Pet Loss Grief Support Animals in our Hearts  Animal Communication Teresa Wagner
  • The best way to learn the language of another species is as a social partner.

    ~Conrad Lorenz

Workshops & Events

Essential Counseling Skills
for Animal Communicators, Healing Practitioners
& Those Who Provide Grief Support

A client-centered, empathy-based, ethically founded approach to counseling


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LENGTH:

8 two and one half hour sessions, 20 hours total (plus pre work exercises, reading, case studies and practice)

DATES OFFERED:

2017:  Feb 11, 18, 25;  March 11, 18;  April 8, 15, 22

COST:

$325

At checkout, you can choose a payment plan of six months without interest

REGISTER:

Click Here to register

INSTRUCTOR & GUEST SPEAKER:

Teresa Wagner, M.S. and Ruah Bull, Ph.D

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:

This workshop is appropriate for anyone who wants to learn, refresh, build upon or master counseling skills for their work with clients. Whatever the context of our helping roles, there are essential counseling skills that when used, greatly enhance our clients' ability to heal and to become whole and empowered. 

The content is designed to help both professionals and students of animal communication, grief support and any healing arts fields. The ideas, issues and skills covered in the workshops are applicable to counseling with both humans and animals.

The class is a requirement in the Animal Loss and Grief Support Professional Program of Study for those seeking certification.

 

CONTENT AND PURPOSE

I've always known in my heart that the necessary roots of all healing are compassion and love. What I've learned, however, is that for us as helping practitioners to merely feel compassion and love is not enough. Communicating these qualities to our clients effectively is not automatic, however deeply we feel them in our hearts. If we intend to offer a true healing presence for others, we need to use specific skills and ethics with conscious intention.

This workshop is a reflection of my own efforts to integrate the skills of counseling and therapy—the roots of my education and professional work since 1976—into my private practice of grief support and animal communication.

The workshop is about the conscious overlay of basic yet powerful and essential counseling skills into our work in grief support and any helping role. When strategically applied, these skills allow us to bring the best of what our souls have to offer to serve others. The class is not about becoming a therapist. It's about learning and practicing some time tested skills from the field of counseling psychology which research has shown to have an extremely positive impact on the growth of clients.

Receiving the energy of empathy allows a person or animal who is in pain or in struggle to feel acknowledged, understood and capable of a greater openness to healing. Offered without skillfully expressed empathy, the best expertise and healing techniques in the world can be perceived as cold, uncaring, ego based, prematurely offered, irrelevant or even useless. Next to love, empathy is the most powerful force in the universe to facilitate healing. This workshop provides an opportunity to learn very specific empathic skills to bring the power of our love, compassion and expertise alive to serve the clients we care about so much.

For more information on this client-centered, empathy based approach, read Teresa's article, A Client-Centered. Empathy Based Approach to Animal Communication and Healing


For those in the Animal Loss and Grief Support Certification Program who have taken most of the classes in the program, some of the content of this class will serve as an important reinforcement of key concepts and skills, along with a great deal of new information and a much deeper plunge into what effective and ethical counseling requires.

Workshop Outline:

SESSION ONE
Fundamentals of the Client-Centered, Empathy-Based Approach

    • Defining Healing and Healing Presence
    • Images of the Helping Relationship
    • Historical View of the Counseling and Therapy Field
    • Research: Core Facilitative Characteristics of Helpers
    • The Skills and Qualities of an Effective Helper
    • Potential pitfalls & Contributions of Bringing Other Expertise to counseling Role
    • The Client-Centered, Empathy-Based Approach:  What It is; What It Looks Like; Its Impact on Clients & Motivation of Helpers; How It Is Different from advice, formulaic and technique-based Approaches
    • The Helper Practitioner’s Pyramid
    • Framing our Consultations to be Client-Centered and Empathy-Based: the specifics

 

SESSIONS TWO & THREE
Examining the Intersection of the Values, History and Experiences of the Helper and the Client and Why It Is So Important

    • Norwood’s Guidelines for Helping Others to Heal
    • How To Be Present with Clients and Why It Is So Important
    • Understanding How Our Significant Life Events Impact Who we Are As Helpers: Loss/Trauma/Significant Event History Graph
    • Self Awareness: How Personality Type Impacts Helping Relationship
    • Self Disclosure in the Helping Relationship: Purpose and Limits

 

SESSIONS FOUR & FIVE
Words that Heal: The Skills of Communicating Empathy

    • Golden Rules of Empathy & The Helping Professional’s Pyramid
    • Empathic Inquiry: Theory, cases, practice, discussion
    • Advanced Level Empathic Inquiry and Response: Theory, cases, practice, discussion
    • The Grace of Soul Empathy—with both self and others

 

SESSION SIX:
Guest Speaker Dr. Ruah Bull

    • Career Paths in Counseling (and managing the transitions)
    • Phases/Stages in the Development of Professional Helpers and The Role of Mentoring

 

SESSIONS SEVEN & EIGHT
Helping Clients with Overwhelming & Challenging Emotions

    • Guilt, Forgiveness and Reluctance to Forgive, Grief
    • Anger, Anguish & Despair, Hate & Bitterness
    • Using right brain tools to help clients gain clarity, increase empathy and compassion for oneself and move toward healing: Expressive art as therapy, Writing as therapy, Guided Meditation
    • Integration of Workshop Concepts into Your Own Practice

 

Required texts for this class:

The Helper's Journey, Working with People Facing Grief, Loss and Life-Threatening illness
by Dale G. Larson,  Ph.D.  Champaign, ILL: Research Press, 1993

The Heart of Being Helpful, Empathy and the Creation of a Healing Presence by Peter R. Breggin, M.D. New York: Springer Publishing 1997

Additional, critically important areas for counseling expertise are covered in other classes available from Animals in our Hearts:

Ethics and Essential Energetic Boundaries for Grief Support and Healing Arts Practitioners

Understanding Trauma and Post-Trauma Stress--Including How It Impacts Loss and Grief

Grief Support Skills: How to Effectively Support Others Who Grieve the Loss of a Pet
 
The Role of Spirituality in the Helping Relationship

Guest speaker Dr. Ruah Bull, has been counseling clients and involved in teaching counseling for over 35 years, with much of it in the healing arts and in a spritual context. She will be sharing aspects of her own career development—where she learned from successes and how she learned from mistakes. She will also discuss and hold a question and answer period to cover issues such as: career satisfaction and factors we might consider as we may contemplate changing jobs, shifting roles, adding new skill sets or competencies or deciding to no longer practice in a certain area; the importance of mentoring; what she has found to be the most important, effective, must-use counseling skills that have transcended specific roles and contexts of working with clients.

Teresa Wagner is a passionate advocate about consciously integrating sound counseling psychology knowledge and skills into the healing arts and pet loss grief support professions. She has applied a client-centered, empathy-based approach to her work as a pet loss grief counselor and animal communication consultant for over 30 years, as well as in earlier professional roles as a hospice grief support group facilitator, a counselor to adolescents in group homes, as a training and organization development manager and as a workshop facilitator in areas of grief, trauma, compassion fatigue and more.

Her education includes an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters degree in counseling from Villanova University, and has completed post graduate work at Columbia University and the University of Nottingham, England where she studied with Carl Rogers, the creator of Client Centered Therapy. She has also completed the Clinical Training Program in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the National Center for PTSD, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and has studied at the Grief Recovery Institute and  with Stephen Levine. Read more about Teresa.

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