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

A client-centered, empathy-based approach to counseling
for grief support practitioners, animal communicators and all healing arts and helping professionals


Web counseling class

 

LENGTH:

8 sessions, 22 hours total (plus pre work exercises, reading, case studies and practice sessions)

DATES OFFERED:

Available On Demand

COST:

$325  Includes 260 pages of handouts

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

REGISTER/
PURCHASE:

Click Here to purchase

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 move toward peace, healing and becoming whole and empowered. 

The content is designed to help both professionals and students of animal communication, grief support and any healing arts and helping 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 Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training and Certification Program for those seeking certification.

 TESTIMONIALS  Click here to read

CONTENT AND PURPOSE

Woud you like to. . .
Deepen and expand your ability to help your clients, regardless of your speciality and the contaext of your work as a helper/healer?

Feel more confident that you are saying the right thing, at the right time, in the right way to effectively help distressed clients?

Better understand which words and phrases facilitate healing and which ones may actually harm clients emotionally?

• Increase your effectiveness and comfort zone when dealing with difficult and challenging clients?

• Feel more confident and competent in helping clients who are expressing overwhelming and intense emotiona such as grief, guilt, anger, hate, bitterness, anguish, despair or issues regarding forgiveness?

In this in-depth, comprehensive workshop you will learn this and more. . .

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 decades of work 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. This course does not prepare the participant to conduct psychotherapy or long term counseling, but provides training and education in understanding client-centered counseling theory, skills and practice for use in short term counseling in the context of pet loss grief support, animal communication, any of the healing arts or for use in daily life.

Receiving the energy of empathy allows a person or animal who is in pain or struggle to feel acknowledged, understood and empowered to greater openness for 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 available to any helper to facilitate emotional 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 Pet Loss Grief Counseling Training and Certification Program who have taken most of the classes in the program, parts 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

    • What Does an Effective Helping Relationship Mean To You? Experiences and Images
    • Defining Healing Presence
    • 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

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

    • My 10 Most Deeply Held Values About Animals
    • Our Values Belong To Us And Are Precious
    • What Does In-Depth Self-Assessment Have to Do With Being An Effective Helper?
    • We Cannot Hear the Pain of Another Until We Hear Our Own
    • Guidelines for Dealing With the Emotions That Come Up During In-Depth 
 Self-Awareness & Self-Assessment Exercises
    • Significant Life Events, Issues and Relationships That Have Shaped My Life and Beliefs
    • Case Study: Self-Absorbed, Grieving Client Who May Trigger You


SESSION THREE
The Impact of Self-Disclosure and Personality Type o the Helping Relationship

  • Self-Disclosure:
    What is Self-Disclosure in Helping Relationships? 

    Why Self-Disclose in Helping Relationships? 

    How and When to Self-Disclose 

    Case Studies:
   What Would You Do in My Shoes?   Is This Therapist “No Nets” Blind? 

    Self-Awareness Precedes Effective Self-Disclosure

  • Personality Type:
    Differing Personalities Can cCeate fFltering, Prejudice and Mosunderstanding in Relationships
    The Value of Understanding and Using Personality Type Information
    The Myers Briggs Four Preference Scales and What They Measure     

    Self-Assessment: What’s my Type and Temperament?    

    Does My Type From the Test Have Face Validity?  

    The Myers Briggs Temperaments 
    Factors That Influence Myers Briggs Type 

    Practical Use of the Model for Helpers

 

SESSIONS FOUR & FIVE
Words that Heal: The Theory, Skills and Practice of Communicating Empathy

