The Eleven Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved

From The Theory of Companioning the Bereaved by Dr. Alan Wolfelt

Tenet One:

Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain.

Tenet Two:

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.

Tenet Three:

Companioning is about honoring the spirit; it is not about analyzing with the head.

Tenet Four:

Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.

Tenet Five:

Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing these struggles.

Tenet Six:

Companioning is about walking alongside; it is not about leading.

Tenet Seven:

Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it does not mean filling up every moment with words.

Tenet Eight:

Companioning is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.

Tenet Nine:

Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.

Tenet Ten:

Companioning is about learning from others; it is not about teaching them.

Tenet Eleven:

Companioning is about compassionate curiosity; it is not about expertise.

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