The Core Principles of Appreciative Inquiry, which describe the basic tenets of the underlying Ai philosophy, were developed in the early 1990’s by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva (Cooperrider’s advisor at Case Western Reserve University)
"Appreciative inquiry (AI) is both a worldview and a process for facilitating positive change in human systems. Every human system has something that works right–things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. AI begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change." Gustavo Razzetti
1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems
2. to increase in value, e.g. the economy has appreciated in value.
Synonyms: VALUING, PRIZING, ESTEEMING, and HONORING.
In-quire’ (kwir), v.
1. the act of exploration and discovery.
2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities.
Synonyms: DISCOVERY, SEARCH, and SYSTEMATIC EXPLORATION, STUDY.
5D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry
What is the topic of inquiry? – It is important to define the overall focus of the inquiry (what the system wants more of). Definition is used to clarify the area of work to be considered. In spite of being the starting point of the cycle, it’s a recent addition – the 5Ds were originally the 4Ds, including discover, dream, design and destiny. Definition defines the project’s purpose, content, and what needs to be achieved. In this phase, the guiding question is, “What generative topic do we want to focus on together?”
Appreciating the best of ‘what is’ – Discovery is based on a dialogue, as a way of finding ‘what works’. It rediscovers and remembers the organization or community’s successes, strengths and periods of excellence.
Dream – Imagining ‘what could be’ – Imagining uses past achievements and successes identified in the discovery phase to imagine new possibilities and envisage a preferred future. It allows people to identify their dreams for a community or organization; having discovered ‘what is best’. They have the chance to project it into their wishes, hopes and aspirations for the future
Determining ‘what should be’ – Design brings together the stories from discovery with the imagination and creativity from dream. We call it bringing the ‘best of what is’ together with ‘what might be’, to create ‘what should be – the ideal’.
Creating ‘what will be’ – The fifth stage in the 5Ds process identifies how the design is delivered, and how it’s embedded into groups, communities and organizations. In early appreciative inquiry development, it was called ‘delivery’, based on more traditional organizational development practice. The term ‘destiny’ is more prevalent now.
“Problems get replaced with innovation as conversations increasingly shift toward uncovering the community’s positive core.” AI consultant Bernard J. Mohr
"What would happen to our change practices if we began all our work with the positive presumption that organizations, as centers of human relatedness, are alive with infinite constructive capacity?” — David Cooperrider
Discovery mode: Participants show understanding and willingness to be changed.
Sharing Truth: Participants share truth of personal experience using 'I' statements.
Active Listening: Participants give full attention to content, meaning, and feelings.
Surfacing Assumptions: Participants uncover beliefs that underlie opinions and 'facts'.
Suspending Judgments: Participants put judgments aside to actively listen.
Attending to the 'whole': Participants notice themes, patterns and implications.
The foundation for such a culture are four dialogical skills according to William Isaacs that can be learned and practiced individually or in groups. Practicing these skills leads to a change in attitude, which in turn affects our behavior and expands our possibilities for action.
Regular Dialogue in a safe space
These four dialogical skills complement each other and unfold their impact in combination over time. The prerequisite is a willingness to engage with each other, allowing trust to grow. This can be facilitated within a safe space and a clear framework. Through regular practice, increasing depth and ease develop within the dialogue and among the group, affecting other areas of communication as well.
Dialogue provides practical guidelines for one of the essential elements of true partnership--learning how to talk together in honest and effective ways. Reveals how problems between managers and employees, and between companies or divisions within a larger corporation, stem from an inability to conduct a successful dialogue.
Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon!
Peer Support Specialist Certification Training
Earn a Certificate in Peer Support!!
All students must be adults who identify as having experienced mental health challenges
Applications DUE BY November 27th, 2019
Class Times: Tuesday (10am-12), Thursday (10am-12) and Friday (10am-1pm)
For more information and/or an application please contact: Kate Roberge
Peer Education & Training: 2245 Challenger Way, Santa Rosa, CA; (707) 483-7425;
Class Dates: January 7th, 2020 to April 7th, 2020
A program of West County Community Services
Free Peer Support Specialist Certification Training
The new Peer Support Specialist Certification Program Training will be offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am to 12:00pm, January 7th, 2020 to April 7th, 2020. This training program has been developed to prepare peers with lived mental health experience for Peer Support Specialist Certification in Sonoma County. (Peer support specialists are also known as mental health consumer advocates, peer providers, peer counselors, peer mentors, peer navigators, and peer advocates.) Classes will be held at the Wellness and Advocacy Center, 2245 Challenger Way, Santa Rosa, CA. 95407, Suite 104. All students who register for the program must be or become members of the Wellness and Advocacy Center. The only requirement to join the Center is to be a peer with lived mental health experience.
The Peer Support Specialist Training is offered free of charge. Students have the option either to purchase a textbook or borrow one for the duration of the class. (Limited scholarship funding may be available for those who cannot afford to purchase the book.)
Paper and email applications for the upcoming session are currently available. The deadline to turn in applications is Wednesday, November 27th, 2019. However, it is recommended that applications be submitted as early as possible so that we may start interviewing potential students right away. Completed applications may be dropped off at the Wellness and Advocacy Center or Interlink Self Help Center (1033 4th Street, Santa Rosa), mailed to the Challenger Way address (see above), or emailed to
To receive an application by mail or email, or for further information, please
Contact: Kate Roberge at Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 483-7425.
Application required plus interview
The last day to apply is November 27th 2019
The class begins January 7th, 2020 - April 7, 2020
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am to 12:00pm,
CONTACT : (707) 483-7425.
