Each Friday this summer, IWPA’s 3rd Vice President and Professional Contest Chair Ana Mendez will shine a spotlight on some of our 2018 Mate E. Palmer/National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest Winners. This week’s featured communicator is Janis Johnston, the last in our professional series…

Janis Johnston is a licensed family therapist and an award-winning author. With a doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston University, Johnston has led many staff development workshops on parenting/child maturation, assertiveness, discipline, problem solving, sexual abuse prevention, behavior disorder interventions, stress management, and grieving. Johnson received the Community Spirit Award from Sarah’s Inn for her support of teen dating violence prevention/intervention programming for local high school students. She is a supporter and consultant for Parenthesis, a not-for-profit parenting education center for parent groups, where she initiated a parenting lecture program for her community.

Aside from her hands-on social contributions, Johnston’s publications address the same issues she advocates for passionately. It Takes a Child to Raise a Parent: Stories of Evolving Child and Adult Development, is an invitation to recall one’s own childhood experiences to better understand the challenges of parenting. This perspective demonstrates the formative ways in which parents and children grow and learn together. This year her book Midlife Maze: A Map to Recovery After Loss, a story of aging, loss, hope, and personal journeys, won the 2017 Best Books Award for the category “Health: Death and Dying,” the 2018 International Best Book Award in the category “Health: Death and Dying.” In addition, Johnston collected 1st Place honors in IWPA’s 2018 Mate E. Palmer Communications Contest for, winning the top award in non-fiction.

Of her success this year she says “writing a book is both a passionate act and many hours of hard work. Every author hopes to impact their readers with some sense of discovery. After reading many books on the topics of loss and grieving, as well as working with many midlife clients in my psychology private practice, I wanted to offer some new ideas on this challenging aspect of life. I am delighted to be selected as the 2018 IWPA winner in General Nonfiction! It is wonderful to receive this positive affirmation.”

Johnston joined IWPA after an enthusiastic encounter with members at Printer’s Row Lit Fest several years ago. It is a supportive community that  promotes professional connections and celebrates diverse communications work. Currently, Johnston runs a private family therapy practice in Oak Park, Illinois. She is working on publishing children’s picture books that center on the topics of bullying and friendship.

Click here to visit her website.

Click here to purchase her award-winning book.