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Sara K. Schneider, Ph.D.


A crafter of group learning experiences, interactions, and collaboration that support both psychospiritual and medical professionals in their work with patients and clients, Dr. Sara K. Schneider has consulted to and trained practitioners at Joliet Community Hospice, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Redeemer Health,  Revelstoke Hospice, Ethos Behavioral Health Group, the University of Chicago Medical Center, Gift of Hope, Housing Forward, and others to work with families facing serious illness and end of life.


She has designed and facilitated programs, trainings, and retreats for such healthcare clients as the American Holistic Nurses Association, the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses,  the National Association of Social Workers, as well as conducted programs at the Esalen Institute, the Center for the Study of Health, Religion, and Spirituality, and for not-for-profit and corporate clients in strategy planning, service design, mentoring, and coaching. Participants have written:


  • “Sara has an amazing ability to inspire, challenge, and support others.”


  • “Sara has courage, imagination, sensitivity, finesse. Her dedication to and excitement in learning are contagious.”


  • “Dynamic presenter! Lots of interaction, introspection, and humor.”


She is trained as a performance anthropologist, with degrees from Yale and NYU. Most of her published writing has been on the aesthetics, functions, and meanings of the body in specific cultural contexts and on somatic spiritual practices. Her books (available on Amazon), have been published by Yale University Press, Cuneiform Books, and Pendragon Press. Her book chapters have been published across the fields of medical training, anthropology, design, and education, and her insights on human performance and social justice have been featured on a variety of NPR programs and television and video productions, and in magazines. 


Sara developed and trains professionals to conduct THE HUMAN JOURNEY®, now in use in the United States, Canada, Jamaica, and South Africa as an innovative methodology for bringing families facing end of life into a deeper sense of belonging, meaning, continuity, and capacity for listening across spiritual beliefs and generations. Designed as a healing ritual for anticipatory grief as well as bereavement, THJ combines systems theory, archetypal psychology, trauma studies, and world spiritual traditions into a method and materials that invite families non-threateningly into engagement with each other and the reality of their circumstances. As one person said about the game-like THJ Experience, “You learn you’re part of the same fabric, but you’re a different thread.” Another said, “THE HUMAN JOURNEY® opens the doors of the heart for others.”


Sara is also the Experience Designer/Learning Architect of The Pilgrimage, an original yearlong program of psychospiritual activities for a suite of in- and outpatient addiction recovery centers in the Houston area that are unlike anything that exists in addiction recovery treatment today. The Pilgrimage is an active, experiential, life-as-laboratory curriculum that enables those in recovery not merely to learn concepts but actually to begin practicing the skills of a recovered person and to do the spiritual growth that proactively does the healing that gets them from “here” to “there.”


For many years, Sara was a tenured education professor in leadership studies and has taught across the social sciences and arts. She has guided hundreds of working professionals in healthcare, the clergy, education, and law enforcement in accessing and growing their own and their colleagues’ wisdom and resources and makes capacity-building the focus of her work.

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