Healing Circles: Share Your Experience
What Makes a Circle Healing?
Inspired by discussions at the Healing Circles Annual Leadership Council, Whidbey Island, August 2018
By Janie Brown, Callanish Society
The only person who can accurately perceive a circle to be healing is the individual circle participant. Healing is what the person says it is. (Like pain is what the person says it is).
I feel healed in a circle:
We heal most deeply in community. The people who often help us heal most deeply are those who are going through what we are experiencing. That is why good cancer support groups—or healing circles—are so helpful for many people with cancer—and for those who love them who are going through the experience with them. Finding a truly healing support group or healing circle can be a challenge. There are online groups—we list a few examples below. Or you can join with others—or create your own.
We started Healing Circles because the alumni of our week-long Cancer Help Program retreats wanted to sustain face-to-face meetings. Our alumni groups meet monthly for two hours. There are others who offer similar methodologies. No one invented healing circles. They've been with us from the beginning of human history. Our Healing Circles, co-created with three other centers that have offered the Cancer Help Program for 20 years or more, are slowly spreading across the US and Canada and beyond.
You can explore our approach at Healing Circles Global, or check the other examples of support groups or healing circles listed below. We welcome your experience. We're just beginning to build out this part of BCCT.
- Healing Circles Global
- CancerNet.org: Support Groups
- CancerCare: Support Groups
- The Cancer Forums
- Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE): Advocacy
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance: Woman to Woman
- Lung Cancer Alliance: Support Groups
- Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.: Support Groups
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
- Sarcoma Alliance: Peer-to-Peer
- Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network: In-person Support Group
- Imerman Angels
- Especially for young adults:
- Smith Center for Healing and the Arts: Support groups and other resources in the Washington, DC, area
- Annie Appleseed Project: Links
- Center for Courage and Renewal (not specific to cancer)
- Peer Spirit (not specific to cancer)
- Cancer Support Community
- Commonweal: Healing Circles
- CancerCare: My Cancer Circle
- April Stearns: Wildfire
- American Society of Clinical Oncology: Cancer.Net
- Commonweal: Commonweal Cancer Help Program