Vision and Mission

SEL Chicago envisions a world ...

Where communities of citizens are supported to be:

  • responsible
  • resilient
  • resourceful
  • respectful of self and others
  • solution focused

We know this can not happen without intention.

To make that world possible ...

SEL Chicago provides coaching, courses and training to support relationships that build connection.

  • Adults and children learn social and emotional skills
  • Families, schools and communities are connected with knowledge of human development
  • Mutually respectful relationships are created through skill building and intention


Kristin Hovious

As a Positive Discipline Certified Trainer, Kristin combines a career of teaching and serving with her passion for creating mutually respectful environments for families, children, classrooms and schools. 

In her collaboration with teachers, administrations and families, this Sandy Hook, CT native's goal is to help facilitate opportunities for adults and students to become compassionate leaders, with the hope that doing so will help build more peaceful community in Chicago and the world.

Kristin is a committed educator with over a decade of experience in vocational, adult education, using these democratic tools of connection serving Chicago’s Cortiva Institute as both Education Director (2007-2008) and Adjunct Faculty Member (2006-2017.)  She used Positive Discipline tools to manage her classroom of up to 54 students, with the majority of her students aged 18-25 recent Chicago Public School graduates.  

Her training as a massage therapist and yoga teacher provides a foundation and love for anatomy and science of human development. Kristin has served the Positive Discipline Association Board of Directors both as a Director and Consultant since 2016.

Kristin received her undergraduate training at Mount Holyoke College and Williams College.  She is pursuing her Masters of Social Work at Erikson Institute with expected matericulation in 2018.

Dr. Jay Colker

Dr. Jay Colker’s interest in Adlerian philosophy spans over 43 years. Jay earned his MA in Counseling Psychology at the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago. Jay led Adler School’s Family Education Center for four years offering monthly open forum demonstrations to groups of over 200 attendees. He was an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, now Adler University for 7 years. Jay retired as the Director of the Center for Adlerian Practice and Scholarship at Adler University and as an associate professor the end of August 2017. He currently in an instructor teaching online.

 Jay has had two distinct phases of his career: 20 years of clinical work and managing clinical facilities and 21 years of organizational development work as a consultant and as a senior human resources executive in a multi-billion-dollar corporation. In addition to his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, Jay also obtained an MBA and a Doctor of Management Degree in Organizational Leadership. As a management consultant for seven years in the 1990’s, Jay worked with Fortune 500 corporations including ComEd and McDonalds, and smaller for-profit and not-for-profit concerns. He adapted the open forum model to work with managers to enhance coaching and leadership skills. For 11 years, Jay was the Chief Learning Officer for ShoreBank, the largest and oldest community development bank in the U.S. Jay was responsible for employee training, leadership development, and enhancing performance within all lines of business. Jay has also consulted internationally and was instrumental in introducing customer service skills to institutions in the Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan, and has also consulted in Mongolia, Armenia, Israel, and India. Presently Jay maintains a management coaching and consulting practice using Adlerian principles, among others. He is the founder of Crowdsourced Coaching which engages leaders in collaborative discussions to enhance performance and development.     

What people are saying


 "I have a whole bookshelf full of half-read or never-read parenting books.  It’s hard to find the time and mental energy to read them, much less to employ the practices described therein.  By doing the Positive Discipline book club, I have dedicated a block of time to learning the theory behind this approach.  It's the most profound influence in my family."

 I was frustrated by my children and didn't like myself when I went to bed at night.  Adopting this parenting approach in our family has transformed our home - it has not always been easy, and I make a lot of mistakes.   The tools of recovery have been amazingly helpful - and a path to connection after one of us inevitably messes up. 

Teachers and School Leaders

 “The hands on activities and role-playing really helped me to understand some of the misbehavior I’ve been seeing in my classroom. Now I have a clearer understanding of how and why the tools work so well!”  

  “It wasn’t until the first PD training that I realized that the English definition of ‘discipline’ means punish, where the Spanish definition of the word ‘disciplina’ retains its root meaning of ‘to teach.’The distinction for me helped me understand that punishing my students for what they did wrong did not help them make them feel capable of doing better in the future."   

Organizational Clients

Before the classes, I thought I was all alone in my frustrations.  Now I realize how many other adults struggle with the same challenges in being with children, and the tools have offered a road map for us to create solutions instead of staying in power struggles. 

Reading that inspires us...

blog links, helpful handouts, and more