Taol – Native American Talking Circles – A Perfect Recovery Model For Scam Victims

By Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Taol – The Native American Talking Circle And How We Apply It In Your Recovery!

Taol – A reprint from a Native People’s Conferrence

“Taol, or traditional talking circles, is a traditional Native American practice that SCARS uses to help traumatized crime victims recover,” according to what I presented in a recent conference.

“Taol is a safe space where victims can share their stories with others who have been through similar experiences. This can help victims to feel less alone and to begin to heal from their trauma.”

Taol can also help victims to make sense of their experiences and to develop coping mechanisms. In a Taol circle, victims are encouraged to talk about their feelings, to ask questions, and to receive support from others. This can help victims to feel more in control of their lives and to begin to move forward.
There is some research that suggests that Taol can be an effective intervention for traumatized crime victims. For example, one study found that Taol participants reported significantly lower levels of PTSD symptoms and anxiety than a control group of victims who did not participate in Taol.

Native American Talking Circles

Native American Talking Circles (Taol,) also known as healing circles or support circles, can be a valuable tool in the recovery of traumatized crime victims. Talking Circles are a traditional practice in many Indigenous cultures, including various Native American First Nations. They provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences, express their emotions, and find healing within a community setting.

Talking Circles or Circle Talks are a foundational approach to First Nations pedagogy-in-action since they provide a model for an educational activity that encourages dialogue, respect, the co-creation of learning content, and social discourse.

The nuance of subtle energy created from using this respectful approach to talking with others provides a sense of communion and interconnectedness that is not often present in the common methods of communicating in the Native American classroom and that is typically missing from Western models of education.
When everyone has their turn to speak, when all voices are heard in a respectful and attentive way, the learning atmosphere becomes a rich source of information, identity, and interaction.

Talking Circles originated with First Nations leaders – the process was used to ensure that all leaders in the tribal council were heard and that those who were speaking were not interrupted except to enhance understanding.

Usually, the Chief would initiate the conversation, with other members responding and sharing their perceptions and opinions of the topic under discussion. The process provides an excellent model for interaction within the learning environment as well. It is also very adaptive to any circle of people who need to discuss topics and make decisions together.

Taol vs. Peer-to-Peer Support Group Models

Taol and peer-to-peer support groups are both types of group support that can be helpful for crime victims. Both Taol and peer-to-peer support groups provide a safe space where victims can share their stories with others who have been through similar experiences. This can help victims to feel less alone and to begin to heal from their trauma.

In Taol, the circle is led by a facilitator (a kind of chieftain) who helps to keep the discussion flowing and ensures that everyone has a chance to speak. In peer-to-peer support groups, the group is typically led by a therapist or other mental health professional, though it can also be led by a group leader.

Both Taol and peer-to-peer support groups can be helpful for crime victims, but there are some key differences between the two approaches. Taol is a more traditional approach that is rooted in Native American culture of inclusivity, as opposed to the Western model of competition and comparisons. Peer-to-peer support groups are more Westernized and typically use a more structured approach to support.

Ultimately, the best approach for a crime victim will depend on their individual needs and preferences. Some victims may prefer the more traditional setting of a Taol circle (which can be done online in the form of a Zoom call or in person,) while others may prefer the more structured setting of a peer-to-peer support group. While SCARS has not talked about this previously, it employs the Taol model for its support groups for maximum effectiveness.

Why Does Taol Work For Scam Victims

There are a few reasons why Taol – Native American Talking Circles can be very helpful for traumatized scam victims.

  • Safety and Validation: Taol circles provide a safe space for victims to share their stories without fear of judgment or criticism. This can be especially important for scam victims, who may feel ashamed or embarrassed about being defrauded. In a Taol circle, victims can hear from others who have been through similar experiences and receive validation for their feelings, be educated, and be guided by a Trial Elder (the Taol Leader.)
  • Connection: Taol circles allow victims to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. This can help victims to feel less alone and to learn from others’ experiences. It can also provide victims with a sense of community and support. More than just community, it provides very real personal connections essential to stay on the path to recovery.
  • Healing: Taol circles can help victims to heal from their trauma. By sharing their stories and receiving support from others, victims can begin to make sense of their experiences and develop coping mechanisms. This can help them to move on from their trauma and to rebuild their lives. Especially true when coupled with professional trauma counseling or therapy – which SCARS always recommends.

