Raised in a fascist xenophobic Lithuanian community in Cleveland, Ohio (U$A) & having left it in my teen years, I have, unavoidably, lived surrounded by such people much of my life in both the U$ & Lithuania. I work towards freedom, justice, & equality with integrity & responsibility to counteract the growing repression throughout the globe.

My special interest is instilling children & their teachers & caretakers with the values of openness, increasing awareness, & questioning everything, especially the idiotic & regressive behavior & decisions of our “leaders” that masquerade as “government.”

1st & foremost: as you can see, I don’t play by staid old rules.

Playing “professional” is the peak of insincerity & just a learned role.

I have long ago stopped playing games & am an authentic:

Human Relations & Organizational Transformation Consultant

Psychotherapist working with

individuals, couples, families, & groups,

with adults, teens, & children.

Mentor individually or in groups with those seeking to find themselves & their direction in life, especially if that direction is applied psychology, social work, or education. I take on apprentices.

Conflict  Mediator

Cross-Cultural Sensitivity Facilitator

Creative & Systemic Thinking  Catalyst

Meeting & Conference Facilitator

Educational  Alternatives  Specialist

Employee & Team Member Selection Specialist

Writer, Storyteller

Demythologizer / Heretic

Free to travel on long- or short-term projects

Contact me if you want to enjoy & benefit from the insights & accounts of the life experiences of a former U$ citizen (lived there 50 years) who offers himself as he is with a take-it-or-leave-it authentic manner without pretense or pompous “professionalism”.

e-mail:  vytas@stoskus.net

I prefer to work eye-to-eye, but when distance makes that impossible,

I use Skype (vytas.stoskus).

Tel: +370-67870305

For additional details, here is my CV:

VYTAS  STOSKUS

i n t r i g u i n g    i n d i v i d u a l

Tel: +370-67870305

E-mail:  vytas@stoskus.net  Webpage:  www.stoskus.net

Social Psychologist, Psychotherapist, & Conflict Mediator                         Writer

Human Relations & Organizational Transformation Consultant       Storyteller

Creativity & Systemic Thinking Catalyst                                                     Agitator

Meeting, Conference, & Change Catalyst                                                 Challenger

Cross-Cultural Sensitivity Facilitator                                                 Photographer

Educational Alternatives Specialist                                  Demythologizer/Heretic

Employee/Team Member Selection Specialist                   Not Your Average Bear

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Education (both formal & the more valuable informal type)

  • B.A., Psychology, minor in Sociology, Cleveland State Univ. (Ohio, U$A), 1964-69
  • Cooperative Education Program, Cleveland State University, 1964-69 (100 times more valuable work experiences than what transpired in the classrooms)
  • Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, numerous workshops, 1970-74
  • M.A., Psychology (Humanistic), University of West Georgia, 1974-76. Several of my professors had been colleagues of Abraham Maslow, the “Father of Humanistic Psychology”
  • Intensive study with Dr. Jack R. Gibb, organizational transformation consultant, humanistic psychologist, author, & pioneer & an early researcher in the use of encounter groups, process consultation, & large group gatherings for building high-trust environments, 1978-80
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity & race relations training with Cherie Brown, the developer of the feelings-based model of the National Coalition Building Institute, 1991, & with Visions, Inc., 1991
  • Sandplay therapy & Jungian psychology, Atlanta, GA (late-1980s)
  • Countless seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, & even a few friendships with leading psychologists, social & educational philosophers, conflict mediators, & race relations & organizational transformation consultants such as Jack R. Gibb, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, Will Schutz, Virginia Satir, Erich Fromm, Viktor Frankl, Nathaniel Branden, Thomas Gordon, Dudley Weeks, Ed & Sonia Nevis, Erving & Miriam Polster, William Glasser, John Holt, George Dennison, Sidney Simon, Ashley Montagu, Sidney Jourard, Albert Ellis, Paul Bindrim, Robert Golembiewski, Philip Kapleau, Jack Canfield, John Paul Lederach, Christopher Moore, Bill Warner, Emily Coleman, Ilana Rubenfeld, Myron (Mike) Arons, Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, Alex Haley, Stetson Kennedy, & the Dalai Lama & his brother.
  • In growth groups since 1965; facilitating them since 1970
  • Considerable experience & skill in nontraditional & experiential educational methods
  • Broadly educated despite having endured the regimenting trauma of formal schooling in what I refer to as schooljails

