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Kiva Trainings

The Kiva Center of the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) offers a wide range of trauma-informed training products and services.  The below list of trainings offered and endorsed by Kiva are facilitated by experienced members of our peer-run community, and are a core part of our on-going mission to provide trauma-informed, public health resources and supports to our community of more than 100 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts, and beyond.  Contact us today at (508) 751-9600 for more information about bringing a training to your community or organization!

Kiva logo, Where The Light Comes In

Trauma Informed Peer Support (T.I.P.S.)

Much is known and has been documented about the value of peer-to-peer support groups. Kiva’s Trauma Informed Peer Support (T.I.P.S.) training takes peer support to the next level by helping peers and peer support workers achieve a greater understanding of and capacity to respond to trauma. This training reinforces the key principles of trauma-informed peer support, which leads to trauma-informed, resiliency based outcomes.

Primary Audiences: Individuals providing peer support in a peer-run setting and/or who want a better understanding of peer support.

Length:  10 hours


Kiva’s Family Healing Series: Unit I

Peer Support for Families: The Fundamentals

The Kiva Center of the Central MA RLC and Zia Access Center are offering a new training for parents, families, caregivers, and professionals, which explores the role of peer support and lived experience in family healing.  Unit I is designed to support family partners in their existing role, and to enable a cross-section of families, caregivers, and professionals to emerge with new resources, choices, and an enhanced knowledge of how peer support and lived experience can benefit the whole family, as well as the person being supported.

Primary Audiences:  Peer Workers, Family Members, Social Workers

Length:  6-10 Hours


Kiva’s Family Healing Series: Unit II

Being Part of a Family While Struggling

Unit II of Kiva’s “Family Healing Series” focuses on the experience of being the family member who is struggling or has received a psychiatric diagnosis. Together we will hear personal anecdotes from trainers and trainees about their lived experience being labeled as the person not doing well. We will examine the impact these labels and experiences can have, and discuss how participants may want to navigate this. This training is currently in development and will be available in late 2019.


Kiva’s Family Healing Series: Unit III

When Family Members Want to be Supportive

Unit III of Kiva’s “Family Healing Series” focuses on the experience of wanting to support a family member who is struggling in a compassionate, meaningful way. In this unit we will explore how and when to approach difficult conversations, and how to navigate when we want to be supportive but are having a hard time ourselves.  This training is currently in development and will be available in early 2020.


Peer Support Supervisor Training

Learn the difference between peer support and peer supervision, including how to be a change agent working as a member of the growing peer workforce, and how to develop attributes to become an effective leader. Other topics include: interactive communication, empathy and compassion, flexibility and confidence, problem solving, and passion for peer support.

Primary Audiences: Certified Peer Specialists, Directors of Peer Services, Peer Supervisors

Length:  5 Hours


WRAP Training

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) is a personalized wellness and recovery system born out of and rooted in the principle of self-determination. WRAP® is a wellness and recovery approach that helps people to: 1) decrease and prevent intrusive or troubling feelings and behaviors; 2) increase personal empowerment; 3) improve quality of life; and 4) achieve their own life goals and dreams. A WRAP® also includes plans for responses from others when an individual cannot make decisions, take care of themselves, and/or keep themselves safe.


Parenting Journey

Parenting Journey supports mothers, fathers, caregivers and the general public to increase their confidence, capability, and resiliency – as individuals and as parents. The training includes activities, discussions and a family-style meal. During the final day, family and friends are invited to attend a graduation ceremony to honor the participation, accomplishments, and strengths of each person in the training.

Primary Audiences: Family Members, Peer Support Workers, General Public

Length:  Once a week for 12-14 weeks


Psychiatric Survivor History

Psychiatric Survivor History is a training with the intent of documenting and carrying forward the history of survivors labeled with psychiatric diagnoses. Early activism was a precursor to the modern peer workforce, and had its origins in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s.  This training will teach participants about the myriad individuals, organizations, and activist groups who pioneered this human rights movement in the United States and abroad.

Primary Audiences:  Peer Workers, Social Workers, Educators, General Public

                     Length:  6-10 Hours


Survivor Counter-Narratives

Survivor Counter-Narratives focuses on how we as survivors can share our stories as a means of creating system change. This training is a counter-response to the traditional “recovery story” – it is an opportunity to be vulnerable and move through the shame so often labeled on social groups and movements. It is designed with the understanding that our stories should not be used as a tool for others, but as an opportunity to create social and policy change.

Primary Audiences:  Peer Workers, Social Workers, Educators, General Public

                     Length:  10 Hours


Life After Violence (Facilitator Training)

Life After Violence is an in-depth training where intentional space is made to talk openly about having harmed others, whether that harm is emotional, physical, or of another source.  In this training we discuss how to facilitate non-judgemental, de-stigmatized spaces where dialogue and accountability can occur. This training focuses on the relationship between interpersonal and systemic violence (racism, sexism, etc), cycles of violence, thoughts of homicide or of harming others, and violence as a means for de-escalation.

Primary Audiences: Peer Workers, Psychiatric Nurses, Social Workers, Direct Care Workers

                     Length: 12 hours (3 Days x 4 Hours per diem)


Living Beyond Pain (Facilitator Training)

In this training, facilitators go through extensive instruction on how to foster peer support around living with physical/chronic pain.  In Living Beyond Pain, facilitators will learn how to create space where people can share their lived experiences with pain, how it impacts their lives and livelihoods, and the connection between physical pain and emotional pain.

Primary Audiences:  Peer Workers, Family Members, Social Workers, Direct Care Workers

Length:  10 Hours


Do No Harm

This course is intended for trainers to learn how to work with individuals encountering intersectional struggles with the recognition that these hardships may be connected to trauma. It will instruct trainers on how to establish a training environment that minimizes potential harm. Module instructions and debriefing sessions are structured in to practice various strategies taught within the course. Topics include but are not limited to: social justice, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, curriculum building and the impact of language.

Intended Audiences:  Trainers, Human Service Workers, General Public

                     Length:  3-5 Hours


Certified Peer Specialist (CPS)

This is a rigorous training for people preparing for a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) role in the community or service system. CPS is not an entry-level position and the training is designed for people who have some knowledge and experience with peer support. This 10 day training is a Master’s Degree level course and provides the recipient with a statewide recognized certification.


Intentional Peer Support (IPS)

IPS provides a powerful framework for creating relationships where both people learn and grow together. Learn how to be intentional about the way you connect and build mutual relationships; explore ways to create relationships in which power is negotiated, co-learning is possible, and support goes beyond traditional notions of “service”; this training is recognized worldwide.


Evaluation for Strategic Planning and Organizational Learning

This training is part of SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), dedicated to promoting wide-scale adoption of recovery-oriented supports, services and systems for people in recovery from serious mental illness and substance/opioid use disorders.