our process

MultiColor Experiences

Hidden Water offers formal and informal opportunities to sit in circle with those who are doing their work in other colors.

It is important to understand that all family members are negatively impacted when a vulnerable child or young person is harmed sexually and that all family members are likely to have said or acted in ways that have felt harmful to others.

By design, MultiColor Circles give individuals an opportunity to generate the experience of healing collectively, and taking in the experience of others who were also impacted, though in a different way. Hidden Water provides opportunities to sit in circle with our family members if those family members have completed one of the healing circles. Sometimes that is not possible, so we also offer opportunities both informally and formally to sit in circle with people from other families, building understanding and relationships with those doing the work who identify with the other colors.

How to participate in a MultiColor Experience

All experiences at Hidden Water start in individual healing circles. Each member of a family must do their own work to be more aware of how they were uniquely impacted by the experience of child sexual abuse. We understand that all family members were negatively impacted when a vulnerable child or young person was harmed sexually. Without acknowledging the complexity of a system harmed in this way, it will often continue to harm itself for years, decades, maybe even generations. 

Hidden Water creates healing circles for each member of a family system to do their individual healing work. When two or more members of a family take the time to understand in what ways they have been impacted and in what ways they have negatively impacted others – healing occurs, conflicts may resolve, critical support is available and ultimately the family or community is in a better position to stop child sexual abuse from reaching the next generation.

Healing will begin to happen organically as more members of the family seek out their individual healing work. Occasionally, families will decide to come to Hidden Water circles at the same time, each doing their work simultaneously in the different colors. Or if one individual wishes to stay involved in Hidden Water and become a volunteer Circle Keeper, they will informally and formally have many opportunities to sit in circle with the other colors. This experience can be very healing for everyone.

Family Circles

When two or more members of one family or system have attended an individual Healing Circle in the color that most aligns with their relationship to the harm, they are eligible to participate in a family circle with those individuals. This circle will be supported by the Keepers of each individuals healing circle, as well as a lead Keeper. The Keepers will be there to share their wisdom and support the family members as they discuss what is most important to them.

Hidden Water Family Circles give families an opportunity to sit together and face their harm history together. The circle can focus on concrete agreements on how to manage an aspect of family life or a dynamic that isn't work. It can work through a specific conflict. Or a family can choose to hold space, and listen in a supported environment to the lived experiences of one another.

To participate in a Family Circle*:

1 - All members must participate in a 12 week Healing Circle to join the Family Circle.
2 - The family selects a Hidden Water 'Lead Keeper.'
3 - The Lead Keeper develops a plan and goals for the circle with the Family.
4 - Once the plan is set, the members and Keeper(s) can set the date (s).
5 - Each member fills out the registration, including the confidentiality waiver.
6 - Each member makes a donation of any amount.

*We ask that each family member make a donation (of any amount) to support the work of Hidden Water.

MultiColor Circles

Multi-Color Circles give individuals an opportunity to feel seen, heard and witnessed in their unique experience by those of other colors. There is often a great deal of insight when one can sit and listen to the experience of a color, without having that be their particular family member. Somehow it is easier to listen and take in that experience. A core tenant of Hidden Water is the desire to heal in community with individuals who identify with different colors. Currently, structured MultiColor Circles are only available to Current Keepers. We hope to expand this opportunity as our resources grow.

MultiColor Experiences

Multi-Color Experiences give individuals an opportunity to learn together with individuals who identify with different colors. Hidden Water offers many different MultiColor Experiences including speaking events, trainings and workshops. While these spaces are not explicitly opportunities to work on the impact of child sexual abuse, they offer an informal opportunity to hear from and relate to people from the other colors. In addition, spending time with the Hidden Water Keepers offers a chance to hear their unique perspective on healing together.

We can all heal from anything, if we know how and have the support to do it.

Opportunities to build relationships across the colors.

DualColor Conversations and Family Circles
Circle Keeper Training
Summer Workshop Series and BBQ
Current Keeper Meetings

What to expect

For more information about Circles, please see our FAQs section.

Why MultiColor Experiences Matter

In our theory of change, we highlight that emotional harm continues long after the sexual harm has ended. Usually the family dynamics have the potential to do a lot of damage if they are not managed with intention and a nuanced understanding of the healing process for all involved. We have found that interacting with other colors, even if not one's own family members, will greatly expand the healing for the individual.

Circle Keeper Basic Training

Hidden Water offers basic circle keeper training three times a year. These trainings are open to anyone who would like to learn the fundamentals of circle keeping - regardless of their affiliation with our organization. This general training is normally filled with half Hidden Water Junior Keepers and half participants from the outside who want to learn for their personal or professional reasons. This makes for a rich set of lived experiences to draw from, as well as a MultiColor space.

Summer Workshop Series

Each summer we take a break from Healing Circles, and instead offer learning circles for our keepers and participants from outside the organization. These workshops focus on four areas: Child Sexual Abuse Education, Self Care, Conflict Resolution and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. These circles are MultiColor spaces. Keepers attend free of charge, as part of their professional development. For those participants who are paying a small fee to attend, the support goes to lifting up the work of Hidden Water. Thank you!

Summer BBQ For Keepers and Members

Each summer in August, we host a BBQ for our Keepers and Sustaining Members in Brooklyn. We eat together, socialize and then gather for a fire in the backyard. This is our opening circle ceremony for the upcoming two seasons. In this circle, we set our intentions to heal as a community and offer a heartfelt blessing to those joining our community for the first time in the coming months. This circle is made up of all four colors, and our supporters.

Current Keeper Meetings

Each season we have approximately 50 volunteer Keepers hold the circle spaces for the participants. During the season, we offer separate circles to support the keepers, if they wish to attend. These circles are offered as UniColor or MultiColor spaces and are optional for the Current Keepers. These MultiColor spaces can be their own deep healing, and are available to the Active Keepers only due to our capacity restraints.

Join A Project Committee

As part of our community, we offer opportunities to serve on project committees. These are always MultiColor spaces, where the committee members works to draw wisdom from their personal experiences in order to develop a curriculum, policy, a new program, etc. We use the circle format to gather insights, and then turn those insights into concrete actions steps. All of Hidden Water's innovations have been developed in this way.

Dual Color Conversation

As part of our community, we will host mediated conversations between two participants who request the support to have a conversation they need to have. Each participants in this Dual Conversation would need to have completed a 12 week Healing Circle before scheduling this conversation. We ask that each participant make a donation to Hidden Water in reciprocity for this resource, according to their capacity. It is an important part of the healing to have this energetic exchange.

Initiating a Family Circle  

When various members of one family participate in their individual Healing Circles, they become eligible for a Family Circle. Each member of the family will be supported in the circle space by their own Keeper of their same color. The organizing Keeper will speak with each family member to develop the intentions for that circle. We ask that each participant make a donation to Hidden Water in reciprocity for this resource, according to their capacity. It is an important part of the healing to have this energetic exchange.

The weight is lifted when
we do it together.

Our program aims to take our participants (families), approximately 300 a year, and give them the individual healing, the collective conflict resolution and the prevention education to stop child sexual abuse before it begins.