Forest road
In Natures Wisdom
Healing for Mind Body & Spirit

Picture of teens


Talking Circles using the “Compassionate Listening” Model

For Girls, Guys & Mixed Gender Groups

Please see the Classes page of this web site for available listings.

When was the last time YOU were sincerely acknowledged for how you truly felt about something important to you? How did it make you feel?

I’m a trained and experienced facilitator with teen groups from the Seattle area and have always related well to teens and young people. I can remember those years myself so well. It’s not always easy being that age. As they grow into bigger, mature bodies, they’re often expected to “be” as mature as they look. They’re stressing about school, grades, peers, their appearance, jobs, etc., etc., not to mention problems outside of the usual that so often occur. The issue is they still have a lot of growing up to do, just as we all did.

It takes a village to raise a child!

I also meet many children, teens and young adults who, although still growing and maturing, display a great deal of brightness and innate creativity to think outside the box. They often feel like “old souls” in young bodies. They’re sensitive, often vulnerable and frequently express a deep desire to be heard and valued for what they already have to offer. Sometimes it’s also a matter of showing them how to look at themselves and life from a different perspective to be able to recognize their own special gifts. Mentoring and various “rites of passage” are also very important for giving them added support and a sense of pride in “stepping up” into something.

The development of the human brain isn’t complete until our mid-to-late twenties. This especially holds true for the frontal lobe of the brain which controls reasoning, articulating thought, ideas, feelings, etc. When someone says, “What were they thinking?”, they often weren’t! Long-range consequences sometimes aren’t being processed so well during these ages.

Teens need to be able to express themselves in a healthy way that works for them. I have seen amazing results in these circles. It gives them a safe place to express what they carry “inside”, beyond the outside exterior, in their own individual way. Being “heard” and ”witnessed” without judgment in ways like this have a very healing and empowering effect.

These circles offer an inexpensive but very effective way to:

  • meet with others their age and a facilitator and be able to be fully listened to for whatever they feel the need to express
  • learn more constructive ways to deal with conflicts in their lives
  • teach them to see situations through the eyes of others and develop more compassion in relation to peers, siblings, parents, teachers, situations where someone is being bullied, etc.
  • to meet with teens from the opposite gender as they navigate their way in their interactions with the opposite sex and try to understand the perspective of each other

The only rules are respect for the person speaking by not interrupting, no judgment and no breaking confidences unless someone is in danger or a danger to themselves or someone else. A 20-year history of these circles with teens by The Teen Talking Circle Project, has proven that it works and the kids keep asking for more of it!

"In the years I’ve known Georgia, I have always felt her appreciation and caring for young people. She sees and appreciates me for exactly who I am as a person, not my problems, sexual orientation or anything else. In her dream board workshop, she encouraged me to explore my dreams for myself and express them in a creative way and to continue using my natural talents in painting and drawing as an important form of self-expression."

Greg Jackson,

21-year old student