Finding Freedom logo 2019

January 24-26, 2019

Riviera Resort in Palm Springs, CA

2019 Theme: Gender, Sexuality, and Relational Intimacy

(Conference held from the 24th – 26th, Heroes 6K Run/Walk on the 27th)


Early Bird (Ends 12/1/18): $199
Regular Pricing (After 12/1/18): $249

Register Now

About the Conference

The Finding Freedom Symposium is about bringing forward relevant information for best practices in supporting the LGBTQ community with co-occurring disorders. Our intention is to offer a container for discovery and focused discussion to find effective solutions for professionals and their LGBTQ patients.

Our goal is to cultivate a conversation that will lead to clinical, research-based information.The conference is open to the community, treatment professionals, doctors, therapists and anyone who is interested in the unique issues facing sexual identity and co-occurring disorders treatment. We invite you to join for education, conversation and connection.

Heroes 6KStay through Sunday and participate in the Palm Springs Heroes in Recovery 6K. Finding Freedom conference attendees will receive a special discount code to save $6 on registration.


Dr. Paula Stone Williams

Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams
I’ve Lived as a Man and a Woman: Here is What I’ve Learned

Rev. Dr. Paula Williams is a nationally known speaker on gender equity and transgender advocacy. She is also the Pastor of Preaching and Worship at Left Hand Church in Longmont, Colorado, and the president of RLT Pathways, Inc., a non-profit providing counseling and coaching services. Paula serves on the board of the Q Christian Fellowship, the Union of Affirming Christians, and the WITH Network of progressive churches. As a transgender pastor, Paula has been featured in the New York Times, the Denver Post, NPR’s Radiolab, New Scientist, Radio New Zealand, Colorado Public Radio and The Huffington Post. Paula’s TEDxMileHigh talk on gender equality has had over 650,000 views on YouTube. For more information visit

Joe Kort

Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW
Cracking the Erotic Code

Dr. Kort’s practice is mixed with straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and couples.

Dr. Kort graduated from Michigan State University with dual majors in Psychology and Social Work. At Wayne State University, he earned his Master’s in Social Work (MSW), then a Master’s (MA) in Psychology, and has received his Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Clinical Sexology from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists (AACS). He is in the process of becoming a certified transgender therapist through the World Professional Association for Transgender Health ( WPATH is the standard of care for transgender medical and mental healthcare.

Elisabeth Sheff

Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, CSE
Distinguishing Between Sexual Addiction and Consensual NonMonogamies

Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamorous families with children. With a PhD in Sociology, Dr. Sheff specializes in gender and sexual minority families, consensual non-monogamy, and kink/BDSM. Sheff’s first book, The Polyamorists Next Door (2014 hardback and ebook, 2015 paperback and audiobook), details the findings of the first 15 years of her research on polyamorous families with children. Her second book, Stories from the Polycule (2015), is an edited anthology of writings by polyamorous folks. When Someone You Love is Polyamorous (2016) is Sheff’s shortest book that guides family members and significant others who are trying to understand a polyamorous loved one. Dr. Sheff is currently in her fourth wave of data collection for her 20+ year study of polyamorous families with children.

Jeff Zacharias

Jeff Zacharias, LCSW
Topic Title Coming Soon

Jeff Zacharias is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Sex Addiction and Trauma Therapist (CSAT) and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CAADC) with extensive clinical experience in both the mental health and addictions fields. He is the Clinical Director of New Hope Recovery Center in Chicago and maintains a private practice there. His areas of expertise are working with the LGBTQI community, all forms of addiction including with an individual client as well as their partners, severe and persistent mental health issues and trauma with its impact on recovery.

He is a member of NASW, NALGAP and NAADAC and currently serves on the Board of Directors for NALGAP. He has extensive experience speaking on issues related to addiction and the LGBTQI community most notably at NCAD, NAADAC, NASW Illinois, the NASW National Conference and the NAMI National Conference. Additionally, he was voted the 2015 NASW-IL Social Worker of the Year.

Course Description

The symposium is designed for clinicians, treatment professionals, therapists, and EAP providers. The goals of this symposium include educating treatment professionals about evidence based practices and LGBTQI specific issues in mental health and addiction treatment (co-occurring disorders). Presenters will address numerous topics including cultural competency, gender diversity, trauma informed care, suicide prevention and assessment, workplace issues, employee assistance best practices and organizational adaptation to change.

Contact Info

Renee Baribeau
Michael’s House
Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
[email protected]

Get LGBTQ Symposium
and Michael’s House updates:

Sponsorship and Promotional Opportunities

We have several sponsorship packages and promotional opportunities for the LGBTQ Symposium. For more information on pricing and offerings, contact Jacy Bruck at [email protected]

Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494