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Supportive Grief Companion Workshop

A Program of Continued Learning and Growth for Those Who Companion the Bereaved 

This workshop has a waiting list.

People become grief companions for a variety of reasons. Many find themselves taking on this role because of their own experiences with loss. 

The Supportive Grief Companion Workshop (SGCW) is a yearly educational opportunity offered by Siena Retreat Center to advance one’s skill set in companioning the bereaved. Previous workshops have addressed such topics as:

· integrating diverse mourning and healing modalities, such as art, music, journaling, and guided imagery;

· identifying and working with complicated grief;

· post-traumatic growth (healing, gratitude, and resiliency);

· children and grief; and

· spiritual aspects of grief.

2020 Topic:  Grief and the Healing Power of Rituals

The topic of focus for this year’s workshop is rituals. We perform rituals in our everyday life. Rituals help us find meaning and create connection. For those who are grieving, rituals can provide comfort and order during a time of chaos. They can also assist the bereaved with getting in touch with their feelings and create ways to express them.

This workshop will offer those who companion the bereaved an understanding of how grief rituals can assist the bereaved in mourning their losses and move towards healing.

In this two-day training workshop, participants will:

· explore the healing and transformative power of rituals for the bereaved,

· identify components and characteristics of private and communal grief rituals,

· discuss key principles for griever-friendly rituals, and

· experience the process of creating grief rituals.

This workshop is approved for 1.6 CEUs (16 Contact Hours) through the University of Wisconsin—Parkside Continuing Education.

Saturdays, October 3, and October 17, 2020; 8:30am—4:30pm (You must attend both sessions)
Cost of $155 includes $50 non-refundable deposit, two training days, meals, book, handouts, and 1.6 Continuing Education Units (16 Contact Hours).

Registration is due by Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

Melissa Minkley, MSW, CT, is the co-founder of Healing Life’s Losses Grief Support Services and is a social worker with over 25 years of experience in psychosocial oncology and bereavement counseling. She is the Executive Director of Healing Hearts of Waukesha County, a program supporting children and families impacted by loss. Melissa has companioned adults and children as individuals and in support group, workshops and retreat settings focusing on enhancing one’s holistic well-being. Her personal experience of loss has given Melissa insight into the impact grief has on individuals, families and friends.

Ann Marie Uselmann, MSW, LCSW, is a clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience journeying with those who have significant health issues, as well as those in grief due to a variety of losses. She currently provides individual grief counseling at Ad Pacem—Toward Peace Counseling, in addition to working with individuals affected by cancer at Froedtert Hospital and The Medical College of Wisconsin. She is humbled and honored to work with those struggling to make sense of what life offers.


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Grief Support Companion Workshop

$55.00 deposit required
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