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Radical and Rooted Counseling/Caregiving Skills (with Jen Meunier)

July 17, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The word “radical” comes from the word for “root”, and the aim of this circle is to begin to understand and talk about trauma as it is “rooted” in systemic oppression, which is a powerful and radical act. We are also “rooted” in the stories of our own families, we have a relationship to ancestral land which is inseparable from systemic power. How can we acknowledge and understand all of this as part of trauma and healing?

Trauma can be hard to talk about, and hard to listen to. This is a facilitated circle for people who are interested in learning about tools and techniques for creating spaces where its okay to feel “big feelings” in a way that is empowering, connecting and respectful. We will centre around non-professional relationships (friendship, families, communities, etc.) and address family, gendered and sexual violence. We’ll do this in three stages: grounding in ourselves through a few simple, accessible exercises; grounding ourselves in an understanding of what counseling and caregiving means to us; exploring the nature of trauma and recovery from a rooted and radical perspective; learning tools and practices for counseling from that understanding; and finally, tools and practices for supporting ourselves in counseling/caregiving role.

Some of the questions this workshop seeks to answer are:
-Do we have to maintain a certain degree of distance or anonymity in order to counsel someone?
-What do we actually need to do to avoid burning out or tuning out, and how can we do that with little to no time, energy or resources?
-Are people who respond to trauma by caregiving just bound to burn out, or are there strategies to avoid this?
-What if people in caregiving roles supported each other through community circles, and shared resources cross-regionally?
Jen Meunier is an Algonquin Anishinabe living in the territory covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum. She is Autistic and has multiple communicative and sensory “disabilities” which enliven and diversify her life and may challenge your stereotypes about disability. She has received training through the Family Violence Prevention Training at Ganohkwasra Family Assault Support Services on Six Nations, the training program for volunteers at the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant and is in her last year of completing a double degree in Political Science and a BEd. in Adult Education. In 2012, she facilitated the Anti-Colonial Action Project which brought together people in Kitchener in a 14 week relationship-based course on breaking down multiple barriers of oppression and colonization.

Generations of survival instincts compete underneath her skin and surface as trauma, poetry and unlikely coincidences. She is passionate about food sovereignty, plants, singing, stories, traditional building, Anishinaabemowin and will light up if you ask her what “coppicing” is. Try it, it’s fun!

Thursday July 17 6-9pm      University Centre room 441


July 17, 2014
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Guelph Summer Institute


University of Guelph
50 Stone Rd. E
Guelph, Ontario Canada
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