These Circles explore Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and raise awareness of the prevalence of ACEs throughout society. We’ve found that sharing, addressing and examining the impacts of childhood trauma through open dialogue creates a tremendous opening for healing to begin. We also incorporate therapeutic modalities during circles that can be used at any time.
We have also run Compassion Trauma Circles in prisons and transitional housing centers with great success. To learn more about bringing Compassion Trauma Circles to a prison or transitional housing near you, please get in touch.
It was great. Simple yet powerful. I’m very grateful!
I like that the circle is built in phases. Fantastic ice breaker, I loved it !!! It allows to share laughs and feel comfortable before entering in the next phase. Doing the quiz together by just raising the hand helps to dare showing vulnerability. The third phase, even sometimes strongly emotional allows people to share their feelings and to feel heard, supported and grateful, great !!!
It was wonderful… really healing and helpful.
Very meaningful, felt very connected with other people, in sharing my own trauma, and supporting, by my presence, others.
I found the CTC very moving. I was warmed by everyone’s openness and care for others and the amount of resilience and perseverance in the room.
Wonderful, it was an amazing, enriching, and fulfilling experience and I felt so honored to be in a space with you and so many amazing people.
It was a new experience for me, reaching for greater understanding of my, and others’ trauma. So important.
I learned that one can experience trauma when there was no intention on the part of the person to inflict trauma.
I thought I had zero ACEs but learned I suffered emotional neglect from my parents due to them being too busy or wrapped up in their own emotions.
I especially liked the pace of the different elements. There were pauses to allow for processing.
I learned that I do indeed have a few ACE’s, and that I need to seek more healing just as much as anyone else, even though many of my ACE’s are “unseen” or invisible.
I was able to see how much space I am able to hold for others when I let myself heal.
Loved the embodied meditations and guidance. Understanding the science of trauma was very revealing and insightful, the Neck down embodied work has been crucial for me on my healing path. I could not have defrosted to this point without learning how to safely inhabit my body.
The morning after the circle I contacted a friend I have sadly fallen out with. Up until then I had felt fearful of reaching out in case she rejected me. After the circle I felt I was an okay person, and however she responded I am still okay. This was a big shift for me. Thank you
It was really nurturing and a beautiful way to spend 4 hours.
I appreciated how organic the activities were (I liked finding the common as a fun yet deep metaphor for the foundation of this work on compassion…we are the same underneath…) and the deep listening and attunement of the facilitators (creating a psychologically safe environment). I appreciated that the activities normalized ACEs by having us all put them in the chat (that helps so much with shame resilience) and the sprinkles of neuroscience along the way to build our emotional literacy…I loved listening and bearing witness to the each person in the circle and holding each other in community…how you can fall in love with people even if they don’t say anything! it was beautiful!
I was able to separate my mother’s trauma from her as a person which I have NEVER been able to do. Seeing other women and mother’s struggling with feeling like they were a bad parent due to their trauma helped me see my mother as a human being as well.
A vibrating share of humanity and vulnerability, a nourishing feeling of unity and respect, a meeting of healing souls.
What you do is giving love and letting it circulate and heal, helping the installed hard feelings (shame, resentments, pain, angriness etc…) little by little to fade away. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING INITIATED THE CIRCLES.
The depth of my hypervigilence and how it is a product of early childhood trauma – my need for constant approval and feeling like an alien isn’t because I’m fatally flawed (which I know cognitively) but is a real, data based symptom from ACEs I experienced.
I was familiar with ACEs before but learned about them more in depth in the circle. It was helpful to clarify emotional neglect as an ACE.
No trauma is too small to have long lasting affects.
So enlightening, helped me feel less alone.
Insightful, safe, supported, revealing, encouraging
I learned about the extent of trauma symptoms and how they can come out in ways you wouldn’t think about for trauma.
While i understood i had challenges, ive spent my whole life focussing on moving forward, so it was a shock and also a gift to pause and truthfully acknowledge the richness that i have lived.
Trauma is generational. My mother and father both have scores of 9 (from what i know of) so i can clearly see evidence of healing as im an 8. It gives me much hope for my children.
Fritzi Horstman is the Founder and Executive Director of Compassion Prison Project. She is a Grammy-award winning producer for her work on “The Defiant Ones”, has been a producer and post-producer on dozens of television projects and documentaries and has directed several films. She believes it is urgent to bring humanity and compassion to those living behind bars and these acts will help transform our society. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Vassar College.