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Blue Healing Circles are for family system members, partners, and friends who are impacted by the experience of childhood sexual abuse of a loved one — either a loved one who harmed or was harmed — and who are committed both to supporting their loved ones and to healing themselves.

 
 


⌾  Circles begin periodically and participation is free.

⌾  Circles run for approximately 12 weeks, and last for about 1hr & 15 minutes to 1hr & 30 minutes each, depending on the number of attendees that week

⌾  All Circles are comprised of between 4 - 10 participants, and all participants must be at least 18 years old.

⌾  To participate, we highly recommend a firm commitment to attend the first three (3) meetings and the strong intention to attend all twelve (12) meetings.

⌾  Once a Circle is completed, participants are welcome to return and join subsequent Circles.

For more information see About Healing Circles →

Blue Circle gave me a safe place to share, reflect and look more deeply into the sexual abuse in my family system. It created a healing environment for me to uncover and process how the abuse affected me, my beliefs, my patterns and own pains. I was also able to hear others’ stories, relate to them and heal as a collective through the power of Circle. Through the opportunity to lead one week’s Circle, I was motivated to spend more time reflecting and being vulnerable with how the sexual abuse had affected me, something I may have not done so deeply without being a part of Circle.
— Robert Asplund

Some Frequently Asked (Blue) Questions

I want to support my sister/ brother/ spouse/ partner/ friend, but why would I need to be a part of a “healing” circle when the abuse did not happen to me?  

The impact of childhood sexual abuse reverberates throughout the entire family system and society as a whole. Those who are or were close to a loved one who was harmed (or who caused harm) have their own unique pain and challenges. Because the focus tends to be on the persons who were directly impacted by sexual abuse or violation, there is often little support for friends, partners and family to process how the harm has impacted their own life or that others who were also impacted.

Blue Circles strive to support members of a family system and community in processing the questions that often come up, such as: Could I have done anything? Do I need to take more responsibility (or less)? What has been the impact on my family and relationships because of what happened? How have I experienced secondary trauma reactions? What do I do with my own anger, depression, guilt, and helplessness? How do I relate to the person who caused the harm? How do I relate to the person who was harmed? Is it okay that I feel harmed by the reactions and negative play-out of the person(s) I'm supposed to support? How do I help break the silence in my family system? How do I support my own healing so that I can more effectively support the people I love?

I know there has been some kind of sexual harm in my family but people are unwilling to talk about it. Can I join a Blue Circle?

Yes. A common response to childhood sexual abuse in families and communities is the unwillingness to address what happened or even the attempt to completely deny the situation. This kind of response can be very harmful to all members of the family system, particularly the person who was harmed. It is, therefore, a courageous and healing step to join a Blue Circle and break that silence.

Blue Circles are intended to provide a space for members of a family system or friends of a loved one who has been impacted by childhood sexual abuse to process the pain and challenges in connection to the harm that took place. We encourage those who have not yet had much dialogue with others about how what happened affected you to join a Circle so you have a space to share about the questions and challenges that are coming up for you. The Circle can give you support while also helping you answer the questions “what happened?” and “what can I do now?”

I want to support someone I love, but I don’t know how.  Will joining a Blue Circle be helpful for that?

Yes! We believe that Blue Circle participants play a crucial role in healing a family system or community, and preventing abuse from cycling into the next generation. If you were impacted but not directly harmed, we have found that once you do your own healing work, you often have a greater capacity to take on a crucial healing and leadership role by preventing the family system or community from denying, deflecting, minimizing and/or justifying the abuse. We often encourage those that were harmed to find the first Blue person who would be willing to step up for them as a support person inside the family system. This is how we ultimately create a healthy healing environment inside a family system or community - one Blue participant at a time.

Is everything confidential?

It is a general principle of Circle that what is shared in Circle is held in confidence and with respect. In the second session of Circle, Circle Keepers lead the group in co-creating guidelines and agreements for how the group will function together, which always includes a conversation about confidentiality, among other issues of trust and safety. Circle Keepers and the rest of the Hidden Water staff keep all personal information shared, inside and outside Circle, confidential. This includes the names of anyone participating in a Circle. Hidden Water does not collect any information about participants beyond their contact information and the Circles they have attended. Hidden Water has a strict policy of not providing any documentation about attendance or participation to anyone outside of Hidden Water.

The only exception to our practice of confidentiality is if information surfaces which leads Hidden Water to believe that a child is currently being harmed or is in imminent danger of being harmed; Hidden Water chooses to follow the guidelines of mandatory reporting and will inform Child Protective Services of any information that might keep a child safe.

What constitutes “harm” or abuse”?

