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Green Healing Circles are for adults who were sexually abused as a child or young person, and are working to heal, come to a balanced place in their family and/or in their web of relationships, and continue their path of growth, empowerment and transformation.

 
 


⌾  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 →

I just finished my first Circle and I’m filled with emotion thinking about it. My middle name, Jastaran, means ‘raft that helps others cross the river’. For much of my life, I’ve been this raft for others. I had no idea how much I needed someone else to hold a raft for me... And that’s what my Circle and my brilliant Circle Keepers were for me. They were raft builders, river navigators, star map readers, and actual angels guiding me on my journey, holding space for me to float. Undoubtedly the most meaningful part was finding forgiveness in my heart, something I didn’t even know was there. I had no idea how badly I had needed to forgive and to let go. Now I am free. Hidden Water is a true gift and I’m honored to be a part of this healing community.

—Halli Jastaran Faulkner, www.yogaforsurvivors.org

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Some Frequently Asked (Green) Questions

I have already done a lot of therapy and other kinds of healing work. Can these Circles still benefit me?

Yes. Many people who consider themselves far along on their healing path — including healers, therapists, and Circle Keepers — have participated in our Healing Circles and reported everything from positive movement forward to important breakthroughs. Hidden Water values the idea that there is a continuous growing edge for each person on their path to healing, and encourages participants to work their own edge during Circle. We therefore encourage people at all stages of their healing work — from those who have never spoken of their experience to those who have been in therapy for years. The power and richness of Circle is often generated from the shared yet diverse experiences and perspectives that comprise a Circle. It is worth noting that one reason Hidden Water Circle Keepers choose to volunteer their time to facilitate Circles is because we find continuing benefit in being participants in the process, no matter how much therapy or “work” we have done.

I was harmed as a teenager. Can I join a Green Circle?

Yes, definitely. Hidden Water Green Circles serve all people who were sexually abused or violated as a young person — which we define as under the age of 18. Relatedly, we do not set an age cut-off if the person who harmed you was not an adult. For example, it is not uncommon for a young person to be sexually abused by another young person.

The person who harmed me was not a family member. Can I join a Green Circle?

Yes, definitely. The impacts of childhood sexual abuse permeate the lives of adults and whole family systems in very similar ways whether the person who harmed you was someone within the family system or was outside the family system (such as clergy, babysitters, neighbors, teachers, coaches, older friends, and even strangers).

Are Circles gender-specific?  

Circles may be comprised of people from any gender identity, including LGBTQIA and Gender-Nonconforming people.  If you would be interested in participating in a Circle comprised of a specific category of gender identity or some other identity, such as People of Color or Queer People of Color, please contact us. If we receive enough requests, we may be able to offer a specific type of Circle. Please see FAQ, What is a Special Interest Circle?

 

I am not in communication with members of my family and do not have any intention to be. Can I still join a Green Circle?

Yes, definitely. Although Hidden Water is a restorative justice approach to healing, we do not prescribe any next steps or frameworks around the “right way” to be in relationship with family members or anyone. Healing looks different for different people and for some of us that means intentionally not being in relationship with members of your family and/or the people who harmed you.

Our Healing Circles strive to hold space for people to process the challenges and impacts of childhood sexual abuse in their lives, believing that when one person is harmed, all are harmed, and when one is healing, that healing reverberates throughout every relationship touched—including those relationships that are estranged. Being in relationship or not with specific people is an important choice that is yours (and yours only) to make. We strive to support one another without imposing any directive on how to navigate those choices and relationships.

What constitutes “harm” or “abuse”?

Many people do not have a clear picture or memory of the harm (but have a strong feeling something happened) and 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 harmed me was not in the family, or if I was not a child, or I don’t identify with the phrase “child sexual abuse”, can I still come through Hidden Water?

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

How is Circle different from therapy?

While participation in Healing Circles can have powerful therapeutic effects and can be beneficial alongside therapy, Circles are not therapy. Healing Circles have a distinct format (see FAQ, What is the format of a Healing Circle?) that differs from one-on-one talk therapy or even group therapy. Also, Circle Keepers are equal participants and do not act as therapists or counselors in their role as Circle Keepers (see FAQ, What is a Circle Keeper?). Circles, generally, also have a distinct approach, focusing not so much on “treatment” of a trauma or pathology, but rather the focus of Circle is on fostering wholeness and well-being.


For more FAQs, please see our
FAQs page.


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Hidden Water helped me to - finally at the age of 83 - release my poems into the wider world as a poetry collection. A book. Not a few individual poems in obscure journals. And with that collection to also speak aloud about the sexual abuse as a child by my father.... I got to say that fact aloud in the context of my whole life in which there were so many beautiful and happy experiences.

— Cele Bona, author of Tilt-A-Wheel on the Farm 

 
 

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 chose 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 Green 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. 

 
Self Care
 

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 Green 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 a Circle with others who have completed at least one Green, Orange, Blue or Purple Healing Circle, please speak to 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 a Green 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 Green Circle Keepers are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and have completed at least one 12-week Green Circle and a Circle Keeper training. If after completing your first 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 are what 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.

On our Blog, 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 Green 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 Green,
Green Resources→


To see All Resources,
All Colors Resources→


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

 

Facing deep inner pain is ugly but the only way to get to the other side is to swim through. I tried for years, making progress everyday, but it never felt like enough. I liken my life to being under deep dark water, seeing the light of the surface but not knowing how to reach it. And yet I just kept swimming towards the glimmer. Hidden Water, my incredible Circle Keeper, and the other participants, led me to the surface. Now I can breathe. I can see the light. Feel the heat of the sun. And float in the beauty that is my life.

— Stefanie Sacks, www.stefaniesacks.com

 
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