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by Dennis Windego

Join us for an Empowering Journey

of Healing and Transformation!


Embark on a transformative path to becoming an agent of healing and change! This captivating one-year training program, offered by Aboriginal Peoples Training Programs through Grandmother's Voice, is designed exclusively for psychologists, counsellors, social workers, elders, traditional healers, and paraprofessionals who work tirelessly with Indigenous peoples and communities affected by the enduring impacts of colonialism.

Through the integration of Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT), this advanced program equips you with the specialized skills and knowledge needed to compassionately and effectively address trauma and complex trauma in your clients. Don't miss this unparalleled opportunity to create profound change in the lives of those you serve while deepening your own understanding of
healing and resilience.

What you will learn:

Program Highlights

  • Seven three-day in-person modules over one year

  • Application of Indigenous cultural knowledge, wisdom, and ceremonies

  • Recognition and management of trauma symptoms and memories

  • Creation of safe healing spaces for individuals and communities

  • Opportunity to apply to be certified as a Focusing-Orienting Therapist upon program completion

Module Schedule​

  1. Trauma, PTSD, Vicarious, Intergenerational, and Complex Trauma: RESCHEDULED TO BEGIN JANUARY 2024

  2. Basic Focusing Oriented Therapy and Trauma

  3. Intermediate Focusing Oriented Therapy and Trauma

  4. Advanced Focusing Oriented Therapy and Trauma

  5. Depression Grieving and Trauma

  6. Spirituality and Trauma

  7. Dreams and Trauma

How will this training equip you to serve and support healing within your community?

  • Apply Indigenous cultural knowledge to therapeutic models

  • Effectively manage trauma symptoms without overreacting

  • Foster individual and communal healing in traumatized communities

Event Outline

Facilitated by Dennis Windego MSW 

Dennis is from the traditional lands of the Anishinabeg community of Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation in northwestern Ontario.  His Anishinabeg name is Zoongwebines, and he is a member of the Lynx clan.  Dennis follows the teachings of his late father which guides his decolonizing approach to mental health, addictions, grief, and healing of trauma.  He holds an MSW from Laurentian University. He also graduated from the community-based, BSW (Hons) program through Seven Generations and Carleton University.

Sign me up!

Program Eligibility

You should have experience as a counsellor, therapist, or healer working with residential school survivors, addictions, and survivors of sexual, physical, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, and suicide. The skills and understanding that you will gain will support trauma work with Indigenous community members but also in many other cross-cultural situations/settings.
You must complete an application form to be considered for the program.

To begin the process, please apply by clicking this link.


Program fee: Total cost, including supervision, meals, and materials: $8500.00


Fees must be paid as follows: $500 non-refundable deposit to reserve a spot in the training, time of and the balance due before the start of the program (now starting January 2024).

Don't miss this unique opportunity to deepen your therapeutic skills and make a lasting impact on your community. Join us today!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Who is Dennis Windego? Dennis Windego is from the traditional lands of the Anishinabeg community of Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation in northwestern Ontario. His Anishinabeg name is Zoongwebines, and he is a member of the Lynx clan. Dennis follows the teachings of his late father which guides his decolonizing approach to mental health, addictions, grief, and healing of trauma. He holds an MSW from Laurentian University. He also graduated from the community based, BSW (Hons) program through Seven Generations and Carleton University. He facilitates and provides psychotherapy in the areas of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complex Trauma. Dennis has been providing one on one, family and group sessions for over 30 years within outpatient and land-based treatment settings in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities across Canada. He has been a guest speaker at many conferences such as the Annual Dialogue for Life Conference in Montreal, and other healing gatherings involving the judicial, education and health care systems. Dennis works as a psychotherapist with the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) in Northern Quebec offering, individual, family and group therapy. Most recently, Dennis has provided workshops, in addition to training on Land-based Healing for Complex Trauma for Grandmother’s Voice in both face-to-face and online modes. Dennis applies a decolonizing approach steeped in Anishinabeg culture, ceremonies, and psychotherapy for the treatment of trauma, addictions, grief, abandonment, neglect, violence, residential schools, and childhood trauma. His approach resonates with Indigenous culture, teachings, and ceremonies. Dennis develops and facilitates community-centered, land-based, culturally relevant programs which builds on existing programs and services within communities and organizations. He is a Coordinator with the Focusing Institute (New York, NY) and offers using Indigenous Methods for Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma Program- a one-year program for psychologists, counsellors, social workers, elders, traditional healers, and paraprofessionals who work in the field of trauma and addictions with Indigenous peoples and communities affected by colonialism. He is a former student of St. Margaret’s Indian Residential School in Fort Francis, Ontario. Through his own personal healing journey, coupled with his academic training, he brings his experience and knowledge to assist other survivors in healing of direct and intergenerational trauma. He lives the lifelong wisdom of his late mother’s teaching, “don’t forget who you are and where you come from”.

