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Psychology Counseling

Community Healing

a transcultural model

by (author) Geneva Ensign

Hancock House
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Counseling, Native American Studies, Healing
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

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Through simple words and illustrations, this book presents a powerful, practical and visionary model for community healing. It outlines a healing process for individuals and communities that is universal and goes to the core of what it means to be a member of the human family. The Transcultural Model emerged from a forty-year career of individual and group psychotherapy at the grassroots level in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. It is a synthesis of healing principles found in community development and in the wisdom of transpersonal psychologists and Indigenous Knowledge. Elders and transpersonal psychologists are quoted, reminding us all that the rediscovery of the Inner Self/Spirit provides the motivation and the direction for a healing journey. The interactive and dynamic relationship between the individual and community is explored. In Chapter 7, Louise Gordon, Spokesperson for the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, reviews the community development process, providing guidelines for integrating the spiritual dimension to a holistic approach to community healing. When a community member opts to begin healing, everyone connected to them is affected in some way. Therefore when a part of the whole (an individual) changes, the whole (the community) changes as well. This is inevitable. The deeper and more profound the changes in the individual, the more profound are the changes in the community. This is a powerful dynamic. Healing Circles are carefully designed to promote the healing process in a safe environment and for the creation of support groups for on-going community healing. Detailed formats for five Circles are provided, ready to be led by Indigenous or non-Indigenous persons who have experience in leading groups and who are dedicated to their own healing.

About the author

Geneva Ensign is now retired from a 45-year career in the helping profession. Formerly self-employed, her company, Explorations Counselling & Training Services, provided one-to-one counselling and group psychotherapy, teaching and training in a variety of human relations workshops, community development and social program planning. Her work with Indigenous people began in the early 1970s when she signed a contract to design and deliver experiential learning modules to Indigenous communities whose leaders were enrolled in an innovative (for that time) outreach social work program. She says, “That experience was the beginning of my “real” education.” She continued to work by contract, learning through each new challenge. Her clients included Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, communities and organizations in northwestern Canada: British Columbia, The Yukon, Alberta, Northwest Territories as well as Manitoba and Ottawa. The last ten years of her career involved weeklong residential Healing Circles with the women of the Samson Cree Nation. Her book, Community Healing: A Transcultural Model, presents the “essence” of what she has learned about healing over the years—that personal healing leads to community healing. Dr. Duane Massing, professor emeritus of social work, Grant MacEwan University, says that Geneva “… distills her decades of experience and wisdom into a powerful, practical and visional model. It is, through and through, a strength-based book about healing the wounds that beset individuals, families and communities.”

Geneva Ensign's profile page