Kate Roberge, Program Manager
Peer Education and Training Program
West County Community Services (WCCS)
Description Join CASRA (California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies) and PRPSN (Project Return Peer Support Network) for this 18-hour highly interactive training for peers working in the public mental health system. The main goal is to provide training on the essential skills, knowledge and values that will enhance a peer’s ability to be successful in the service of others. The training topics are drawn from SAMHSA’s Core Competencies for Peer Workers in Behavioral Health, stakeholder input through the Working Well Together Collaborative, and iNAPS (International Association of Peer Supporters) 12 Core Practices of Peer Providers. Trainers will offer skills-training that equips peer providers working in a variety of settings: county behavioral health teams, community-based agencies or peer provided services agencies.
Upon completion of this training participants will learn practical application of the core concepts, value-based practices and fundamental skills in the following areas:
• History of the Consumer Movement
• The Expansive Role of a Peer Provider
• Culture and Worldview
• 12 Core Practices of Peer Supporters
• Effective ways to Self-Disclose
• Recovery, Wellness, Resiliency
• Effective Listening Skills
• Boundaries and Ethics Decision Making Process
• Whole Person Care
• Harm Reduction
• Trauma-Informed Care
• Self-Care as a Provider
Dates and Times
November 9, 16, 23, 30 and
December 7 and 14 9:00 am – 12:30 pm Online
Participants will be sent a Zoom link/phone number prior to the first session. Factors to Consider When Selecting Participants
• Consider peer participants who have desire, ability, and willingness to participate in the CASRA training. It is preferable to have participants who might want to be trainers at a later date.
• Select peers who are likely to be committed to your organization.
We understand that it is not always known how long any individual will work at an agency, but do consider those who are more likely to remain and/or contribute to your organization/community. Trainers from CASRA
Debra Brasher, MS, CPRP
Guyton Colantuono, NCPS
Contact Debra Brasher to register by October 30. email@example.com
For more information about CASRA check out their website at www.casra.org
Latino Service Providers Testimonios Project provides paid internships to up to 20 young bilingual bicultural students (ages 16-25) who are interested in sociology, psychology, counseling or any mental health career.
The goal of the Testimonis Project is to reduce mental health stigma, engage and educate the Latinx community on mental health issues and resources, and inspire the future mental health workforce. The required commitment is a minimum of ONE YEAR. June 2019 - May 2020
Latino Service Providers
930 Shiloh Rd., Bldg. 40, Ste. A
Windsor, CA 95492
Contact : Guadalupe Navarro firstname.lastname@example.org
The Testimonios Project, a project funded by the CA Office of Health Equity, California Reducing Disparities Project seeks to address the behavioral and mental health needs of the Latino community within Sonoma County.
Are you curious about what Peer Support Certification looks like from one state to the next?
After conducting surveys in every state during the Spring and Summer of 2020, Doors to Wellbeing, in collaboration with Live & Learn Inc., is pleased to publicly reveal that we've updated and enhanced our Peer Specialist Database with current state specific information regarding Peer Support trainings.
This database includes:
Additionally, This database is uniquely designed to conduct side-by-side comparisons from your choice of states and specific database information.
SAMHSA—in conjunction with diverse subject matter experts—conducted research to identify core competencies for peer workers in behavioral health. The draft core competencies were posted online for public comment. The following document represents the final product of that process, which incorporated input from hundreds of people around the United States:
Access a list of frequently asked questions about core competencies for peer workers to learn more.
From SAMHSA: Peer workers are emerging as important members of treatment teams. The “Supervision of Peer Workers TA Resource” (PDF | 702 KB) helps supervisors understand how to supervise peer workers in behavioral health services.
MHSA OSHPD WET stakeholder meetings
( in person or webinar)
Dec 4 , 2019 1 pm -4 pm
Dec 17, 2019 1 pm -4 pm
The next application cycle will open in
Healthcare Workforce Development Division
2020 West El Camino Avenue, Suite 1222
Sacramento, CA 95833
(916) 322-2588 Fax
Workforce Integration Support and Education
WHAT IS WISE?
WISE, which stands for Workforce Integration Support and Education, is a new program of Cal Voices funded by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
Our goal is simple: to help employers in California’s public mental health system recruit and retain consumer and family member staff through genuine workforce integration.
WISE University Fall 2020 Cohort is online!
Take the FREE Peer Support Academy on Zoom
October 19 - Nov 6th 2020
WISE U has integrated their in-person peer training cohort into an online course to accommodate social distancing guidelines, and to keep everybody healthy in these uncertain times
The deadline for submitting your application for the Fall 2020 Cohort is: 8/16/2020
Can't join for Fall 2020 Cohort? WISE U hold four training academies each year. Apply anytime and receive notification when our next cohort is scheduled.
CAMHPRO is currently providing Peer Specialist Core Competency Training (PSCCT) for eight (8) counties and community based agencies in six (6) superior region counties through an OSHPD Public Mental/Behavioral Health Workforce Retention contract. Stay tuned.
Alameda County; BestNow
BestNow! (Building Employment Strategies Through Networking on Wellness) provides leadership development, empowerment, job training, and support for people with mental health and/or substance use recovery experience who are interested in joining the behavioral health field as Peer Support Specialists within Alameda County.
Peer Specialist Training (7-week training and 6-month internship)
The Peer Specialist Training is specifically designed for people who identify as having mental health and/or substance use challenges who are interested in working in the behavioral health field as Peer Support Specialists. The training curriculum focuses on self-empowerment, self-determination, peer support, and vocational development. The Peer Support Specialist Training is offered once per year. Applicants attend an orientation session and receive information on how to apply at that time.