• drannetta

The power of silence and self-care. Observations on a 'Companioning' training retreat.

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

I have spent a very interesting weekend at a retreat held by an esteemed friend and colleague who specialises in Companioning - this workshop retreat was small (four participants and one facilitator), and we were offered time, space, and a lot of support for all of the workshop content. In other words, Gentle Reader, I have just attended a weekend workshop that was one of the best organised I have ever attended...and I attend a LOT of training in the course of my career and interests.

Part of this retreat workshop was the opportunity to engage in a creative way of expressing Companioning for ourselves. "Authenticity" was one of my big take-aways from the training.

Companioning is not only for end of life, however I myself will utilise and engage with this approach to communication - listening, empathy, compassion, and healthy self-care - primarily for end of life for humans and pets, as well as for PTSD, grief, and grief counselling. I had initially thought that a commitment to non-action in communication would be incredibly challenging for me, but I find myself being invigorated and nurtured by this new understanding. I highly recommend this training if you work with people at any level, particularly counselling... I myself am an incredibly skilled an deep and patient listener, however Companioning has helped me to raise my personal bar much higher in terms of depth, quality, and capacity for listening in silence rather than in more active fashions. I am enjoying reflecting on this new capacity, and how easily it fits into many aspects of my professional life.

I was networking with a local pet outlet today, for example, and found the Companioning listening and communication approach invaluable as it turned out the person I was talking to really needed to talk about their grief over pet deaths and associated loss. I would have responded appropriately before the Companioning training, but I think that I have now a truly enhanced empathetic capacity which works incredibly well for remaining present, in the moment for a person's story and reality, whilst grounding me as a practitioner and witness. I'm calling Companioning an incredibly useful tool, and a true asset to my therapeutic and consultancy toolkit.

'Safe' was my other take-away from the workshop retreat - I thought this form lent itself particularly well to expressing what 'safe' means for me..

I also am quite excited about the intersection of Companioning and EFT - I think the outcomes will be enhanced for clients, while helping me to be a stronger, healthier practitioner and support person. If you are interested in learning more about Companioning retreat workshops, or to reserve your place email: - this training will only be offered a few times every year, so I recommend expressing your interest earlier rather than later.

If you have questions about my own experience with Companioning, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am an End of Life Consultant and educator who is happy to answer questions, and support you in finding the best options for your own life journey.

Let's talk -

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