We recognize that childhood sexual trauma is complex, affecting mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. We create time and space to explore and address the impacts of the trauma on all parts of self.
We believe that everyone has value and see the potential in all. We facilitate the healing journey by drawing on individual resilience, strength, capacity, and resource.
We understand the presence and harm of systemic forms of oppression. We will work consciously and actively to reduce systemic oppression in our practices, learning from our mistakes. We are committed to collaborating with each other and the community to create a more just world.
We believe healing and transformation happens within healthy relationships and meaningful connections. We place the therapeutic relationship at the core of our clinical model and encourage people to develop healthy support systems and connections within their community.
We believe people are the experts of their own lives and each person has the right to make their own life choices. We encourage people to set their own goals and lead their healing process.
We believe in creating an environment where everyone can thrive and where all parts of our identities are valued. We are committed to being inclusive and striving for Cultural Safety, where everyone is welcomed and honoured.
Anti-Oppressive Practice Framework
Heartwood Healing Centre understands anti-oppression to be recognition of inequitable and unjust power imbalances in our social contexts and larger structural systems. Anti-oppression is an action word and we commit ourselves to actively working to equalize power differences. We recognize anti-oppression as an approach through which we aim to always work and which is engrained in everything we do.
In 2020, Heartwood Healing Centre developed an Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) Committee. The purpose of this committee is to work towards organizational alignment with values that challenge entrenched power structures and equity for people of all identities within our organization.
In 2021, the AOP Committee developed an Anti-Oppressive Framework identifying four (4) areas of focus to guide us in becoming accessible, inclusive, and a safe(r) space moving forward.
- Communication & Engagement – developing formal and informal partnerships with organizations in our community that serve equity seeking groups.
- Education & Accountability – assessing the culture of our organization and providing opportunities to Board and staff for self-reflection, learning, and unlearning.
- Policy & Procedures – auditing and revising our governance and operational policies to ensure they reflect anti-oppressive principles. This includes an exploration of different organizational structures and decision-making models.
- Clinical Model & Service Delivery – ensuring our services are accessible to diverse groups and incorporating different worldviews and the intersectionality of oppression in trauma recovery into our clinical model.
The AOP Committee has developed an action plan to push change forward and hold the organization accountable. We strive to do this work in a relational way. Updates on our progress will be shared in our quarterly newsletter.
Harm Reduction Statement
Heartwood Healing Centre views harm reduction as a philosophy, belief, value system, practice, and approach that seeks to prevent or minimize harms through the work we do.
We follow the lead of the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network that states: “Harm reduction is looking at the big picture, to the systems and policies that create harm for people who use drugs and working to change those systems” (htps://mhrn.ca/harm-reduction).
Heartwood Healing Centre aims to reduce harms and increase access to our organization that is inherently entwined within the historical context of a colonial Canada.
We acknowledge this as part of social structures, systems, policies, and practices that make substance use harmful, and that disproportionately harm people who have experienced colonial violence and/or racialization. We commit to advocating to expose and challenge them.
We offer support, advocacy, dignity, and respect to all; continuously challenge our personal biases; and meet clients where they are at, without judgement and assumptions. We recognize and affirm that we all have choices and that we all take risks in our lives and understand that complex trauma removes choice at times.
As part of our commitment in trauma-informed care, it is important to us to destigmatize coping mechanisms in hopes of reducing shame, recognizing that everyone needs medicine, and it is not up to us to tell people what their medicines are.