Grief Support Training

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.

Training Leaflet to download (printable PDF)



If you’re interested in attending or hosting this training, please get in touch

More details about the training

During this training, participants will

  • 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.

Is this for you? 

  • This course is designed for adults, of any age.
  • This training is suitable for anyone who wants to be a better support to their friends, family members or colleagues (adults, rather than children or teenagers) who are bereaved.
  • If you are living with loss and you’re at a point where you want to use your experiences to help others, it’s ideal.
  • This is an informal training course and does not provide a formal qualification, but it could be a helpful taster for someone who is considering volunteering or going on to formal training in a bereavement setting.


This training is secular and not religious.

An adapted version of this training, with additional faith-based elements, can be delivered to churches and faith groups. This is ideal for creating bereavement awareness and improving peer support amongst members.

The training is built on three 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.

Quiet and sincere sympathy is often the most welcome and efficient consolation to the afflicted. Said a wise man to one in deep sorrow, ‘I did not come to comfort you; God only can do that; but I did come to say how deeply and tenderly I feel for you in your affliction.’

— Tyron Edwards