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The Story of

THE HUMAN JOURNEY® game experience proudly joins other Chicago inventions, like Italian beef, Cracker Jacks, Juicy Fruit gum, the Chicago Hot Dog, the skyscraper, and the Ferris Wheel.

Through our proprietary materials, trainings, and ongoing professional development, we have been preparing social service, hospice, addiction recovery, and senior services staff, as well as counselors, therapists, and coaches, to address the real needs families, “like-families,” and support groups have for healing during difficult life circumstances.

We’ve shaped and refined the game materials, as well as the facilitation method and the training method, through a process of rigorous testing and ongoing improvement that began in 2014. By 2019, the manufactured game, the Conductor’s Guidebook, and a proven facilitation methodology were ready for the public. Our first trainings were centered in organizations as well as made available to individual practitioners in the Chicago area through the retreat-style trainings we held at our home-away-from-home, Catalyst Ranch, and the Morton Arboretum.

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered how all of us grappled with our mortality, while separating generations of families from each other. It also required of THE HUMAN JOURNEY® company a fresh flexibility, not only in how we equipped and trained Conductors but in how they would be leading the THJ® Experience. We were no longer with our Conductors in person, and they were no longer in the same room as the people they were guiding through the THJ® Experience.

Although it was necessity that brought us to our new training model — one that emphasized learning by doing, with immediate personalized small-group feedback — we were profoundly impressed with the level of skill our Conductors had achieved before finishing their initial training. We also discovered, to our delight, that conducting THJ® over Zoom was equally meaningful for participants as in person and took no more time. Even as we return to a more “together” way of life, our Conductors now have options to include participants who cannot be in the room by through hybrid facilitation.

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About Dr. Sara K. Schneider


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