Conflict  Resolution Training

  • Advanced training in Dr. Thomas Gordon’s Leader/Teacher/Parent Effectiveness Training, 1976-78, 1992 (100+ hrs. of training were in conflict resolution)
  • Justice Center of Atlanta, 40 hrs. general, civil, & family mediation, 1986
  • Conflict Partnership, with international mediator Dr. Dudley Weeks, 15 hrs., 1989
  • Divorce Mediation Institute, 40 hrs. family/divorce mediation, 1990
  • Settlement Institute, 40 hrs. of general mediation training, 1991-92
  • DeKalb County Courts Dispute Resolution Prog., 20 hrs. of negotiation skills, 1993
  • Studied Gestalt group facilitation process in undergraduate & graduate school & at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, (Ohio). Several of my teachers & job supervisors had studied directly under Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy
  • Scores of workshops dealing with conflict mediation & human relations at national & international psychology & conflict mediator conferences

Work & Life Experience

  • Freelance human relations & organizational transformational consulting, training, & facilitation since 1970 (Clients include business, industry, government, social service agencies, educational institutions, professional & fraternal associations). In Europe since 1994.
  • Using challenging activities such as caving, rappelling, orienteering, canoeing, bouldering, ropes courses, & noncompetitive games as vehicles for personal growth & building community for my clients & client systems
  • Educational consultant, director, & staff developer with summer camps for children of diverse ethnic populations
  • Teaching pre-school through college, including alternative schools
  • Individual, couples, family, group, & crisis counseling
  • Group work, probation work, youth outreach, & job development with wide range of youngsters, including emotionally traumatized & unstable youngsters in residential milieu therapy centers
  • Lifelong learning educator & innovator of new themes & methods since 1970 when I began facilitating personal growth workshops, a fresh & unfamiliar activity for most adult programs at that time
  • Family casework in welfare department with new migrants (from Appalachia) to urban setting (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • Consulting with Lithuanians forming communes & alternative educational settings.
  • Member of buying clubs & food cooperatives since 1974.
  • Performing as storyteller, clown, actor
  • Writing, photography

Conflict Resolution Experience

  • As a counselor, social worker, & probation officer I mediated disputes among family members, community leaders, emotionally challenged youth, schools, & various social service agencies long before we even knew we were “mediating”, 1965-1976
  • Justice Center of Atlanta: family, community, business, civil mediation, 1986-90
  • Mediating loan defaults between small farmers & U.$. Dept. of Agriculture with the government agents, bank administrators, & other creditors usually being Caucasian, middle-class, & young while the farmers were often African-American, poor, & elderly, 1990-92
  • Fulton County & Cobb County (Ga.) Divorce Mediation Programs, 1993-94
  • Teaching the art of mediating & negotiating conflicts, 1976-present

Cross-Cultural Experience

  • Regardless of where I’ve been or where I’ve lived, I have always been an immigrant, the foreigner, the outsider. I share a good bit of this experience in my 3rd book Culture Shock, which is semi-autobiographical.
  • Born in Bavaria, Germany to World War II Lithuanian refugees, & raised in an ethnic community in Cleveland, Ohio (U$A) where English was my 2ndlanguage
  • Grew up around Great Lakes, lived 19 years in the South, several years in New Jersey & Oregon, spent much time in Canada
  • Directed interracial summer camp for inner-city children, 1971
  • Lived & worked in western Alaska in Athabaskan & Yupik villages, 1988-89
  • Atlanta NCCJ (The National Conference for Community & Justice, formerly The National Conference of Christians & Jews) Anytown Camp & other in school projects focused on raising cross-cultural awareness & sensitivity, 1992-93
  • Living& working in Lithuania, a former involuntary Soviet state, primarily consulting & facilitating seminars for educators, social workers, government workers, & non-government agencies since 1994
  • Experienced with broad range of U.S. subcultures
  • Teaching English to native Lithuanian speakers
  • Fluent in English & Lithuanian; studied Spanish, French, Russian, Latin, American (U$) Sign Language

