Indigenous Tools For Living

A 6 session series of an integrative therapy workshop exploring indigenous tools for living on how to work and sit with complex trauma without burnout.

Perspective & Practice

Indigenous Tools For Living

This workshop is for professionals at all levels, who are working with marginalized people. We will explore Indigenous perspectives and practice hands on learning about complex trauma to help keep grounded and be more comfortable when in difficult situations. A variety of Aboriginal/ Indigenous treatment modalities are woven throughout, including experiential exercises and land based healing techniques.
Indigenous Tools for Living is a 3-day training on how to work with and sit beside complex trauma. Though the training will benefit clinicians, it is also specifically designed for frontline non-clinical workers in social work, victim services, first responders and similar professions. It is facilitated by instructors and Elders from the Indigenous Focusing Orientated Therapy Program, and is clinically supervised by Shirley Turcotte, RCC.

ITFL emphasizes knowledge and application through classroom instruction, applied scenario-based learning, and clinical practice and supervision (when taught to clinicians). A variety of Indigenous treatment modalities are woven throughout, including experiential exercises, storytelling, ceremonial processes and land-based healing techniques. Together these provide concrete tools and approaches for working with complex trauma in ways that avoid burnout and triggering, while at the same time maximizing impact and achieving better outcomes.

Making an Impact Across the Globe

Indigenous Tools for Living was developed by Shirley Turcotte, R.C.C.S.F.T.T who is a Metis knowledge keeper and Registered Clinical Counsellor and has been working internationally, with communities and survivors of intergenerational complex trauma, Indian Residential Schools fallout, childhood sexual abuse, and PTSD for more than 4 decades. Her work in developing applied or intergrative therapy techniques through an Indigenous collective lens is far reaching. Shirley is a strong advocate for land-based knowledge and Indigenous perspectives on health and wellness. Her National Film Board of Canada’s film, To A Safer Place; helped move the epidemic of child sexual abuse into the public eye and was the first of its kind. She is a recipient of many awards, including B.C’s Woman of Distinction Award in Health and Education. She is the curriculum developer, mentor, lead instructor and clinical supervisor of the Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapy (IFOT) Program; and she is the mentor, curriculum developer, and clinical supervisor for the Indigenous Tools for Living program.

Our Classes

ITFL Online Workshops

ITFL is a 8 session series of an integrative therapy certificate
training workshop exploring indigenous tools for living on how to
work and sit with complex trauma without burnout. Basket 1 is
mandatory. Baskets 7 and 8 are optional.
This is the only Indigenous Tools For Living training that is opened to all communities in the United States.


$100 per Basket | $650 for Full Course Before January 23, 2o22 $800 Thereafter.

Early Bird Countdown:








BASKET 1 & 2

Basket 1 (Mandatory) || Cost:$100

Creating a protected land-based space for hearing, sharing and creating land based ways of setting “the load” down.


Basket 2 || Cost:$100

Sensing the difference between a reaction and an authentic ‘felt sense’; Hearing the wisdom of our collective knowing and ancestral shared trauma knowledge.



(i) Clearing and creating a protected land-based space for hearing and sharing trauma
(ii) Protecting your center to be able to hear trauma without being traumatized by it
(iii) How to set down lived, vicarious and intergenerational trauma
(iv) Noticing our triggers and how to attend to them quickly, as service workers and helpers
(v) Indigenous Helpers: cedar, stones, water, and how to lean into land to create a hearing space 
(vi) Feelings, reactions and felt sense
(vii) How to sit beside and work effectively with complex trauma

BASKET 3 & 4

Basket 3 || Cost:$100

Exploring the intergenerational benefits and necessity of that Critical Voice that tells you/us ‘you can’t’ and using that ‘critical voice’ as a helper in finding our authentic personal and collective voices.



Basket 4 || Cost:$100

Collective and Personal Grief & Loss explored as Justice and Transformation to help move us personally and collectively forward.


BASKET 3 & 4:

i) How to transform and lean into animals to become un-triggered and fully stay present in difficult situations with difficult people
(ii) How to notice regression, and respond and reflect when someone is in a difficult emotional state and not being respectful
(iii) Understanding the role of the Critic and how to connect with the collective inter-generational wisdom laying deep under the critic
(iv) Grieving as an action into social justice: Deep feelings of grief, depression or suicide are often collective and inter-generational conversations
(v) How to recognize the various levels and roots of grief our clients are experiencing and connecting with the land to find out what may help to move into connection

BASKET 5 & 6

Basket 5 || Cost:$100

Exploring Dreams & Twisted Thoughts (day or night) as guides for resolving complexities and collective intergenerational.


Basket 6 || Cost:$100

Spirituality considerations; with complex, intergenerational trauma.



(i) Exploring our Dreams and Twisted Thoughts (day or night) as guides for resolving complexities and collective Inter-generational connection
(ii) Spirituality considerations; with complex, intergenerational trauma
(iii) Receiving our gifts

BASKET 7 & 8 (Optional)

Basket 7 || Cost:$100

An introduction into addressing complex trauma without therapy for front line work.


Basket 8 || Cost:$100

We will explore the importance of land-based and implicit work. In this basket we will begin to put your individual self-care bundles together.


(i) Giving back and strengthen the clinical skills learned to work with complex trauma using the decolonized / Indigenous therapeutic skills
(ii) An introduction into addressing complex trauma without therapy for front line work. Recap on how to sit beside trauma, help defuse trauma and connect with land based ways of helping.



Meet Our NYC Instructors

Dr. Damaliah Gibson

Dr. Damaliah Gibson

Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D / Instructor

Beatrice Hyacinthe

Beatrice Hyacinthe

Psychotherapist, LCSW / Instructor

Isabel Adon, LCSW

Isabel Adon, LCSW

Psychotherapist/ Instructor