Carman McKay and I have facilitated groups of members of First Nations since 2001.
Carman McKay is a First Nations cultural presenter and a member of the Matsqui First Nation Band with more than 25 years experience supporting individuals and groups. He is a traditional story-teller, drummer / singer, and cultural teacher, and he integrates storytelling and song into his teachings. His client-centred focus and strength-based holistic facilitation skills integrate social, cultural, historical, and spiritual teachings that he received from elders for more than 35 years.
My work in group facilitation is informed by my clinical counselling knowledge and my experience of supporting many individuals who experienced trauma, complex relational trauma, childhood trauma and the transmission of intergenerational trauma. I have received extensive teaching and training from Carman, elders and other First Nations’ leaders in the Fraser Valley, as well as Woodland Cree teachers and elders in Alberta. For several years I worked as a First Nations youth care worker.
Carman and I work collaboratively to facilitate groups, integrating our diverse and common strengths and work to build group rapport and trust. Our approach is humanistic, holistic, and client-centred. We acknowledge the unique needs of individuals and communities that we serve. This includes their cultural and spiritual beliefs, the influence of their ancestors and traditional lands.
We integrate traditional storytelling, song, therapeutic process, and psycho educational information in a strength-based process that supports growth and social, cultural, emotional and spiritual healing of individuals and communities.
The philosophy of our work links with the following:
We facilitate the following First Nations groups:
- Youth grief and loss healing circles for ages 13 – 15 years and 16 – 18 years.
- Adult healing circles for community members who are experiencing symptoms of PTSD due to trauma, complex relational trauma, and the transmission of intergenerational trauma
- Adult healing circles for those experiencing grief and loss
- Reclaiming Connections, First Nations Parent skill group. This is an attachment-based, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and trauma-informed program that has been enhanced to serve First Nations people.
Groups may meet outdoors, or in the counselling office, a community building, a smoke house, or other suitable location.