Themes of Organizational, Educational, & Personal Transformation 

  • Beyond formal schooling: reconsidering the goals & methods of education with children’s rights & needs, personality differences, emotional intelligence & multiple intelligences all taken into account
  • Experiential education: using noncompetitive games & challenges to build self-esteem, overcome fears, counter bullying & the negative impact of competition, & become empowered, while at the same time doing team/trust/community building & developing collaboration & interaction skills
  • Dealing with isolation, alienation, stress, depression, & loneliness by making contact & bringing about a Kindness Revolution one “Hello” at a time
  • Handling irate clients, aggressive individuals, & resisting peer pressure
  • Risk-taking, motivation, & dealing with change
  • PrOvention through systemic & long-range thinking: how to rebuild society using overlooked social resources by identifying the links between everything
    • Where do we go from here? With a future unlike any anticipated, humanity faces climate collapse, likely more viral pandemics, the uncertainty of international relations, an economic system which has utterly failed & created chaos, & many more major likely disasters facing it, humanity needs to make a quantum leap in thinking of how it approaches that future.
  • Ice-breaking/warm-up/get-acquainted activities for conventions, meetings, the beginning of the school year
  • Peer counseling, support groups, & support systems
  • Creative thinking & problem solving: identifying 70+ barriers to creativity & learning how to take them down, overcome them, or otherwise deal with them
  • Facilitating, mediating, & processing human interaction through improved interpersonal communication skills (reflective/active listening, nonaggressive assertiveness, creative problem solving, dealing with values collisions & generation gaps)
  • Cross-cultural& race relations sensitivity training
    • What it has meant to always be the outsider, the foreigner, the immigrant, the stranger
    • Cultural traumas & why many cultures continue to suffer from them
    • Cultural collisions within one’s own ethnic/racial/national group: male/female, age & generational differences, class, physical differences, marital status, educational level, hierarchical status, sexual identity, professions, interests
    • How to bridge the differences with understanding & harmony
  • Conflict resolution, mediation, & negotiation skills
  • Anger, violence, the male ego, & understanding men’s consciousness
  • Male-female relations & fresh perspectives on family, domestic violence, & the meaning & support of community
  • The significance of nature in our lives, & how modern life, technology, & cities destroy community & prevent us from meeting our social needs, & what we can do about the isolation & alienation
  • Effective teaching, mentoring, parenting; student motivation & affective education
  • Personal storytelling & humor as aids in personal growth, marriage & other relationship enhancement, teambuilding, organizational development, & effective teaching
  • Leadership, influence, & penetrating resistance
  • Intuitive & innovative management & decision making
  • Situation analysis & conducting effective meetings
  • Alleviating stress through time & life management, clarification of one’s values & life goals, selecting a course of study or one’s career
  • Dealing with mid-life crises
  • The big, untrue, destructive myths on which we build our lives & on which our unstable society is built
  • Responsible & effective speech patterns (minus the “uhs”, “ahs”, & “you knows”)
  • Using feature films, TV programs, news events, & daily interactions to open up dialogue between people, especially those of different generations, lifestyles, cultures, & religions, & how to learn from all our experiences & social interactions in our daily lives
  • Awareness, openness, & responsibility as desirable educational & personal growth goals
  • Guilt, shame, violence, & the cultural values that encourage & produce them
  • Image & betrayal vs. authenticity & trust
  • Workshops & conferences: how to  make them exciting, active, involving, & growth-enhancing
  • The big myth of El Dorado (the U$A) & the social reasons for its failure & its increasing fascism & global aggression
  • The impact of humanistic psychology throughout society over the past 50 years
  • Selecting a school for one’s child
  • Yes, of course, many of these themes overlap & flow into one another because our feelings, needs, desires, motivations, interpersonal relations, & social spaces are composed of similar blocks, & each is precariously balanced on the others. They are inevitably interconnected, & denying or ignoring one can cause calamity among the rest. I can blend the above themes & design workshops to meet your needs. I can also show you how I found the connection between them through my own experiences, work, & study, & can help you do the same.

