Mental Health Recovery Service

John Lieberman, MA I/O Psych: Following Your Dreams

John Lieberman believes that people should do what they love, and love what they do. He wants to see people thrive in their lives and in their jobs, and he goes to great lengths to facilitate that process.  Receiving his Masters Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (MA I/O Psych), John continues to effectively look at the organizational framework of Visions to gain a better understanding of how to make Visions run smoothly while maintaining the rich culture that’s embedded within.  In a nutshell, John Lieberman is our social scientist. From the social science perspective, John can critically view the way workplace infrastructures work, both from a functional and interpersonal way so he can help them function more effectively.


When I asked John why he sought a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, he said, “I believe that the strength and commitment of Visions relies on the culture we have. Chris and Amanda Shumow created a culture of family. We bring people in that we want to work with, and we understand that it’s not possible to leave your personal life at home. We encourage and support our team when they need help.” Within John’s statement lie the fundamental beliefs and practices that are integral to the Visions culture: We are a family.


When Visions began, everyone needed to know how to do a bit of everything, or at least be willing to try. For example, if the toilet was clogged, no one was above getting a plunger to handle business. In this sense, we were a team of “generalists.” Over the years, however, we have evolved and expanded to include a team of “specialists.” I’ll give you an example of a specialist: me. As the New Media Manager, what I do is streamlined, despite the fact that I cover a very broad ground. I am required to know and understand what everyone does and how they do it, but I utilize and disseminate this information in a specialized way via social media resources. From the perspective of John’s degree and specialization, that makes my position and me easier to manage. Having more specialists allows us to celebrate the attributes of the varied members of the Visions team while supporting an efficient management system.


John Lieberman helps the Visions team find the magic and connection in what we do so we can become something our clients look to for inspiration.  If we are following our hearts and doing what we love, then we are creating an environment in which others are encouraged to do the same. John’s master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology affords him an opportunity to provide this wonderful service to others at Visions and beyond: He urges people to do what they love so they can love what they do. John is working his own magic. His passion and love for what he does is contagious.


Three suggestions from John to help you follow your dreams:

1:Figure out how to do more of what you love to do.

2: What are your long-term goals? How does this position help me with my long-term goals?

3: What am I going to bring to this?

If we enter a job and view it as “just a job,” then we are missing out. If we can be as engaged in our jobs as we are in our lives, then we can affect change in the lives that we touch. John says, “When we change a person, we change the world.”

I’ll leave you with this quote form Tony Hsieh,  Zappos CEO, whose ideology we admire at Visions.

“I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”
Tony Hsieh

Adolescence Anniversary Blogs Recovery

John Lieberman: Director of Operations

From the beginning, John Lieberman has been an integral part of the fabric that makes up Visions. In 2002, he came to us as a consultant, recruiting, doing outreach, and helping develop the initial building blocks which make Visions what it is now. After two years, John came on full-time and he’s never left. It’s hard to describe exactly what John does, because in truth, he does so much–if you were to ask him, he would divert you elsewhere!  The fact is, he is the first supportive face a desperate parent sees when they reach out for help. John is the initial guiding light that allows a scared, hopeless family to walk through one of the hardest periods in their lives: deciding to send their child to treatment and everything that entails. John does this with respect, compassion, and kindness; he is the one that makes sure the hand of Visions is always there for families, regardless of what stage of treatment they’re in.

But, the staff’s accolades really say it all:

Joseph Rogers, our Educational Director at our Outpatient Day School said, “John is a consistent person I turn to whenever someone comes to me with a family member or friend in crises.  I can always count on his ability to calmly help me find a solid resource when people need it most.  I feel John would be the kind of person I would most want with me when absolutely everything fell apart.

Christina Howard, our Director of Business Development had this to say: “Three words that best describe John Lieberman: Loyal, Dedicated and Passionate.  John’s drive to provide exemplary care for each and every family at Visions continually pushes the growth and depth of our clinical services.  His love for socks also make him extremely fashionable.”

Chris and Amanda Shumow placed their trust in John ten years ago. Their gratitude is endless: “What can I say about a man who has literally saved thousands of lives.  John has been an amazing partner, example of recovery and most of all one of our best friends.  John’s dedication is unparalleled.  Day or night, he is available to the staff and families at Visions.  He cares about each and every person that touches his life and tries to get them the help they need with us or somewhere else.  With over 20 years in the business of mental health and substance abuse, John has the experience and knowledge to make a difference.  To ask John about his job, he would say that he does community outreach, marketing, intake, crisis management, human resources, is a group home administrator….and may even plunge the toilet when necessary ;).  John sets the example of what it means to be humble and gracious no matter what he takes on.  Visions would not have the reputation it has without John Lieberman.

Hear what John had to say when we threw some wacky questions his way!

1.  If Chewbacca from Star Wars was your Best Friend where would you meet him for     lunch this weekend?

I would meet Chewbacca at Animal restaurant.

2.  Cats or Dogs?


3.  “Early Bird Gets the Worm” or “Slow and Steady Wins the Race”?

The slow ones get eaten first.

4.  If you won the Miss America pageant what would you wish for?

World peace.

5.  What was the last song you were listening to?

Mumford and Sons “Little Lion Man”

6.  How do you like your steak?


7. Favorite memory with your granddaughter?










8. Coffee or Tea?


9. What was your best Halloween costume?

Dressed up like a pimp with the Shumows

10. What does Visions mean to you?

Visions is what dreams are made of! Almost from the day I got sober I wanted to be able to give back the love, fun and acceptance that was shown to me. The treatment center I went through made me feel safe. Visions is a safe place for families and their kids.

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