A keen eye for interpersonal dynamics can transform the healthcare encounter.


Healthcare Providers double-line



Workshops for All Healthcare Providers

  • The Bodies of “Others”: Compassionate Cross-Cultural Care
  • Professional Touch: How Multicultural Patients Experience the Physician’s Hands
  • What’s the Story? Timely Interviewing and Consultation Skills
  • Tending to the Heart: Balancing Clinical Objectivity and Empathy
  • Rehearsals of Death: Growing in Relationship to Dying and Living



Consulting to Hospitals & Healthcare Practices

Analysis of current practice and distillation of most relevant and actionable issues.

Ethnographically shadow specific providers or and/or evaluate patient satisfaction ratings.

Distillation of the most relevant communication or interaction issues for action and provide an Intervention Plan:

Identify clear behaviors and systems that would benefit from interventions.

Induction of providers from “here” to “there.”

Supportively guide providers, in groups and individually, in cultivating a healthcare environment that directly fosters the ready communication of actionable information, the building of trust, and patients’ sense that they are being well listened to well.





Trusting relationships and strong communication between healthcare providers and patients have been shown to improve patient outcomes, patient satisfaction ratings, and patient retention within the ranks of allopathic medicine. Indeed, it increases the likelihood that patients will continue to come to providers of conventional medicine rather than lose hope in the prospect of treatment that enhances both life and their sense of personhood.

Yet managed care and other financial conditions conspire against long conversations. And doctors’ communication patterns with their patients are typically long-ingrained.

It is vital to make full use of the time available so that healthcare professionals can help patients surface their most salient needs, symptoms, and concerns

Sara brings a keen eye for interpersonal dynamics to the healthcare setting, working with providers to listen to patients (and colleagues) more humbly and open-endedly, to sense when there is an unspeakable question or concern, and to ask with genuine respect about patients’ experiences, preferences, and choices.

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Patients, Families, & Friends double-line



Pillow Talk, or Maya Lila/The Divine Play

A facilitated game for families at bedside


Just like individuals, family groups (or groups of friends) have a story. They usually have many versions of the same story.

Sara has an amazing abilityWhen a family faces a health crisis – such as when a child has a serious chronic illness or a family member enters hospice care – questions of meaning and of who each person means to the others naturally surface.

Often, there is a void of some kind, the prospect of losing someone, or the reality that a sibling or a spouse has received less attention as someone else in the family needed immediate help in dealing with illness or end of life.

What can be and must be said in the group — in an uplifting and collaborative way, with laughter, playfulness, fondness, and, where necessary, truth-telling?

Pillow Talk, or Maya Lila / The Divine Play, is a storytelling game that embraces that stories can be both fun and difficult. Through an engaging, facilitated game, allowing families to share stories at bedside or in another comfortable setting, Sara helps family and close friend groups to make enduring meaning of changes in their sense of their wholeness by group-focused, arts-based healing.

Why “Maya Lila”? The term “maya lila” is Sanskrit, meaning that all we do on earth is like a play, an illusion that comes and goes.



The time to play is now. Contact Sara to discuss your group's needs.




Why play?


Won't discussing such things be painful to our family member or to us?

Often the person who is ill or even dying will gain comfort from knowing the family is playing (not working) to carry on without them at the center or to become more balanced.

Family members need each other as a source of support. It is easier to build the foundation before the loss than after, when people tend to retreat into their private griefs.

Through storytelling, the family recognizes what binds them together, both delightful and difficult, and can turn to each other more openly as a resource in hard times.

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




quote-grey-topShe created an environment that was positive and encouraging to everyone.




quote-grey-topFew people share Sara's capacity for synthesis and innovation or her commitment to the arts as forces for change in our lives.




Pillow Talk and Maya Lila / The Divine Play © 2016 Sara K. Schneider

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