When one member of the family is incarcerated, it can destroy the family structure, undermine the natural development of the family unit and erode family connections. If you work with families who are impacted by incarceration and have witnessed first- hand the fear, shame, confusion and sadness family members face, and would like to understand how to help these families, this training is for you. Strategies and activities to engage families will be outlined and the oppression faced by various groups whose stories are often silenced will be addressed.
Trauma as a result of distressing experiences has the ability to transcend through generations of a family, continuing to affect each new generation. Second generation offenders are often individuals who had, or have, a parent or caretaker who has also been incarcerated. When people talk about their trauma it has the capacity to offer new perspective, self-awareness, and liberty from unspoken events. Helping families to reduce their stress through meaningful discussion is critical. As Rebecca Solnit stated, “A free person tells their story.”
This training will help participants identify unhelpful patterns, roles and behaviours that thwart the healing process of families that have loved ones who are incarcerated. Emphasis will be placed on CBT’s Cognitive Restructuring (CR), and Narrative therapy techniques for use with families, including therapeutic stories that deepen, explore and process a thorough sense of self. Strategies to engage families will be outlined, as well as activities for use in a family session. These evidence-based approaches will incorporate supportive emotional mindfulness and self-regulating techniques.
It will take into consideration that trauma often leads people to question relationships with those closest to them including themselves.
This training will attempt to minimize the oppression faced by various groups whose stories are often silenced. By redefining whose voices are heard we offer a much more inclusive picture of reality. The voices of family members are often misunderstood and limited.
- Understand how effective communication is impaired within the family system following the incarceration of a loved one
- Understand the importance of family focused work as a key to interrupting the cycle of crime.
- Learn therapeutic interventions based on Narrative Therapy stories that are interwoven into the lives of other family members
- Examine how healing circles can support families that are constantly stressed and the impact of the stress on the nervous system.
- Consider how the impact of systemic oppression and racism informs the healing process of racialized families