The Legacy of Liz Jelinek

Liz Jelinek | August 25, 2019

A lifelong learner, Elizabeth (Liz) Jelinek passionately pursued education, knowledge, and an understanding of the human experience. She was an outspoken and gregarious woman who loved being center stage. She began her education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was an active member of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, where she directed, produced, starred in, and designed costumes for many productions throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Liz continued her studies at The Healing Light Center Church and Seminary in Southern California, where she received a Bachelor’s of Natural Theology in Sacred Healing, and then went on to California State University, Dominguez Hills where she received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology. Liz devoted her life to the helping and healing of others and developed a profound understanding of the human experience through her travels and her work. She practiced as a psychologist in Ann Arbor for over 30 years and held certificates in Alcohol and Drug Treatment, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, and Mindfulness Meditation. In 2015, at age 74, she earned her PhD in Transformational Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus on epigenetics. In addition to her private counseling practice, she founded The Midwest Institute for Systemic Constellations, where she hosted workshops and trainings as well as lectured domestically and internationally. She also became a best-selling author with Health and Wellness Today, a guide to health, fitness, and nutrition featuring health experts from around the world.

In February 2018, Liz suffered a severe stroke and spent the last 18 months of her life persevering with strength and determination through Broca’s aphasia, apraxia, and partial paralysis. Liz continued to express her love and remarkable wit to friends and family through new forms of communication and refused to allow her aphasia to silence her. Liz found a home in the Aphasia Community Friendship Center in Ann Arbor, MI and remained an active member of the community until her passing on August 25, 2019. She is remembered as a proud woman with a strong will and a fierce heart, and she will be forever loved.

Honoring Her Legacy

Please consider making a donation to the National Aphasia Association in Liz’s honor or share thoughtful remarks in the comments.


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  • Kris Parnicky
    September 5, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Liz was one of the pivotal people of my life. She was the first person to SEE me as I really functioned in the world, enabling me to understand why my potential had never been realized. She allowed me to remember personal traumas long buried, and to resolve issues with my mother before Mom passed. Liz was instrumental in re-forging and preserving my marriage. Even my firing her after ~3 years of therapy led directly to finding a job that fit my needs and skills perfectly. I still hold that job. And when I re-hired her as my therapist we spent two more years unwrapping my onion of self delusions and improving my ability to deal with a real world. Even with all that help, however, I was never able to fill a waste basket or open a door to her satisfaction. Being with Liz was a wonderful trip. God bless her.

  • Anonymous
    September 8, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Some lives are like a song, every note rare and precious.
    We feel lucky to have heard the music.

    Our deepest sympathy to Liz’s family.
    Liz’s Aphasia Community Friendship Center Friends.

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