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About Healing Circles


Hidden Water Healing Circles meet weekly — either in-person or online — and are designed to enable participants to find the growing edge of their healing alongside others who have had similar experiences with childhood sexual abuse.



We offer four different Healing Circles:


Green Circle for those who were harmed as a child or young person

Purple Circle for those who caused harm and are ready to take responsibility


Blue Circle for those who have a relationship with someone who was harmed or who caused harm (e.g. other family members, friends, partners, etc)

Orange Circle for non-offending parents and caregivers of those who were harmed or caused harm


Guiding Principles of Circle

Peacemaking Circles are an Indigenous practice that is central to Restorative Justice.

Following in that tradition, Hidden Water uses restorative Healing Circles as the basis of our work.

Hidden Water Healing Circles respect the following guiding principles:


The world is profoundly interconnected; Circle represents our interconnectedness.

No one is outside of Circle; we must always make it larger to include everyone.

Everyone has equal voice through use of a talking piece.

For more information, please see Our Approach/Why Circle? →


Some Elements of Hidden Water Circles

Every Circle session is different and encompasses countless elements, however each Circle contains these intentional structural elements:


⌾ an opening
⌾ a talking piece
⌾ shared guidelines

⌾ at least one Circle Keeper
⌾ a closing

For more information about the format of our Circles, the role of the Circle Keeper, use of a talking piece, and other information about Circle, please see our FAQs sections, About Circle-Practical & About Circle-Elemental →

What To Expect

Healing Circles meet once a week, for approximately 12 weeks.

The number of weeks varies depending on the number for participants.

Week 1: Getting to Know Each Other

Week 2: Shared Values and Guidelines

Week 3: A Path from Harm to Healing

Week 4-10: Individually Lead Circles

Week 11-12: Closing the Circle

Building the Container (~Weeks 1-3)
During the first three Circle sessions, the group will spend time building trust, establishing agreements, and reflecting on their path of healing from harm. We consider this the Container Building phase of Circle. These first three weeks are a very important part of building trust within the group. For this reason, we highly recommend that everyone is present for the first three sessions.

Individually Lead Circles (~Weeks 4-10)
In the following sessions, each person is assigned a week to lead the Circle. The theme of these Circles is: “What is the growing edge of your healing?” This is a chance for the leader to reflect in Circle about where their experience with CSA is currently impacting their life. This, for many, is the most profound and healing part of Circle.

Closing the Circle (~Weeks 11-12)
In the final two sessions, the group reflects on what has changed for each person during the last weeks of Circle. What have you learned? How have you changed? What is different in your life? As we understand this type of healing to be an evolution, we also reflect on what is next for each person to continue their growth.  

Circles Are Co-Created

Each Circle is different and co-created by all of the participants of each Circle.  For example, some Circles agree to include meditation, somatic practices, and music. Circle Keepers help ensure that the agreements are being fulfilled with the understanding that this is what helps to create a safe space for everyone to share and heal.

Some Other Practical Matters

You must be at least 18 years old to participate.  We offer in-person Circles in New York City and online Circles using the Zoom platform.  Each Circle has between 4 to 10 people including participants and Circle Keepers, and lasts for about 1 hour & 15 minutes to 1 hour & 30 minutes, depending on the size of the group.  Unless otherwise specified, Circles may be comprised of people from any gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and are conducted in English.

For more information, please see our FAQ Sections, About Circle—Practical & About Circle—Elemental →


To join a Circle, start by choosing the color that most applies to you :