Training-Abi May




Supporting those living with loss

Many of us have the desire to be supportive of people who have experienced loss but we are not sure the best way to go about it. This training is designed to equip adults who want to give informal support to those who are bereaved. It offers perspectives and practical ideas for coping with grief. It is based upon the idea of being a “companion of grief” who will walk alongside the mourner as they adjust to the changed circumstances of their life.

The goal is for participants to: 
  • Gain a greater understanding of grief and the impact of loss in a person’s life.
  • Learn about current thinking on models of recovery from grief.
  • Develop skills to enable them to engage effectively with the bereaved.
  • Explore some of the key issues faced by the bereaved.
The training is built on these underlying concepts:
  • Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. In order to grieve in a healthy way we need to both spend time in grieving for the person, as well as continue to live and to function. Healthy grief is not about working through a linear process that ends with “moving on” (detachment theory). Rather, when a loved one dies the mourner slowly finds ways to adjust and redefine their relationship with that person, allowing for a continued bond that will endure. (See Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief, Klass 1996 and The British Psychological Society:
  • The companioning model of grief and bereavement care has been formally developed by Dr Alan Wolfelt at the Centre for Loss and Life Transition in the USA. (See
  • This training is not formal counselling training. However, it builds implicitly on the person centred therapy model developed by psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers in the 1940s, and on the basis of the core conditions he described of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard.
  • I deliver two versions of this training. One is the standard training, which has no religious components. The second is faith-based, ideal for Church groups. 


Click here for further details about this training

Click to download printable leaflet

I am looking for venues, such as community organisations, churches and clubs, who would like to host this training. Please get in touch if you think this might interest you. 


What does it mean to be a grief companion?  (external link)