Deborah W. Holton, Ph.D., MFA, CPC, ELI-MP



Location: Chicago, IL

Speaking Topics: Planning for the Path That Matters; Women's Creative Wellness

Areas of Specialization: Retirement Transition; Women's Creativity

Deborah Wood Holton, Ph.D., MFA, is an award-winning professor emerita at DePaul University, having served as an educator and mentor of degree-seeking adult learners for over thirty years. A National Endowment for the Humanities scholar, with an emphasis on African American literature and culture, she holds advanced degrees in English, American Theatre Studies, and Creative Writing.

A Certified Professional Coach (CPC) with a specialty in pre-retirement (which she calls “life-rediscovery”), and an Energy Leadership™ Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP), through the Institute for Professional Coaching (iPEC), she has been an RCA member since 2017.

One essential pillar in life-rediscovery is practicing self-care for self-preservation. More than routine health checkups or exercise programs, self-care—for women—often conflicts with the perception that “others must come first,” be they children, elder parents, spouses, partners, employers—the list goes on. Deborah’s practice strengthens connections between wellness and self-preservation, especially for caregivers, solo-agers, and thought-leaders alike.

As the founder of The Comfort Club, Deborah offers an exclusive seven-week virtual “oasis” for mature, smart, savvy women committed to nurturing their self-compassion, reigniting their self-care, and adding sparkle to their joy. Spiritually rooted, Deborah brings both a grounded way and a lightness of heart to all she does. AARP highlighted Deborah and The Comfort Club in its “Work for Yourself @50+” 2019 annual report (2020).