Here are some of the psychological benefits of Taol – Talking Circles for traumatized scam victims:

  • Reduced isolation: Scam victims often feel isolated and alone after being scammed. Taol circles can provide a safe space for victims to connect with others who have been through similar experiences. This can help victims to feel less alone and to know that they are not the only ones who have been scammed.
  • Increased self-esteem: Scam victims often feel ashamed or embarrassed about being scammed. Taol circles can help victims to rebuild their self-esteem by providing them with a supportive and validating environment. In a Taol circle, victims can hear from others who have been through similar experiences and receive support and encouragement.
  • Improved coping skills: Taol circles can help victims to develop coping skills for dealing with the psychological effects of being scammed. In a Taol circle, victims can learn from others’ experiences and receive support and guidance in developing healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Increased resilience: Taol circles can help victims to develop resilience in the face of future challenges. By sharing their stories and receiving support from others, victims can learn to bounce back from adversity and to build a stronger sense of self.

Summary

If you are a scam victim who is struggling to cope with the psychological effects of being scammed, SCARS implementation of Taol – Talking Circles may be a helpful resource you need.

You can find more information about SCARS support groups or sign up at support.AgainstScams.org

PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

Opinions

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Society of Citizens Against Rleationship Scams Inc. The author is solely responsible for the content of their work. SCARS is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) section 230 from liability.

Disclaimer:

SCARS IS A DIGITAL PUBLISHER AND DOES NOT OFFER HEALTH OR MEDICAL ADVICE, LEGAL ADVICE, FINANCIAL ADVICE, OR SERVICES THAT SCARS IS NOT LICENSED OR REGISTERED TO PERFORM.

IF YOU’RE FACING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY SERVICES IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST EMERGENCY ROOM OR URGENT CARE CENTER. YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE FOLLOWING ANY MEDICALLY RELATED INFORMATION PRESENTED ON OUR PAGES.

ALWAYS CONSULT A LICENSED ATTORNEY FOR ANY ADVICE REGARDING LEGAL MATTERS.

A LICENSED FINANCIAL OR TAX PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE CONSULTED BEFORE ACTING ON ANY INFORMATION RELATING TO YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES OR TAX RELATED ISSUES AND INFORMATION.

SCARS IS NOT A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR – WE DO NOT PROVIDE INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESSES. ANY INVESTIGATIONS THAT SCARS MAY PERFORM IS NOT A SERVICE PROVIDED TO THIRD-PARTIES. INFORMATION REPORTED TO SCARS MAY BE FORWARDED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AS SCARS SEE FIT AND APPROPRIATE.

This content and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or financial advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for licensed or regulated professional advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider, lawyer, financial, or tax professional with any questions you may have regarding the educational information contained herein. SCARS makes no guarantees about the efficacy of information described on or in SCARS’ Content. The information contained is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible situations or effects. SCARS does not recommend or endorse any specific professional or care provider, product, service, or other information that may be mentioned in SCARS’ websites, apps, and Content unless explicitly identified as such.

The disclaimers herein are provided on this page for ease of reference. These disclaimers supplement and are a part of SCARS’ website’s Terms of Use

Legal Notices: 

All original content is Copyright © 1991 – 2023 Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. (Registered D.B.A SCARS) All Rights Reserved Worldwide & Webwide. Third-party copyrights acknowledge.

U.S. State of Florida Registration Nonprofit (Not for Profit) #N20000011978 [SCARS DBA Registered #G20000137918] – Learn more at www.AgainstScams.org

SCARS, SCARS|INTERNATIONAL, SCARS, SCARS|SUPPORT, SCARS, RSN, Romance Scams Now, SCARS|INTERNATION, SCARS|WORLDWIDE, SCARS|GLOBAL, SCARS, Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams, Society of Citizens Against Romance Scams, SCARS|ANYSCAM, Project Anyscam, Anyscam, SCARS|GOFCH, GOFCH, SCARS|CHINA, SCARS|CDN, SCARS|UK, SCARS|LATINOAMERICA, SCARS|MEMBER, SCARS|VOLUNTEER, SCARS Cybercriminal Data Network, Cobalt Alert, Scam Victims Support Group, SCARS ANGELS, SCARS RANGERS, SCARS MARSHALLS, SCARS PARTNERS, are all trademarks of Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc., All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Contact the legal department for the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Incorporated by email at legal@AgainstScams.org