There is a well-known story about a Chassidic rabbi named Reb Zusha. His students once asked him about his greatest fear. He replied that he was not worried about living up to Moses or Abraham. Rather, his concern was that, upon his death, God would ask him, “Zusha, why weren’t you Zusha?”

--Chassidic tale

Self-powered and self-healing individuals, teams, groups, organisations and communities

At home in ourselves, with each other, in nature and in the world  

Organisations and communities are innovation and learning labs for discovering our deepest selves in life, in teams, through tension and conflict, in expressing our innermost nature, our dreams and visions into the world.

Welcome Home.


Turning in, and find your own path  


Turning out, and discover each others' paths  


Turning forward, and travel many paths together 


Individual awareness and individuation cannot be separated from community awareness and the solution to social issues. Consciousness means being aware of the various parts of yourself as an interacting part of a larger community - Arnold Mindell


Photo credit: Shutterstock



We apply the philosophy of deep democracy, a term coined by Arnold Mindell and colleagues since the 1980s, and developed around the world. Deep democracy is an inclusive approach to personal health, relationships, client interactions and outcomes, team work and community vibrancy as interconnected aspects of the entire system. It is the philosophy behind Mindell's Process Work. Wherever your entry point, our approach allows you to activate your unique style and contribution that gives you joy – and benefits your clients, your team, your organisation and your community. We think everyone does better is an open minded, focused and joyous environment. We assist you to discover and follow your compass, uncover hidden directions, enjoy interactions and befriend differences, interact skilfully with unexpected challenges and conflicts as they arise, and accomplish your longer term goals.

Our approach is evolutionary. At times radical and decisive steps are necessary for survival, human safety and dignity. And ... forced change alone, is usually temporary and unsustainable in the long term. We believe changes become sustainable when the people expected to make them, are evolving in the driving seat of their own life, and turn their own situation, team and organisation forward – because they want to. In our experience, this applies equally to the people reliant on your assistance, as to practitioners at the front line, their supervisors, and the leaders and administrators who carry the vision and ultimate responsibility. We offer a one-stop shop to develop people, staff and teams who can take initiative, interact well and be effective in today's world.  We have a broad and vibrant network of partners around the world. If we do not have exactly what you need,  we will help you find just the person or team who does. 

Almost nothing gives us more joy that to making it easier for coach and coachee alike to:

  • Stay true to your direction and allow each step to reveal the way
  • Create an open-minded atmosphere to bring out inner leadership and diversity in everyone 
  • Use conflict and complications to deepen the experience of community
  • Develop equally inner and outer capacities for sustaining creative, realistic solutions
  • Flow between uniqueness and togetherness = diversity in community


Deep Democracy facilitation, coaching, conflict work and business development

What and where

Turning Forward is a global consulting, development and research practice. I have been active in the field of care and suport with people with diverse complex needs for over 35 years, working, consulting and teaching in different cultures around the world. I work with people, leaders and teams using a whole-person approach to access personal visions of participants expressing the spirit of the organisation, its direction and its dance with the spirit of the times.


Helping you get where you want to go

These days we are inundated with news of many problems that face us as people, nations, communities and our planet. Many leaders and practitioners in people-organisations are working hard to implement inspiring ideals, plans and dreams, and can also feel exhausted and confused by complex tensions: goals, pressures and plans, external requirements, conflicts in relationships and teams, and a yearning to bring practice closer together with personal and collective meaning and inspiration.

Whether a worker in a non-profit or a leader of a big multi-national corporation, we all seem to get stuck in the same places

Max Schupbach

This struggle seems to be present for people in places of seeming peace and plenty as well as those living with hunger and thirst, in civil and global conflict, and epidemics. Amazingly, I meet many people who are also thriving in their situation - however challenging - gaining energy and direction from a sense of aliveness and being with the right people, in the right spot and at the right time.  I learn from their zest for life, generosity of spirit, curiosity to learn and ability to create a good atmosphere while doing difficult things, making hard decisions, and getting the job done. I am learning that while the idea of conflict is for many of us terrifying, willingness to engage in the tension with awareness can also be the quickest route to community.

History is the story of the struggle between difference and  sameness, diversity and oneness 

Arnold Mindell

The way forward through tensions and difficulties can become easier to navigate and enjoy when we believe in our experiences as meaningful, when the hidden gem within a difficulty is found, felt and shared for a moment; when we embrace contradictions as nature's way; when we remember to see each other in our wholeness from time to time and learn to befriend our endless capacity as humans to make a mess, and clean it up. 

