to nurture their child’s emotional development.
  • Learning to be more emotionally available to your child.



 The Ethics of Caregiving in an Increasingly Complex Healthcare System

Course description:

Approximately one in three families in the U.S. cares for an aging, disabled or chronically ill family member. The percentage of families caring for a loved one is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade due to many anticipated changes in our healthcare system and federal entitlement programs. The ethics surrounding caregiving challenges some of our deepest beliefs about family, the sanctity of life, dignity of personhood, and death. This workshop takes a close look at some of the most important ethical issues related to caregiving from the perspective of family members and professionals caring for these individuals. Special emphasis will be made toward applying the discussion of ethical concerns to practical caregiving topics through case studies and personal exploration of participant’s values.

Course objectives:

  • Present the current state of caregiving, formal and informal, in the U.S. and the projected outlook with anticipated trends
  • Differentiate the distinctions and ethical concerns between the cultures of the family caregiver and the healthcare system
  • Discuss the special ethical problems that arise in caring for a loved one with dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Explore the core values of participants as it relates to the ethics of caregiving
  • Identify key ethical concerns related to advanced planning,
  • Discuss the ethical considerations for rationing healthcare for the aged, disabled or chronically ill

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee Baldaccini

Would love to be on your newsletter!! From the class at willow

Gary Gilles

Hi Renee,

After receiving your comments about wanting to receive my newsletter and looked back at my submission and found that I had mistakenly typed one character in your email. I’ve corrected that and you should receive a thank-you confirmation of now being on the list. Thanks for letting me know. Gary

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