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Supportive Grief Companion Workshop

Grief Support Workshop

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

People become grief companions for a variety of reasons. Many find themselves taking on this role because of their own experiences with loss. Some serve as a grief companion in their professional, vocational or volunteer role.

These workshops are designed to provide educational opportunities to advance one’s skills in companioning the bereaved.


Workshop Topic for 2021 - Complex Grief: Loss, Trauma, and Resilience

The topic for this workshop is on the complex grief journey due to stigmatized losses.

In “Loss, Trauma, and Resilience,” we will explore tools for helping the bereaved navigate the complex grief journey after loss due to suicide, substance abuse, and violence. 

Losing a loved one to suicide, an overdose, or violence can create complicated emotions of grief and stigma such as shame, guilt, and blame. 

This workshop will explore the misconceptions about stigmatized loss, common challenges and how to best support the bereaved as they cope with complicated emotions of grief associated with socially stigmatized losses.

In this two-day workshop participants will:

· explore common grief responses after the death of a loved one due to suicide, substance abuse, violence and other socially stigmatized losses;

· identify and dispel the misconceptions about stigmatized loss;

· gain an understanding of the complex grief journey one experiences after losing a loved to a stigmatized loss; and

· learn strategies to respond compassionately and assist the bereaved with coping with a devastating loss.


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


Saturdays, October 16 and October 23, 2021 from 9:00am—5:00pm

Cost of $175 includes $60 non-refundable deposit, two training days, meals, book, handouts, and 1.6 Continuing Education Units(16 Contact Hours).


Deposits can be paid online at time of registration, by mailing a check made out to Siena Retreat Center, or by calling the front desk at 262-898-2590 to pay with a credit card.  Deposits must be received to complete registration. 

Melissa Minkley, MSW, CT, is the Program Director of the Grief Training Center of Wisconsin 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. Her personal experience of loss has given Melissa insight into the impact of grief on one’s life.

Cat Horzewski is involved in suicide prevention and bereavement facilitation in the Greater Milwaukee area. With over 15 years of experience serving youth and families through the nonprofit sector, she is pursuing her Masters in Thanatology through Marian University.

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Supportive Grief Companion Workshop - October 16 & 23, 2021 - Full payment


Supportive Grief Companion Workshop - October 16 & 23, 2021 - Deposit

$60.00 deposit required
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