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Soul Work: VISIONS Training Model and Trainers for the Multicultural UU University Track
Soul Work: VISIONS Training Model and Trainers for the Multicultural UU University Track
Governance for Congregations, Leadership Development

Training Model for Soul Work: VISIONS

What makes the VISIONS training model unique?

The VISIONS model is time tested and research based. We have applied and refined it over 20 years in a variety of settings.

We are proud to have earned a reputation for providing services that are insightful, compassionate and affirming of each person's individual stories and struggles. We are equally sensitive to group dynamics as we are to an organization's concern for the "bottom line."

Some of the characteristics that make the VISIONS model so successful are our:

  • methods for creating a non-judgmental atmosphere that allows for challenges and accountability without accusations and blame;
  • combination of training techniques that focus on cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling) and behavioral (doing) changes;
  • development of a contemporary and historical context for understanding diversity issues;
  • use of experiential sessions to learn effective cross-cultural communication skills;
  • emphasis on providing ongoing support and technical assistance to clients as they implement their strategies for change;
  • racially and culturally diverse group of training consultants who come from a variety of professional, educational and community work experiences, and whose expertise spans a broad range of human resources and organizational development issues.

In addition, VISIONS' consultants and staff have a strong understanding of how to work with people in a sensitive and empowering manner. Our approach supports participants in defining the issues as they experience and "name" them. We have an expertise in racial identity development in both a historical and present-day context. We help participants gain an awareness of the connections between their own perspectives and their stages of growth and development.

VISIONS Trainers

Joan Schoenhals, Ph.D., has worked with VISIONS since 1987, serving as both Associate Director of Programs and as Lead Consultant. She emigrated from Canada in the early 1980s for her graduate study in counseling psychology at Ohio State University.

Dr. Schoenhals has provided training and consultation in the areas of diversity and multiculturalism to a wide range of groups and organizations. By helping others to see the nuances of difference from a North American, non-US perspective, she has been an invaluable resource throughout the VISIONS organization. She is drawn to exploring the intersection of the dynamics of oppression and internalized oppression with faith, spirituality, and healing--for the benefit of self, others, and organizations.

Additionally, Dr. Schoenhals is project Director for ACCESS: A Multicultural Approach to End of Life Care, offering workshops and consultation to providers on end of life care from a multicultural perspective.

Jim Turner, Ph.D. consults locally and nationally on multicultural and cultural competence challenges in groups and organizations. He is a professor of Psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA, a specialist in chemical dependency and addictions, and a member of the American Psychological Association. He also serves on the Ethics Committee of VISIONS, Inc.

Dr. Turner has several years of experience in community consultation, focusing on the challenges of nonprofit organizations serving oppressed and undeserved communities. In fact, in 2000 he was voted one of the 50 most influential members of the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area for his support of community projects.

In addition, Dr. Turner chairs the Annual Black Mystery Writers Contest, promoting literacy in adults and high school students. Dr. Turner consulted to the Board of Psychology on the development of the Jurisprudence Examination for Licensure in California and was and oral examiner for more that ten years.

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