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Some of the events can be presented with slides, but I prefer to use physically involving activities to make my points, & so that participants can feel & realize for themselves, through their own hide, their own experience, what they need to learn. 

Maybe even more important than all these themes & methods is that I am a neutral outsider who can give you feedback on what you are missing by being too close to your own situations. Having been born & raised in a different world & another time & having done most of my own learning through experience, I perceive & respond differently. I tend to see the broader picture of how everything is interconnected & dependent on countless factors that most people never consider. I can do so because my work rarely has firm rules, requirements, or barriers.

Being a free agent, I can point out things local or “inside” persons will either never notice or will ignore as irrelevant because they don’t see its inevitable connection because they are standing too close to the flame & have taken what is happening as the acceptable standard. 

Taking part in preparing & planning projects, doing evaluations, making decisions, & observing your interpersonal interactions, differences, & lack of clarity, my experience as a conflict mediator can provide the missing insights to overcoming barriers which you have accepted as normal & inevitable.  

I am a generalist, a type of person sorely lacking in an overspecialized world where the practitioners of many professions see, understand, or care little about anything outside their small sphere of expertise. This is why the world is such a hellhole overflowing with countless practically insoluble situations.

I am not fearful of presenting reality as it is. As a result, some call me a “free” person.

Other Services

  • Conflict mediation
  • Staff & team selection: It is fruitless & often dangerously destructive to hire someone simply based on their skills & abilities if they are also going to be working & interacting intensely with others. Unless the group gets to preview how the person is going to get along with them, the newcomer can create chaos if s/he does not “fit” with the others involved.
  • Psychotherapy with children, teens, adults, couples, families—individually or in groups
  • Enlivening conferences, meetings, reunions, events of any sort through audience participation
  • Preparing& mentoring  facilitators of group interaction & conflict mediation

PUBLISHED WORK

  • Books: (1st 2 only in Lithuanian)
    1. Conflicts – What to Do? Methods To Avoid, Minimize, Control, & Resolve Conflicts, [Konfliktai – Ką Daryti? Būdai, padedantys išvengti, mažinti, suvaldyti, ir išspręsti konfliktus]. 2004, 2006. Currently being translated & greatly expanded into English.
    2. Love’s Passions: Steps Towards Intimacy [Meilės Karštiniai: žingsniai intymumo link]. 2017.
    3. Culture Shock: Facing It, Surviving It, Learning From It: Including an Introduction to the Culture & People of Lithuania, A Tiny Former Suppressed Colony of the Soviet & Czarist Russian Empires.
  • Lengthy writing projects: (all in Lithuanian)
    • Using Innovative Methods to Teach Conflict Resolution in Educational Settings, [Inovatyvių būdų ir priemonių naudojimas mokant konfliktų sprendimo pedagoginėje veikloje]. 2011.
    • Cross-cultural Relations in Lithuania, Through the Eyes of an Immigrant [Tarpkultūriniai santykiai Lietuvoje Imigranto Akimis]. 2011.
    • Basics of Avoiding Conflict While Acclimating To Local Culture, (Intended audience: immigrants to Lithuania not seeking political asylum). [Konfliktų išvengimo ir valdymo pagrindai ir pritapimas prie vietinės visuomenės]. 2013.
  • Numerous articles & interviews with Lithuanian press & on radio
· Article: Baltic Post-Soviet Trials Vital
  • Published twice, once in the Jan. 11, 1999 edition of The Christian Courier, a Canadian weekly in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, & once in the U$ in the Social Justice Review, a periodical, in the summer of 2003.

