Indigenous Tools For Living

A 6 – 8  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 an in-person and online training that teaches skills on how to work with and sit beside complex trauma while reducing burnout.  This training will benefit clinicians, practitioners, 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 Dr. Shirley Turcotte, RCC.

ITFL emphasizes knowledge and application through classroom instruction, applied scenario-based learning,  and clinical practice and supervision.  A variety of Indigenous treatment modalities are woven throughout, including experiential exercises, focusing,  storytelling, ceremonial processes, body-centered 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 Dr. 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 an 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.
This is the only Indigenous Tools For Living training that is opened to all communities in the United States.


$100 per Basket | $800 for Full Course

24 CEs are available for NYS LMSWs, LCSWs, LCATs, LMHCs, LMFTs and Licensed Psychologists upon completion of training.


Register for Indigenous Tool For Living

All 8 baskets

BASKET 1 & 2

Basket 1 (Mandatory) (3 CE credits)

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


Basket 2 (3 CE credits)

Sensing the difference between a reaction, feelings and an authentic ‘felt sense’; intro to the focusing steps.



(I) Participants will be able to describe ways to clear and create a protected land-based space for hearing and sharing trauma
(II)Participants will be able to demonstrate how to hear trauma without being traumatized by it
(III) Be able to describe vicarious trauma and intergenerational trauma and ways to set it down 
(IV) Be able to define a flashback and triggers and identify ways to attend to them quickly 
(V)Identify indigenous helpers and how to lean into land to create a hearing space
(VI)Participants will be able to identify the 6 steps of focusing 
(VII)Describe the difference between feelings, reactions and felt sense
(VII) How to sit beside and work effectively with complex trauma

BASKET 3 & 4

Basket 3  (3 CE credits)

Exploring the inner critic and the intergenerational benefits and necessity of the critic.  Using that ‘critical voice’ as a helper in finding our authentic personal and collective voices.


Basket 4 (3 CE credits)

Collective and Personal Grief & Loss explored as Justice and Transformation to help move us personally and collectively forward and into a relationship with our grief.


BASKET 3 & 4:

(I) Participants will be able to identify ways to transform and lean into land based techniques to manage triggers and work effectively in difficult situations  and with difficult people
(II) Participants will be able to describe regression, and identify ways to respond when someone is in a difficult emotional state 
(III) Participants will be able to understand the Critic and how to connect with the collective inter-generational wisdom laying deep under the critic 
(IV) Participants will be able to understand Grieving as an action into social justice
(V) Participants will be able to identify ways in which deep feelings of grief, depression or suicide are often collective and inter-generational conversations 
(VI)Participants will learn how to recognize the various levels and roots of grief that clients are experiencing and connecting with the land to find out what may help to move into creating a relationship with grief. 

BASKET 5 & 6

Basket 5 (3 CE credits)

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


Basket 6 (3 CE credits)

An introduction into applying the focusing steps and tracking in addressing complex trauma 



(I)Participants will learn how to explore Dreams and Twisted Thoughts (day or night) as guides for resolving complexities and collective Inter-generational connection.

(II) Participants will be able to identify the dimensions of dreams including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual from aboriginal perspectives
(III)Participants will learn essential tools to explore dreams with their clients
(IV)Participants will become familiar with applying the focusing steps and tracking in addressing complex trauma particularly those who are in non-clinical settings

BASKET 7 & 8 

Basket 7 (3 CE credits)

Spirituality considerations in navigating and unpacking complex, intergenerational trauma


Basket 8 (3 CE credits)

Reviewing and  strengthening acquired clinical skills to work with complex trauma using the decolonized/ Indigenous therapeutic skills


(i) Participants will become familiar with ways to incorporate spirituality considerations in navigating and unpacking complex, intergenerational trauma
(ii) Participants will become familiar with ways of giving back and strengthening acquired clinical skills to work with complex trauma using the decolonized/Indigenous therapeutic skills

Register for Indigenous Tool For Living

All 8 baskets

Continuing Education Guidelines:

We have partnered with the Love & Kindness Wellness Foundation, Inc. to offer CE credits. In accordance with the NY State Department of Education guidelines, in order to receive continuing education contact hours, a participant needs to be present (on camera) for the duration of the workshop/training. Therefore, participants who arrive late or leave the training early will not be granted a certificate of completion. Full attendance, course evaluation and post test are required for certificate. Should you have any questions regarding CEs please email [email protected]
​Cancellation Policy: Refunds will be provided for cancellations made in writing up to five business days prior to the start of the event

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

Hilda Massoud, LCSW

Hilda Massoud, LCSW

Psychotherapist/ Instructor