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Companioning Through the Wilderness of Grief Presenters: Karen Hansen, CCLS Emily Carlton, CCLS Heather Bailey, CCLS.

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Presentation on theme: "Companioning Through the Wilderness of Grief Presenters: Karen Hansen, CCLS Emily Carlton, CCLS Heather Bailey, CCLS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Companioning Through the Wilderness of Grief Presenters: Karen Hansen, CCLS Emily Carlton, CCLS Heather Bailey, CCLS

2 Dr. Alan Wolfelt Founder and Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition 5/9/20152

3 Objectives: Define the following terms bereavement, grief, mourning Identify Common myths associated with the bereavement process Discuss the “stages” of grief Discuss opportunities during Memory work Identify Self-Care techniques Describe the Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved

4 Five Stages of Grief Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler

5 Bereavement “to be torn apart” Grief “internal response to loss” Mourning “outward expression of grief” Authentic Mourning is “grief in action” Definitions

6 Loss… There are many aspects of loss –Loss of significant other: death, separation, divorce, brain injury, dementia –Loss of some aspect of self: self-esteem, belief systems, dreams, physical part of oneself, cognitive part of oneself –Loss of external connections: home, linking objects, belongings, assisted living, nursing home

7 Grief Bursts Moments of heightened sense of loss Usually associated with sensory information Anyone can experience this including children

8 Treatment vs. Companioning Treatment model : -tries to control or stop distressful symptoms; distress is bad -follows a prescriptive model where counselor is perceived as expert -quality of care judged by how well grief was “managed”

9 Treatment vs. Companioning Companioning Model –Observe “watch out for,” “bear witness” and see value in soul-based symptoms of grief –Bereaved person guides the journey; “teach me” is the foundational principle –Quality of care monitored by how well we allowed the griever to lead the journey

10 The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved

11 Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain. 5/9/ The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved

12 Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out

13 The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head

14 The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing these struggles

15 The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved Companioning is about walking alongside; it is not about leading

16 The Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved Companioning means discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it does not mean filling up every moment with words

17 Ritual of Reception Take time to be completely present for the mourner –“no rewards for speed” –“not attached to outcome” –“divine momentum” What do you do?

18 Essential Ingredients of the Caregiver “The companion learns the value of sitting in silence, being still, waiting, listening with the heart and not being attached to the outcome.”

19 With companioning: the helping process becomes one of discovery instead of recovery.

20 Child Life Role This is not about what we can do but what the family wants Memory Work –Hand/foot ink prints –Hand/foot molds –Locks of hair –Memory box (for items to be collected in or to be decorated and designed to capture personal) –Personal affects (full respect to patient/families belongings) –Pictures- professional vs. amateur Sibling/Young Family Member Support –Sibling bereavement bags –Bibliotherapy

21 Self Care This is very individual and as a professional you need to find what works for you. What works for you?

22 Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Stories?


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