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Supportive Grief Companion Workshops

“If you do not learn both the importance of and how to take care of yourself, you will not be able to give care to others for very long. ”

- Doug Manning

Saturdays, October 20 & 27     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. 

This ministry is both meaningful and rewarding, but it also has its challenges.  The role of companioning requires the ability to compassionately witness someone else’s deep suffering.  This can lead to what is commonly known as “compassion fatigue.” Everyone needs a support system to be an authentic and effective companion.

This workshop will explore intentional ways grief companions can care for themselves as they care for others.  It will focus on attending to one’s own ongoing healing and wellness.  It is essential that grief companions understand and recognize compassion fatigue and know how to address it.

SGCW 2018 Topic: “Caring for Yourself, Caring for Others”

Participants of the two-day workshop “Caring for Yourself…Caring for Others” will:
* understand the true and sometimes subtle nature of compassion fatigue
* study various losses experienced because of compassion fatigue
* survey the spiritual dynamics of compassion fatigue
* recognize signs of compassion fatigue
* learn strategies to help address compassion fatigue
* discover the essential meaning and role of boundaries
* explore personal responses to witnessing others who are suffering
* create a personal self-care wellness plan.

Gatherings will include:
* presentation, instruction, and educational activities
* small and large group interaction
* meditation and griever– friendly rituals
* opportunities to practice skills
* opportunities for personal integration.

Workshop Requirements:
* attendance at both Saturday gatherings
* participation in the learning activities presented

Participants will receive:
* One grief related book
* Practical handouts
* 1.5 continuing education units (15 contact hours)

Saturdays, October 20 and 27, 2018
8:30am – 4:30pm
Cost of $150 includes $50 non-refundable deposit, two training days, meals, book, handouts, and 1.5 Continuing Education Units.
This program is formerly known as "Honoring Grief II."

Registration is due by Monday, October 8. (Note this is an extension.) Upon receiving your registration you will be mailed a book and an explanation of the pre-first-gathering assignment.

Melissa Minkley, MSW, CT, is the co-founder of Healing Life’s Losses Grief Support Services and is a social worker with 25 years of experience in psychosocial oncology and bereavement counseling. She has companioned adults and children in individual, support group, workshop and retreat settings focusing on enhancing ones holistic well-being.  Her personal experience of loss has given Melissa insight into the impact grief has on individuals, families and friends.

Pete Reinl, companion and spiritual guide, is the co-founder of Healing Life’s Losses.  With over 30 years of experience serving in faith and secular communities, retreat centers and funeral homes, Pete co-creates spaces of sanctuary for healing, honoring, storytelling, listening, exploring, integrating and transforming.  He has spent the last fifteen years dedicated to companioning those who are in life transition due to loss, as well as training others who wish to be companions of the bereaved.  His background includes certification in pastoral ministry and spiritual direction.  Having experienced several significant losses and his own life transitions, Pete brings with him a wealth of personal experience and wisdom in addition to his professional and spiritual background in loss, grief, and healing.

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 & The Medical College of Wisconsin.  She is humbled and honored to work with those struggling to make sense of what life offers.  Ann Marie blends her professional training and her own life experience to provide compassionate care for the people she companions.


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Supportive Grief Companion Workshops

$50.00 deposit required
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