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Discovery Dating


Delivery Approach:
  • Individual
  • Group
  • Dyadic
Delivery Format:
  • In-Person
  • Virtual
Provider Requirements:
  • Other – Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship curriculum trained facilitators
Type of Experience Addressed:
  • Domestic Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Community Violence
  • Neglect
  • Family Separation
  • Homicide/Familicide
  • Substance Abusing Caregiver
  • Grief/Bereavement
  • Criminal Victimization
  • Refugee/Immigration
  • Reunification
  • Medical Trauma
  • Homelessness
  • Verbal/Emotional Abuse
  • Mental Health Issues/Concerns
  • Mass shootings
  • Hate Crimes
  • Systemic/Interpersonal Racism
  • Historical trauma
  • Homophobia/Transphobia
  • Trafficking
Engagement Methods:
  • Arts-Based
  • Culturally Grounded
  • Talk-Based
  • Other – Approaches that include varied learning styles, including experiential
Level of Intervention:
  • Primary Prevention 
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Tertiary Prevention
  • Greater than 12 weeks
  • Community-Based Agency
  • Correctional
  • Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Family Service Agencies
  • Foster Care
  • Home
  • Homeless Shelter
  • Residential
  • School
Program Details:
Type of services provided:

Discovery Dating is a program model that offers participants space to delve into self-discovery and build healthy relationships in any part of their lives. Participants will learn to set and achieve personal goals, make healthy decisions, sort out life’s chaos, have good communication skills, and more.

The curriculum facilitates exploring more than 32 aspects found in relationships of every kind – personal, professional, romantic, familial, and internal. It incorporates the community into its implementation by incorporating its history of harm, resilience, and community partners. Each lesson is processed using the brain science and safety found in Technology of Participation’s Focused Conversation. When followed, the curriculum shifts the participant’s Personal Agency, which includes Self Efficacy added to Self Regulation. The foundational values – informed choice, all have their best interest at heart, and protect and preserve wholeness and integrity – acknowledge each participant’s individuality and right to make their own choices. The skills and tools imparted in this training can have a lifelong impact.

Program setting:

Discovery Dating has been implemented in many settings, including elementary school classrooms, educational sessions for mothers receiving public benefits, youth clubs, high school enrichment offerings, and women’s support groups.

Length of program/number of sessions:

15 weeks + bonus lesson.

Type(s) of trauma/concerns addressed:

The program model was created to support individuals to build healthy relationships and make healthy decisions, and with the recognition that many marginalized communities experience generational trauma and oppression.

Education level of providers:

While there is no education level requirement, the program model facilitators must be trained in the  Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship curriculum. While there is no education level requirement, the program model facilitators must be trained in the Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship curriculum. 

Unique/Innovative Characteristics:

Created a virtual training and class during the COVID pandemic.

Date Added/Updated:

January 9th, 2024.

Population Served

  • 6-12 (Childhood)
  • 13-17 (Adolescent)
  • 18-25 (Young Adult)
  • 25 and up (Adult)
Population Language:
  • English
Ethnic Racial Group:
  • Indigenous People – American Indian/Native American
  • Alaskan Native
  • Child and Non-abusive Parent/Caregiver
  • Community
  • Family
  • Grandparents
  • A parent who uses violence
  • Survivor parent
  • Other – TANF, Individuals who have caused harm, college students (on campus)
Population Adaptations:
Age range of children served:

The program model has served Middle School youth aged 11 and up to adult and elders. The oldest participant was 76 years old.

6-12 (Childhood), 13-17 (Adolescent), 18-25 (Young Adult), and 25 and up (Adult).

Are parent/adult caregiver(s) included in intervention?


Ethnic/racial and other groups served:
  • Indigenous People – American Indian/Native American
  • Alaskan Native

The program model can be adapted for any ethnic or racial group.

Specific cultural adaptations:

The program model has been adapted for cultural relevance for Indigenous Nations and cultural groups.

Languages that service/resource is available:

The  Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship curriculum is written in American English and can be used by populations who speak the language.



Discovery Dating is a healthy relationship development tool created by Native American Lay Midwife and Wise Women Gathering Place (WWGP) Founder Alice Skenandore.  It provides a process for exploring personal values, discernment the character traits of others, and practice of informed decision-making.

Goals of the program/services:

The “Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship” curriculum guides youth and adults to:

    • explore and clarify personal goals and values
    • discover character traits of others
    • practice decision making
Basis of Knowledge:

Ancestral Knowledge: the program model was developed using written, oral, and spiritual knowledge passed on from generation to generation among a given cultural community. Discovery Dating was inspired by the community mid-wife model and developed through the wise council of Indigenous women. The focus is to offer space for people to come talk about relationship issues and build a container to support making healthy choices. 

Lived Expertise: the program model is rooted in the expertise of those most impacted by the program, such as survivor perspectives, identities, and histories, beyond professional or educational experience. The Discovery Dating: Healthy Relationship curriculum was developed by a Native American Lay Midwife who explored beyond the surface topics that impacted relationships and the importance of informed choice.

Practice-Based Evidence: the program model is based on various treatment approaches and supports derived from and supportive of the local community culture. Discovery Dating was developed with the eight core components of building skills in healthy relationships. The model is informed by other approaches, as well as the recognition that everyone comes with knowledge and lived experience. The curriculum has evolved and changed based on the input and experiences of program participants.

Research: the program model and materials have been investigated in a systematic process. From 2002-2011, Discovery Dating work was funded through a collaboration of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) grant. The DELTA evaluation report focuses on implementation with middle school students at a Tribal elementary school in Wisconsin. Our information was gathered through pre- and post-surveys about Discovery Dating students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The report reveals a positive increase in personal agency and healthy relationship norms.

Training & Resources

Training Language
  • English
Training Available:
  • Yes
Training Details:
Training manuals/protocols:

The cost of the training is $895 and includes hands-on instruction to lead a lesson, review of the lessons’ intent and implementation tips, instruction for incorporating other topics or information into the curriculum. Upon completion, participants will receive the materials to facilitate independently.

Training Contact:

Brenda John
1641 Commanche Ave. Suite H
Green Bay WI, 54313 U.S.A.
Phone: 920-309-8154
Website link:

Program Contact

Brenda John
1641 Commanche Ave. Suite H
Green Bay WI, 54313 U.S.A.
Phone: 920-309-8154
Website link: