Thursday, September 21, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM EDT
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427 Bloor St W
Toronto, ON

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Tom Regehr 
CAST Canada 

Transforming Trauma through Narrative and Spoken Word

Through our shared narratives we stitch together
niches of resilience into tapestries for change!

-Wes Ryan

     DATE: Thursday Sept 21, 2017
     LOCATION: Trinity St Pauls, 427 Bloor St W
     TIME: 1:00 - 4:30 pm
     COST: $85 + HST

Transforming Trauma is a workshop designed to assist helping professionals looking for tools to address personal stress stemming from work related circumstances.  We'll craft metaphor to approach vicarious traumas, put transference in parentheses, and find poetic potential in the mundane.  Each list tells a story.

Narrative approach benefits the individual, the counsellor, and the agency (Hartman, et al, 2008). Using both receptive and expressive approaches, participants in this workshop will explore the benefits of utilizing existing poetry and creating their own writing.

Learn to be self -reflective and encourage empathy for others and self, to encounter the nuances of individual situations, and to be heard within a supportive environment.

Spoken word requires listeners as well as presenters, and this workshop will encourage both in a supportive and creative atmosphere wherein participants will fulfill both roles.  This is a reciprocal exercise wherein participants will build community and foster individual growth.

"Not only did I learn about spoken word to use with clients,
I got lots out of it for myself!"

Colleen Carruthers - B.Ed. (Adult Ed.), CTDP, PCC, CCMC, CHRM,

Workshop Breakdown:

Hour 1:  Build rapport and create a safe environment for participants

  • Introductions
  • Why you are here and what do you hope to gain from the workshop?
  • Engage participants in warm-up exercises
  • Receptive approach – participants are encouraged to bring poems or song lyrics that speak to them.  The facilitator will also have some for the group to look over.
  • Finding common ground – short group exercise
  • List poem – using an average day, participants make lists and turn them into verse

Hour 2: Digging Deeper with Abstract Nouns

  • Using various poetic techniques including acrostic, surreal, and comedic, participants will examine abstract nouns such as trauma, love, empathy, etc.
  • Encouraged use of all five senses in describing the abstract noun (creates instant metaphor)
  • In pairs, participants read poems to each other and report to their partner what they heard
  • Cooperatively, edit and re-share poems with the larger group

Hour 3:  It takes a community to raise a poet

  • Participants will break into small groups and work on pieces around common themes
  • Each individual will craft their own work and from common ideas a larger group piece will emerge
  • Presentation techniques to help with confidence, including preparatory exercises
  • Present works, both group and individual, to the whole class

Conclusion - Room discussion to identify value in the work

" It was a lovely, instructive and inspiring afternoon
which I'd sign up for again in a heartbeat!"
                                                                Alanna Morgan


Wes Ryan is an award winning spoken word artist, community organizer, and workshop facilitator.  He has worked with various communities including at-risk youth, sexual assault survivors, street-identified individuals, and industry professionals.  His own experience as a survivor and a person with a disability is that poetry and other expressive arts provide a myriad of benefits to the individual including self-care techniques as well as social work interventions.

"It is Wes' magic to raise words to the plane of experience: we are not listening to Wes, we are listening with him.  As we do, we experience ourselves not on the level thought, but in the domain authentic emotion at our core."
.                                                           Dr Gabor Maté

becca@cast-canada.ca       www.cast-canada.ca      regehr@cast-canada.ca