    • Golden Rules of Empathy
    • The Helping Professional’s Pyramid and the Role of Empathy in It
    • What Empathy is in a Nutshell
    • What Empathy is NOT
    • Three Levels of Empathy: Intellectual, Emotional Soul
    • Empathic Inquiry: The Art and Skill of Targeted, Gentle Questions—
      Theory, cases, practice, discussion
    • Empathic Response: The purpose, process and principles of use
      Theory, cases, practice, discussion
    • Advanced Level Empathy: The Art and Skill of Inviting the Client to Go Deeper
      Theory, cases, practice, discussion
    • The Grace of Soul Empathy—with both self and others
    • A Therapeutic Conversation With Yourelf, Using Empathy for Yourself
    • The Important of Attending to Context in Counseling
    • Structuring a Client-Centered Consultation
    • Four Stages in Mastering a Skill
    • Case Studies


PRACTICE SESSIONS (completed between sessions five and seven)

SESSION SIX:
Guest Speaker Dr. Ruah Bull

    • The Winding Way—Journey of a Healer
    • Dealing with Difficult Clients

 

SESSIONS SEVEN & EIGHT
Helping Clients with Overwhelming & Challenging Emotions

    • Review of Practice Sessions
    • Introduction to Helping Clients with Overwhelming Feelings—How it can be different from helping clients with less intense feelings; The energies involved in various strong, intense feelings
    • Offering Acceptance, Empathy, and Facilitating Expression and Release
    • Understanding Guilt and The Counselor's Role in Helping Client Heal It
    • Understanding Anger, Hate and Bitterness and The Counselor's Role in Helping Clients Heal It
    • Understanding Forgiveness and The Counselor's Role in Helping Clients Find Peace
    • Understanding Anguish and Despair and The Counselor's Role in Helping Clients
    • Live Role Plays, Case Studies
    • 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
    • When and How To Refer to Therapists
    • 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


TESTIMONIALS

The Essential Counseling Skills class was extremely valuable to me... . It was a rare opportunity to 'meet' over the phone, and share learning  and ideas with many very special 'animal' people. Teresa's wonderful spirit, rich tapestry of knowledge and ability to teach, made this class an experience I will not only treasure, but will be able to put to use immediately. The extensive volume of enlightening materials, plus the class hours on a weekly basis, and the practice sessions, gave me as much or more, than any master's level class in the field of counseling psychology.
~ Mary Jane, South Florida, U.S.

It was extremely valuable to see concepts in action—to see how these thing work in the real world with the exercises, case studies and in-class role plays. Really cemented the understanding of empathic response, empathic inquiry and advanced empathy. I think my skill was there, but my confidence in ten-fold what it was before the class. And I ganed a world of knowledge about uild, anger, and forgiveness. The amount of time, energy and intention that Teresa puts into the handouts is so evident. They are invaluable. And the resources are incredible. I can't emphasize enough how valuable these have been for me. Teresa is just an amazing woman who has put her heart and oul into this work.

~ Deb C, Portland, OR


The most significant learning for me was the practice of empathic inquiry and response. Through those practices, and the reminders to be energetically sound, were huge.
~ Holli S, Leesburg, VA

Teresa, Just looking at your notes [class handouts] alone - not even considering your other work - makes it clear you are a born teacher. I've taught classes such as this one (only in science), and I KNOW how much research, thought, preparation you put into everything you do. Your knowledge of every aspect of the pet loss field is amazing - just looking at the range of information you've amassed, not to mention the number of resources you've examined for our use. The resources lists were invaluable. The practice session were perhaps the most valuable.
        
My normally scientifically based thought processes are expanding into new ways of thinking. Although I've always considered myself a spiritual person (not religious), my spiritual self is growing and my heart is opening up to new ideas.

I've taken a lot of classes in my life, and I've had maybe one teacher who loved teaching as much as you do. When I first spoke with you, I immediately knew yours was the course I wanted. I had researched this field fairly thoroughly and taken classes from other organizations. Honestly, I learned nothing from them. Many assign a reading, send you the exam at the same time, and if you pass (it would be almost impossible to fail), you receive a nice looking diploma. I guess these look good hanging on the wall, but I know they mean nothing. When I receive a certification from you, I'll KNOW it represents true learning. Your patience with students is unique. Probably others have said this to you, but your voice, with its gentleness and soothing quality is like a harp to my ears. I don't know if you were lucky enough to be borne with such a voice or if you had to work on it; either way, it goes a long way in making your students feel at ease and safe.
~ Lynne L, Gautier, MS