Professional Affiliations (recent past)

In Lithuania: (all in Vilnius, except the 1st, which is in Kaunas)

  • Vytautas Magnus Univ., instructor in educational & social psychology with educators & social workers
  • Youth Centre Babilonas (an alternative art & sensitivity education program), consultant, workshop facilitator
  • Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, instructor of MSW (Masters in Social Work) candidates
  • Social Worker Training Centre, workshop facilitator
  • Lithuanian Institute of Public Administration, workshop facilitator

 In Atlanta, Georgia, U$A: (distant past)

  • OD (Organizational Development) Network, Atlanta, GA
  • Fulton County Divorce Mediation Program, mediator
  • Cobb County Divorce Mediation Program, mediator
  • The National Conference for Community & Justice (formerly The National Conference of Christians & Jews), Atlanta Chapter, facilitator, educational director
  • American Management Assoc. Extension Institute at Oglethorpe Univ., instructor
  • Oglethorpe University, instructor in credit & non-credit programs
  • Justice Center of Atlanta, mediator
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management, workshop facilitator
  • American Mediation Resources, Inc., mediator
  • The Settlement Institute, workshop facilitator
  • Nonprofit Resource Center, workshop leader
  • Georgia State University, Division of Continuing Education, workshop facilitator
  • Atlanta College of Art, Div. of Cont. Educ., workshop facilitator
  • Alliance Theater Acting School, Div. of Cont. Educ., workshop facilitator
  • Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, workshop facilitator
  • A.R.T. Station, workshop facilitator
  • The Inner Space, workshop facilitator
  • Southern Order of Storytellers, member

Professional Memberships (distant past, in U$ & Europe)

  • Association for Humanistic Psychology
  • Association for Humanistic Education
  • TORI & Astron (Jack Gibb’s community-building & study groups)
  • S.O.D.I.G. (Southern Organizational Development Interest Group), Athens, GA
  • Center for Democratic Renewal (formerly the National Anti-Klan Network)
  • NCPCR (National Conference on Peacemaking & Conflict Resolution) & ECPCR (European Conference on Peacemaking & Conflict Resolution)

My theoretical foundation is experience 1st, & only then theory. Theory, PowerPoint presentations, & lectures are worthless unless combined with or preceded by work experiences.

Interaction, leadership, conflicts, cross-cultural differences, creative thinking, planning, goal-seeking, motivation, feelings, & values are so intertwined & interdependent that to attempt to learn or understand anything without considering all these facets together in one’s learning process scatters the energies unnecessarily. We grow by considering & playing with all the mentioned variables & their innumerable manifestations & by seeing ourselves as integrated beings, not one’s having various independent drives & disconnected parts such as a personal life vs. a professional or work life.

During workshops, the setting & weather being agreeable, we climb trees & tumble on the grass. Having tried out some ideas with our own hides, we find theoretical implications, develop personal insights, & constantly give & receive help in discovering how our learnings relate to & can be used in our daily lives. What you learn in these dynamic events will not be obsolete technology tomorrow, but can be utilized throughout the remainder of your lives.

My own education has been strongly integrated with practical experience starting with work in the social services sector with kids as a 1st-year college student. My undergraduate studies included cooperative education—jobs in psychology-related fields—every other quarter so that by the time I earned the B.A. I already had 2 years of on-the-job experience in psychology & social work. Graduate school & extensive post-graduate study included mostly hands-on projects, co-teaching, & experiential education, much of it in outdoor settings with groups.

My recent passion is the propagation of the idea of prOvention—the creation of environments that preclude the appearance of most problems by assuring that individual, group, & community needs are all met. The awareness & assessment of those needs are best provided by open dialogue. PrOvention is also a major theme in an upcoming book on the blocks to creative thinking as well as in my autobiography in which I explore the various elements that played into how & why I became who I am.

I would like to offer my longer more contrasting perspective from over 50 years of observation of social, economic, technological, educational, & environmental upheavals that have sent us into realms we didn’t dream possible in the past. Invite me to your events, arrange for me to offer what I have learned from my diverse background in humanistic, social, child, & organizational psychology, education, conflict mediation, social work, travel, extensive observation, & as a member of the movement into a clearer & increasingly integrated consciousness.

Finally, consider this: all the most miraculous technological advances WILL NOT SAVE US unless we improve our human relations skills. What you learn with me is not another new gadget that will be obsolete in a few months. The skills learned from me will carry you throughout life & will be passed on through your example to your own family, co-workers, & friends.