Who or what is Grandmother’s Voice? Grandmother’s Voice is an Urban Indigenous Organization located in Halton Region, ON. Its membership includes both Indigenous Community Members and their cousins who journey together actively seeking reconciliation. Grandmother’s Voice works towards healing through building community, providing educational opportunities, and actively engaging with sustainable environmental principles. Indigenous Grandmothers are the original Earth Walkers who guide, direct, model, and protect culture for the coming faces.  Grandmothers have preserved the core principles of peace, power and righteousness. They strengthen communities and nations through reclaiming identity, rebuilding relationships and remembering our Original Instructions. Resurgence in Indigenous Ways of Knowing is our pathway to healing as a community and nation. Reclaiming, restoring culture, land, language, holistic health and well being is the pathway to self-determination.

Where will the training be held? Training will be held in-person at Country Heritage Park, Milton, ON. You will receive full details about the location once you have registered for the program.

Who should participate in the program? This program is taught from an Anishinabeg (Land-based) Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT) approach and will benefit counsellors and therapists who are interested in developing Anishinabeg healing methods, treatment techniques, and strategies that are essential to healing of traumatic life situations. Focusing-Oriented Therapy is beneficial to counsellors, therapists, and healers, who work with residential school survivors, addictions, and survivors of sexual, physical, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, and suicide. If you are a therapist or healer working in an Indigenous agency and/or community, the training will be of particular interest to you. However, the skills and understanding that you will gain will support trauma work in many other cross-cultural situations/settings where people have experienced. Please note: we value experience and will consider para-professionals who have been working in the field but do not have formal training or educational backgrounds.

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How can I apply to participate in the program? The application process is simple. Fill out the on-line application form. Please upload your resume, and a work letter of reference from your supervisor/colleague with your completed application form. Once you have submitted your application, please allow for one week for review and you will be contacted directly by Dennis Windego.

Is this program accredited? The Focusing and Trauma Certification Program will be considered an advanced professional development and training program in Focusing-Oriented Therapy and Complex Trauma, which is particularly effective in working with trauma survivors. Upon successful completion of the program students will be eligible for international certification as a Focusing-Oriented Therapist, (FOT) from the Focusing Institute in New York. Please note: upon completion of the certificate, Dennis will provide evidence of your participation. Applying for FOT accreditation is the responsibility of each participant. The Institute also offers members an international journal publication, The Folio, and continuing education and development opportunities, such as annual conferences and various workshops on leading edge focusing and other experiential and/or somatic therapies at Focusing Centers worldwide.

ATTENDANCE What happens if I need to miss a session over the course of the program? If you would like to be eligible for certification with the Focussing Oriented Institute, you are required to complete 80 hours of supervised training. If you miss a session, you will need to make up the hours. You can make up missed content by joining the session you missed with the cohort that is offered the following year. You can make up the supervised practice hours by joining the session you missed the following year, or by seeking supervised training hours with a certified FOT training supervisor.

THERAPEUTIC APPROACH What is focussing? You can find a number of helpful resources on focussing on the Focussing-Oriented Institute website. This includes a definition, the practice and a number of videos by founder Eugene Gendlin.