Many people do not have a clear picture or memory of the harm (but have a strong feeling that something happened) and they have asked us if they can join a Circle. The answer is yes. Others have asked: Is it necessary to have had penetration or on-going episodes of harm to be eligible for Hidden Water Circles?; or If the person that caused harm was not in the family, or if the person that was harmed wasn’t a child or doesn’t identify with the phrase “child sexual abuse”, can I still come through Hidden Water?; or If I don’t think what happened is legally considered “abuse" because the person who caused the sexual harm was not an adult, or the person who was harmed does not consider what happened “abuse”, does this still qualify?

The guideline for us is: if any violation of a sexual nature, clear or unclear in detail, happened to someone under the age of 18, by someone of any age, known to that minor or not, including a stranger, and you believe this has had a negative impact, this qualifies to participate in Hidden Water.

I’ve never talked with anyone about what happened. Can I still join a Circle?

Hidden Water Healing Circles strive to create a safe container to hold every person regardless of where they are in their healing process. Circles draw people at all different stages in their healing — from those who have never spoken of their experience to those who have been in dialogue or therapy for years. The richness of each Circle is often generated from the variety of experiences and perspectives within the Circle.

Speaking about child sexual abuse can be extremely challenging. Therefore, each Circle eases into the process and spends the first few weeks creating community agreements — norms with which the whole group works to build consensus. Community agreements are co-created so that if a person feels uncomfortable or triggered, there are guidelines, group norms and plans of action that can support you with what comes up.

For more FAQs, please see our FAQs page.

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The Gifts of Healing

There is no cost to participate in Hidden Water Circles. All Circles are gifted to current participants by previous participants who wanted to help us “pay-it-forward”.

Hidden Water Circle Keepers volunteer their time and consider this work an act of service, which also furthers their own continuing healing, enabling the circle of healing to continue.

 
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What’s After Circle?


Self-care

After you have completed a Blue Circle, first and foremost, be present to your growing edge and keep taking good care of yourself. Self-care and connection with others are paramount. If you need support, please seek it out. You can also contact your Circle Keeper(s) who can help guide you to professional support.  Remember you are not alone.

 
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Also, there are several ways you can continue on your healing path while staying connected to Hidden Water:

Join Another Circle

If you feel at anytime that joining another Blue Circle would benefit you, we always warmly welcome back past participants. If you also identify with another color Circle, you may consider joining one of those Circles. People who have been through Circle are uniquely valuable in subsequent Circles. There is no formula or graduation date for healing and it’s not uncommon for people to participate in multiple Circles.

Ask About Multi-Color Circles  

If you would like to participate in Circle with others who have completed at least one Green, Orange, Blue or Purple Healing Circle, please speak with your Circle Keeper(s) and/or contact us. When there is enough desire and need for such a Circle, we will work with those who are ready to come together in a restorative Systems Circle process.

Join Us

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, are inspired to write a testimonial or blog post, would be willing to speak to someone interested in joining an Orange Circle about your experience, and/or have any other ideas about staying engaged with our work, please fill out this short form and help us expand the circle.

Become a Circle Keeper

All Blue Circle Keepers have a loved one who was sexually abused as a child or young person, and have completed at least one 12-week Blue Circle and a Circle Keeper training. If after completing a Blue Circle, you would like to become a volunteer Circle Keeper for Hidden Water, please let your Circle Keeper(s) know, and they will recommend you for one of our trainings. For more information, please see FAQs, What is a Circle Keeper? & How can I become a Circle Keeper? →

 
 

If you have participated in a Circle and feel you have benefitted from your experience, you are welcome to make a donation, based on your means and desire. Your donations make it possible for others to have a seat in the next round of Circles.

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Finally, we invite you to follow our Blog.

There, we share ideas, stories and events, as well as feature creative work from our Hidden Water community. We are also in the process of collecting Resources (articles, books, podcasts, films, etc) that Circle Keepers and participants have found helpful along our various journeys towards healing, empowerment and wholeness.

Below are the most recent posts for Blue and links to the Resources we are collecting. We’re adding more as we can. If there is something you think we should consider including, please write to us.

 

To see Resources for Blue,
Blue Resources→


To see All Resources,
All Colors Resources→


To see & search our full blog,
View All Posts→ 

 
After learning about the sexual abuse in my family, I wasn’t able to process it. The family silenced me and the victim. To the family, I was guilty of discovering the abuse and speaking about it. I participated in a Blue Circle and was transformed. Hidden Water gave me the means to heal myself. After Circle, I was finally able to raise my voice powerfully. It was fascinating to see how we were all walking around with this pain and then how open we became during the Circle process. After Circle, I was able to truly support the survivors.
— Tammy Rubin
 
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