Building a Home for the Heart


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Building a Home for the Heart

Using Metaphors in Value-Centered Circles

By: Patricia Thalhuber, B.V.M., Susan Thompson

Publication date: January 2007

Written by long-time Circle keepers, the book shows how facilitators can use metaphors to help Circle participants explore their values. The values dialogue is, of course, the bedrock of most restorative justice processes.

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Title information

Building a Home for the Heart is a guide that not only gives in-depth background about using metaphors to talk about values, but also practical suggestions of metaphors that have been successful in the authors' practice with women incarcerated at the Volunteers of America Regional Correctional Center in Roseville, Minnesota. In 1998, Pat Thalhuber and Susan Thompson began keeping a talking Circle with women incarcerated at the Volunteers of America Regional Correctional Center in Roseville, Minnesota. During their years with the Circle, they discovered that metaphors could help the women talk about values and lead to profound realizations that would not otherwise have been possible. In this volume, Pat and Sue share much of what they have learned about using metaphors to facilitate self-healing. Written with Circle participants in mind and relevant for all who journey toward healing, the book follows the seasons through a full year, reflecting on the human condition, our place in the natural world, and our connections to ourselves and each other.

Pages: 200
Language: English
Publisher: Living Justice Press
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Patricia Thalhuber, B.V.M.

Patricia Thalhuber, B.V.M., is a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Dubuque, Iowa, now residing in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. Pat has found through her life as a teacher, youth coordinator, community programmer, and Circle keeper that empowering ideas and their implementation come with heartfelt listening and a willingness to change. For more than a decade, she has initiated Circles in the community to address family and institutional needs. These Circles have been held within agencies as well as within the criminal justice system.

Home Town: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and daughter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. She is grateful to all those she has met along the journey who have been teachers for her in their own ways. She spent one year training for Circles with the Circles of Harmony. She has also had the honor of taking part in the Circle training conducted by Phil Gatensby, who shared the wisdom of the elders from Yukon. She has been grateful to participate in Circles for twelve years and to keep Circles for eight years.

Home Town: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Praise for Building a Home for the Heart

Kay Pranis
Circle trainer and author of Peacemaking Circles
Pat Thalhuber and Susan Thompson have written a wonderful book that stimulates thinking about the meaning of core values and describes specific ways that we can generate dialogue about them in groups. The Circle-based framework that they present could be used by any of us with family, friends, coworkers, or neighbors. These are the critical conversations of our time, and this book is a lovely guide for having those conversations.

Julie Paul
Probation officer, Ramsey County, Minnesota
The talking Circles were instrumental in helping my client work through a very difficult period of her life. Through the Circle, she experienced the support and compassion she needed for healing. . . . I am grateful the Circle was available to my client, and I consider it a valuable resource in working with probation clients.

Susan Coler, B.V.M.
Any time a group of people can sit in a Circle together to resolve their differences, to right a wrong, and to ease human pain, something wonderful has occurred. . . . I welcome these writings and the passion of these authors to use Circles as a means of healing and peace.