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Family System Circles

Hidden Water is committed to providing a safe space for all to further their healing from the harm of childhood sexual violation and/or abuse. Our Family System Circle is an opportunity for those who identify as a family or familial system to sit together in a structured and safe space to listen and be heard, and to consider what is possible going forward.


A Family System Circle is a unique and powerful step in creating an opportunity for healing and movement forward. Once everyone who would like to participate in a Family System Circle has completed at least one 12-week Healing Circle, Hidden Water will work with those individuals to design a Family Systems Circle process.  

This will likely follow the same design as the Healing Circles. Each Family System Circle will last for approximately 12 weeks and meet each week for about 1.5 hours, with care being taken to build and maintain a safe container for the process.  

In addition, each member of the family system will be given the opportunity to invite the participation of an individual from their Healing Circle into the Family System Circle. This way each member of the family or familial system will have their own support person who has shared a similar experience.  

There will also be one or two Circle Keepers who will manage the Circle process. Each member of the family system will have a call with the Circle Keeper(s) to:

1) determine if they feel ready for a Family System Circle,

2) request their support person, and

3) determine if there are any specific ways they would like to be supported.   

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In the past, we have supported family systems with the following process:

Week 1:  Opening Circle and Introductions

Week 2: Values and Guidelines

Week 3:  A Path from Harm to Healing

Week 4-9: Individually Lead Circles*

Week 10:  What Has Changed?

Week 11:  What Can We Do Going Forward? including, How Will We Close This Circle?

Week 12: Closing Circle

*Each member of the family system lead one Circle session, answering the question “What is the edge of my healing?”  

By design, the Circle upholds the dignity and equal worth of all participants, giving each person an equal opportunity to share, be witnessed, and have the pain of what happened or didn’t happen be held by all — not just the person who was harmed.

In this way, the family system is given the opportunity to properly disperse the responsibility of healing (which had previously been largely held by the survivor) throughout the larger family system. This can be a profoundly healing and empowering opportunity for every individual and for the system as a whole.

For more information, please contact us.