I had the Client Centered Therapy Model taught to me many years ago when I took my master's in psychology, and I remember at the time, it being somewhat hard to grasp or understand because of the way it was being presented to me. However, in Teresa's class, I was so surprised how this model of therapy came to life for me! In taking this class, I began to understand the wonderful spirituality of this model, which is based on the trust that the person's own inner wisdom will show us the path. And then I had opportunities to see that in action and it really was a powerful experience ! I do also believe that in Pet Loss Grief Counseling, for example, this can be a really valuable skill, to help the client in a gentle, non-invasive, respectful way, to tap into their own inner wisdom and come up with useful insight and ultimately resolution.

Teresa's handouts were very extensive and, equally important, were her pages of 'bullet points,' where she was able to distill down, many of the skills involved in this modality. She would dive in deep into the material, bring it to life, then give us summaries on each of the elements, as a practice guide. And of course, the wonderful practice sessions, where I met over the phone with one of the students, role-playing both client and counselor, were really an intense learning experience. The practice sessions really pulled everything together, showed how it would be both as client and counselor.
        
Also very significant for me was when she did a special guided meditation in our last class, to help us to be able to spiritually process and let go of the troubling images and experiences we might have, in the field of animal advocacy. I had requested this due to some troubling memories I had had which haunted me for years and thru her meditation, I was able to get some healing and closure on this....and some really surprising elements came up for me during this time.

All of Teresa's classes are unlike any other I have taken, and I have taken a lot of classes in my life. Each of these classes could, to me, be a textbook unto itself.Her unique and brilliant teach ability is an experience like no other, for me. She has the talent of not only teaching thoughts and ideas but also of reaching the hearts of both people and animals.... 

Teresa's wonderful spirit, heart, personality, her healing presence and non-judgemental wisdom and kindness, drew me to take these classes. And her love of teaching and profound intellect, everything she shares with the class, is so invaluable to me. Many years ago, her beautiful soft pink and blue website ( animalsinourhearts.com ), the soulful music and the information on the site, coupled with her great love of animals, really drew me in. That website was a regular stop of mine. It is a tiny slice of heaven where no one was mean or cruel, and you felt instantly 'home,' in the company of a person who treasured animals as much as I did, not an easy feat in this day and age. Fast forward to today, I never realized back then that I would start taking her classes, but I am so glad I did ! And look forward to taking more of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ruah Bull and her discussion of The Red Thread which runs through all of our lives. That was so simple and yet so very true and meant a lot to me. I also liked her discussion of Native American Shamanism, dealing with difficult clients and her candor in sharing her own belief system, describing her journey thru her fascinating spiritual path. I also liked her website and will be back to visit it, again. She also shared very good information on spiritual grounding and how to practice protection prior to client sessions. Most of all, I loved her spirit and her voice and its not surprising that she and Teresa are good friends. I feel that they are highly evolved, nonjudgmental, very kind souls, with a lot in common, who really walk-the-walk and have been through a lot of self exploration to get to this point, where they can teach others.
        
I am already using all the counseling skills, broad strokes and subtle nuances, that I learned in the class. Spending time with Teresa and her wonderful students, as well as the whole course, taught me to be a better counselor and brought me to a much greater understanding of myself, as has happened to me in all of her classes. Teresa, truly is one in a million, as a teacher, counselor, mentor and person. I am so very glad I met her, albeit long distance!
        
I am already using all the counseling skills, broad strokes and subtle nuances, that I learned in the class. Spending time with Teresa and her wonderful students, as well as the whole course, taught me to be a better counselor and brought me to a much greater understanding of myself, as has happened to me in all of her classes. Teresa, truly is one in a million, as a teacher, counselor, mentor and person. I am so very glad I met her, albeit long distance!

~ Mary Jane, South Florida, U.S.




 

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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