Photograph: Zac Noyle


Turn yourself and the world turns

  • following the persistent stirrings in the heart, deepest longings and hopes
  • paying attention to the subjective experience of atmosphere, attractions, disturbances in relationships, teams and personal events
  • using the fire of deeper vision to develop goals and results in the external action world

Awareness is needed to bring democracy’s most cherished ideals to life both in the private and political arenas. Laws can be passed to outlaw racism … yet if our hearts and minds are not changed as well, and we are not aware of the subtle ways in which we influence one another in our moment-to-moment interactions, then even the best laws can only cover over deep seated conflicts and wounds

Amy Mindell

Field-effect - self-organising principle 

I and the world are one 

Bringing more relatedness between the different and disparate parts of ourselves, our teams, the organisation and the whole system can bring relief, energy and improved results. The key is to use awareness to support the parts to relate better to one another. Rather than thinking only of solving the problem out there, the drama out there exists inside me as well. Think and feel into the relationship between the different parts and facilitate them to get to know each other - inside and outside.

Democracy is our attempt to make equal power, equal rights. This is important. We also need a deeper democracy, the civil right to dream, to discover our deepest self, have the courage to bring it out in public in ways that are helpful. Deep democracy means using all levels and appreciating the self-organising field atmosphere in the background that we take part in and that partially organises who we are and how we function. A system mind. Sometimes I am me, and you are not me. Sometimes I am you and you are me. And sometimes we are one - the tree before it was a tree, the song before it was sung...

The world is here to help us become our entire selves, and we are here to help the world become whole

Arnold Mindell, on Deep Democracy

Facilitation in coaching and conflict engagement

Bring it out, build it in

Deep Democracy facilitation and coaching methods are applicable to individuals, teams, whole organisations and large groups who want to bring more relatedness between the different parts of our own experience and the situations and systems we are part of. We can learn to be more fluid and relaxed in moving between these levels, noticing inner and outer feedback signals, while noticing and appreciating the background atmosphere that partially organises our interactions and communication. Leaders, practitioners, service-users and teams can become more confident in accessing innate resources and strengths that are a perfect fit for steering the course through practical realities, relationships, and motivations, with greater ease, effectiveness and joy. Following the pathways of these different dimensions in the inner and outer landscape within an overall direction can be like moving with the help of the wind behind you in a more friendly, encouraging atmosphere to get where you want to go.

Turning Forward offers multi-dimensional:

  • Large group facilitation
  • Vision, values and strategy development
  • Team development
  • Individual coaching
  • Team coaching
  • Feedback and appraisal tools
  • Multi-stakeholder policy development and systems design
  • Conflict work - individuals and teams
  • Leadership development for formal leaders and the leader in all of us!

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Education and training

Learning paths, qualification program, professional development

Nowadays, in organisational transformation, personal and professional development are inseparable 

Max Schupbach, Deep Democracy Institute

My involvement in educational institutes, human service organisations and in self-powered therapeutic communities has led to the Transform and Empower qualification program designed for people in involved in the field of care. This is an internationally accredited flexible learning, inter-disciplinary qualification. It focuses on self determination, relationships and community building as the core of enhancing quality of life. The essence of this action-learning approach is to become more confident and able in being side by side with people requiring assistance, with an attitude of mutual appreciation as co-contributors and co-creators of diverse, innovative communities. We all have strengths and gifts that are needed.

Different perspectives of practitioners, facilitators, specialists, leaders, users of services and family members, service providers and citizens who may have diverse abilities, interests and ways of communicating enrich the learning process.

Turning Forward offers learning paths and trainings in:

  • Person-centred approaches to education, care, empowerment and inclusion in human services
  • Facilitation methods and tools
  • Leadership development
  • Adult learning methods and tools to integrate into your own teaching and practice

Measuring quality of life

The Personal Outcome Measures® approach

Support me, with what is most important TO me,
don't assume you know what is best FOR me

Often in human service contexts, quality of life of people who rely on services and supports is measured according to organisational inputs and services. Do we really know the impact and relevance of our good efforts from the perspective of the person's view of his or her own life priorities, independent of what the service offers? 

We use and train in the use of the Personal Outcome Measures® tool, for discovering, facilitating and measuring the responsiveness of services and systems to the person's own view of what is most important in his or her life. The tool can be used to assess one individual's personal definition and satisfaction level of their quality of life, using a series of categories of meaningful life areas that are universally shared by human beings generally. The data generated from people can also be aggregated across a whole organisation or system through statistically reliable sampling.

Turning Forward offers:

  • Reliable interviewing discovery and assessment for person-centred discovery, planning, and facilitating improvement
  • Training workshops in the Personal Outcome Measures® discovery and assessment reliable interviewing method.
  • CQL gold standard reliability testing for interviewers
  • Train the trainer programs
  • Reliable interviewing coaching
  • Organisational and systems-wide sampling


Turning Forward's roots

We stand on the shoulders of many people whose influence is present in Turning Forward approaches:

  • Individuals who have helped us learn, love and follow our unique life paths
  • Friends and companions 
  • Teachers both ancient and contemporary who further social science, process science and spiritual science -  inspirational ideas, rigorous methods and a drop of magic. 

Our promise to you

  • Responsive to your needs, goals, personal style, cultural preference, aspirations and budget
  • Quick response to inquires and requests and quick turn-around of materials
  • Believe in you and your path, to make it easier to discover and travel your way

 Welcome, and thank you for visiting. Your feedback, requests and insights are very welcome!