What is Focussing-Oriented Therapy? Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy comes from the pioneering work of philosopher and psychologist Eugene Gendlin at the University of Chicago, where he collaborated with Carl Rogers. Dr. Gendlin's work has been honored by three awards from The American Psychological Association. He and colleagues studied why some psychotherapy clients improved while many others did not. It was found that successful therapy was not determined by the therapist's technique, orientation or the kind of problem being discussed. What did make a difference was what the client was doing internally. Successful clients were regularly checking inside themselves for a whole bodily felt sense of their situation. These findings led to much further research in the last fifty years and to exact understandings about how this inner checking can be found. Most of the time we don't know what we are experiencing. No one takes the time to really listen to us and we don't actually listen to ourselves at a deep level. In Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy the therapist knows how to listen in a way which helps the client find his or her own intricate bodily sensed experience. Feeling the therapist's intent to actually understand, without judgment and evaluation, the client's attention can come inside to a level of awareness called the felt sense. We are all familiar with emotions, but a felt sense is not an emotion. It is a new human capacity. The felt sense of a situation or problem, when it first forms, is typically vague and unclear. You can sense that something is there, but it is hard to get it into words exactly. The felt sense is holistic in nature and contains within it much more than we can easily think or emotionally know about our situation. As the therapist and client spend time with the felt-sense, new and clearer meanings emerge. The felt sense, of its own accord, brings the exact word, image, memory, understanding, new idea, or action step that is needed to solve the problem. The physical body, in response, will experience some easing or release of tension as it registers the "rightness" of what comes from the felt sense. This easing of tension is what tells us that we have made contact with this deeper level of awareness and that we are on the right path. Imposing other's ideas of how we ought to be, reliving old traumatic experiences and even insight about causes of our problems, doesn’t usually bring change. Therapeutic change is bodily and feels good, even if the content we are dealing with is painful. Resolving our problems usually comes in small, successive steps of contacting the felt sense and waiting for it to bring something new to our situation. When we attempt to solve our problems with what we already know, think, and feel, then we may find that we are just going in circles. But from the felt sense level of awareness where something new can emerge and real change can occur. The discovery of the felt sense is an advance in the field of psychology. It transcends what is known on the levels of behavior, emotion, and cognition, and brings meaning from a new level which has all these functioning implicitly in one whole bodily sense. As we sense inside and connect more deeply with ourselves, we are also able to listen and connect in new and more satisfying ways with others. This paves a way for resolving our differences and enjoying cooperative relationships with family members, friends, and our larger communities. The felt sense and what it brings for individuals and their relationships has implications for how we address the more complex and global problems of our world. Truly resolving our problems, individually and collectively, requires something new - something fresh - something more. Many models of psychotherapy involve making clients into objects to be changed in accordance with the therapist’s ideas or theory. If the client objects to being treated this way, the client is considered "defensive" or "self sabotaging." Contacting your own felt sense of your situation makes any kind of psychotherapy safer because you can check what feels right for you or what feels demeaning or not helpful. You can discover more about Focussing-Oriented Therapy on the Focussing-Oriented Institute website.

How does Focussing-Oriented Therapy connect to Land-based Therapy? Dennis Windego combines focussing principles with Indigenous teachings on medicines and the healing process to support clients to move towards Mino-Biimaadiziwin (The Good Life). His work with Indigenous and other groups of people impacted by violence provides a path to healing through the felt sense and connection to the land to work through and heal colonial and spiritual wounds. The colonial processes that have informed both Canada’s past and present ultimately affect all peoples of Turtle Island- both indigenous community members and their cousins.

What can I hope to learn from participating in the program? This program emphasizes both knowledge and application through classroom instruction, clinical practice (logged and supervised therapy sessions) and clinical supervision. The program is highly interactive and experiential and is taught from an Anishinabeg Focusing Oriented Therapy (FOT) perspective. This program will provide you with apply Indigenous cultural knowledge, wisdom and ceremonies into a therapeutic model that resonates with Indigenous individuals and communities. It will 5 provide you with skills that help to recognize trauma symptoms and memories, and how to manage those symptoms without overreacting. It will also provide you with the tools you need to create safe spaces for individual and communal healing with both Indigenous communities, or any community who has experienced trauma. Once you successfully complete this program, you will have the opportunity to apply to be trained as a coach as the next step in your training.

How will I be evaluated in this program? This program component will provide students with clinical skills and feedback about their level of practice throughout the program. Students will log and document a minimum of 80 peer therapy sessions as well as attending regular supervision sessions. Students will be evaluated by the course instructor on how they demonstrate the required level of competency through observation of practice, debriefing sessions, and skills demonstrated throughout the program.

COSTS How much is the tuition for the Focus-Oriented Training and Land-based Approach to Healing Complex Trauma? Tuition is $9605.00 ($8500.00 plus $1105.00 HST) and includes 21 days of in person instruction, completion of 80 supervised practice hours 1 , materials and meals.

Can I pay for my tuition in installments? Once you have been accepted to the program, you will be required to pay a $500 deposit to reserve your place. Tuition can be paid in two installments of $4452.50 (by January 10, 2024 and June 10, 2024). Please speak to Jody Harbour (, Coordinator, Grandmother’s Voice if you have extenuating circumstances and need to discuss an alternate payment arrangement.

What if I can’t complete the program? Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any refunds if you are unable to complete the program. We can, however, offer an opportunity for you to participate in the following year’s cohort, to complete the program.

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