Healing Ways: Group Crisis Interventions for Indigenous People

Requesting This Course:

When working with diverse cultures, respecting the unique differences as well as the historic traditions are key in maintaining the integrity of a post trauma intervention program. Language and diversity, gender roles, spiritual beliefs, cultural norms, past traumas, life experiences, and historic teachings can influence how a group learns, and how an individual or group heals from a traumatic experience. This is certainly true as we blend these new crisis response skills into the history and cultural traditions of Indigenous People.
Healing Ways: Group Crisis Intervention for Indigenous People is a curriculum that was designed to meet these needs. The information shared here will offer a foundation for community crisis response teams who provide support for Indigenous communities. The curriculum encourages the use of familiar teachings and the familiar circle format for discussions. The Group Information Meeting provides a template for large groups who have been affected by highly stressful incidents. Calming Discussions and Group Crisis Conversations are skills best suited for smaller groups, (ie: families, friends, co-workers and community members), after a highly distressful or traumatic event. The goal of this course is to provide a training experience that is sensitive to the many unique Indigenous Cultures throughout the United States and Canada. Using the Medicine Wheel as a format to recognize signs of stress as well as a guide for suggestions of healthy coping follows a traditional example that many will recognize. Groups are encouraged to discuss their own healing practices as part of the teaching component of these interventions. The curriculum and teaching methods are intended to follow a more traditional way of learning, using traditional cultural teachings of the Medicine Wheel for wellness and the power of a circle format to support those in crisis.
Parts of the skills taught in this course are adapted from the ICISF Models for Group Crisis Interventions.

Curriculum Includes:

  • History of Indigenous People in North America
  • Individual, family and community strengths
  • Common terms and roles of team members
  • Active listening and responding to difficult themes (guilt, shame, blame, anger etc.)
  • Spiritual / Emotional/ Physical / Mental and Behavioral Signs of Stress/PTSD
  • Teachings of the Medicine Wheel for Healthy Coping
  • The wisdom and participation of Elders/ Shaman/ Medicine Men and Medicine Women
  • Smudging and Ceremonies as Healing Practices
    The skills taught will include large and small group interventions and time will be given to
    practice each model within the class. All skills begin and end with Elder’s prayers.
  • Large Group Information Meeting
  • Small Interactive Group Interventions
    • Calming Discussion – 5 Steps
    • Group Crisis Conversation – 8 Steps
  • Timeline for Interventions – Target/ Type/ Timing/ Team/ Themes
  • Team Care – Traditional healing practices and using the PASS after interventions

Continuing Education Information
Two-day Course: 8:30 – 5:00 (14 Contact Hours)