On February 13th, 2016, Good Shepherd Mediation Program (GSMP) executive director, Cheryl Cutrona presented Circles Process training at the Good Shepherd Gracenter. in San Francisco, California. The workshop focused on how the Gracenter can incorporate circles as a way to support the women residing there who are recovering from addiction. The Gracenter staff plans to use the Circle as a viable process for engaging the women in collaborative dialogue for many reasons: team-building; relationship building; values; conflict resolution; celebration; education; and restoration.
The Circle process creates a safe space to discuss difficult and painful issues, to improve relationships or resolve differences. The objective of the training provided by GSMP was to prepare participants of the Gracenter to serve as Circle Keepers. The participants developed an understanding of the “generic” Circle process so they can adapt it to the needs of the individuals of the women who transition through the program.
Participants were treated to a Native American Smudging Ceremony, pictured above. Participant Traci Grellinger, Gracenter House Manager, waved a smoking sage stick around each person and the circle. This ancient ritual is performed to cleanse and bless a space.
For more information about Circles training at Good Shepherd Mediation Program, contact Shakeya Currie Foreman, the Restorative Justice Specialist, or Cheryl Cutrona, the Executive Director. Both can be reached at 215-843-5413. For more information about Gracenter, go to their website www.gsgracenter.org.