You are here
Home > News > “The Journey Home” for survivors of sexual trauma

“The Journey Home” for survivors of sexual trauma

Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services (KSCS) has launched a support group for women that have survived sexual trauma, and they hope it takes hold for the future, to help many community members.

Developed by support counsellors at KSCS, Amanda Winslade and Jean O’Conner, the 10-week long program offers a rather different approach at providing support.

The sessions will consist of an hour of group talk therapy which will be facilitated by Winslade and O’Conner.

Unlike the traditional group therapy meetings in which therapists often prescribe coping methods for changing negative thought patterns or educating the group members with facts, Winslade and O’Conner will mediate dialogue with a focus on reclaiming the strength the women already have within themselves.

“The point of trying to bring a narrative approach is to recognize that these women have all the skills and qualities that they need to reclaim their life from trauma,” said Winslade.

The group will not be talking about the details of the trauma the group members have experienced.

“It’s more about bringing out those stories of their life rather than focusing on these problem-stories. A lot of the question we will ask to generate discussion will be, for example, about the moments they’ve fought back against the trauma,” she said.

Other topics of conversation can include subjects such as how society’s understanding of sexual abuse can influence misconceptions and false beliefs.

Talking about these issues can help guide group members to break free from unnecessary feelings such as guilt.

For Winslade and O’Conner, this type of conversation will encourage the important sense of empowerment for the women.

Another innovative component of this program will combine the mind as well as the body as part of the healing process. The second hour of the session will invite women to do a yoga session instructed by O’Conner.

“One of the things we know about trauma is that oftentimes women feel a sense of disconnection to themselves, disconnection to people – a sense of emptiness within themselves. So through a practice of trauma-sensitive yoga it gives people opportunities to rebuild that connection,” O’Conner said.

In addition, Winslade and O’Conner feel it is important that there is an understanding that there are no power relations in these group sessions because, “I am only providing opportunities for people to make these shapes in their body,” O’Conner said.

They named the program “The Journey Home” because “it’s the journey from moving from the trauma back to your heart,” O’Conner says.

Winslade and O’Conner found that the topic of sexual trauma came up frequently in their individual therapy sessions.

“I figured it would be helpful to the women of the community to heal together as a group,” said Winslade.

“For them, support groups can be an even more effective resource for victims of sexual trauma. Feelings of isolation and alienation can be alleviated by coming together to share similar stories and through the support of one another,” said O’Conner. “KSCS wishes to provide that safe space for recovery and has seen a recent increase in people coming in to ask for help and different requests for services- an “openness for healing.”

Winslade and O’Conner are pleased with the response they got since the launching of this program. The group is full and if the interest is there they hope to continue this group in the fall.

The sessions will be held Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Family and Wellness Center beginning January 21.

[email protected]

With rising printing costs, overhead and inflation, community newspapers like The Eastern Door are finding it increasingly more difficult to keep afloat. But here’s a way you can help: 
Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid archive of our cherished history. Your kind donation will go towards a paper that stands as equal parts historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news, colourful stories, as well as a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers. Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Akwesasne or Chateauguay.
+ posts
Top

Dear Readers:

As an essential service that is still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eastern Door is fighting hard to keep news like this flowing, in our print product, though an online subscription at www.eastermdoor.com and here, for free, on our website and Facebook.

But when a large portion of our regular revenue has disappeared due to so many other businesses being closed, our circulation being affected by the same issue, and all of our specials canceled until the end of the year, we are looking for alternative ways to keep operations going, staff paid, and the paper out every Friday for you to enjoy.

Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid, continuing archive that documents our cherished, shared history. Your kind donation will go to a newspaper that stands as the historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news; colourful stories, and a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers.

Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake or Chateauguay. Akwesasne delivery has been suspended due to the pandemic and border issues.

We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing a whole lot of facts, separated from gossip and rumors.

E-transfers are accepted and very much appreciated at: [email protected]

Maintained By WordPress Website Support