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Death Doula Training

Learn from the person who sparked the

end-of-life doula movement

Death is a reality that all of us will eventually face. How we face it will make all the difference between a “good death” and one overshadowed by fear, loneliness, regret, and confusion. 

In our society, death is seen as a medical event instead of the sacred ending of a precious human life. You can restore a deeper meaning to the dying process by becoming an end-of-life doula and providing your services with genuine compassion. This is a role that is beginning to gain recognition and have a positive impact on how people die.

End-of-life doulas or death doulas give non-medical care to dying individuals, their friends, and family. They make this difficult time more manageable by offering emotional and spiritual support, as well as informational guidance. 

A doula’s warm and mindful presence, their insight into the dying process, all help clients achieve clarity and peace of mind, body, and soul as they go through the final phases of dying. A doula also facilitates a structured life review so the dying individual can reflect on the meaning of their life and leave legacy messages for their loved ones.

Answer the call in your heart to become a death doula and make a difference in lives at the end of their journey.

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Death Doula Training Overview

The death doula training utilizes  a number of learning modalities, including lecture, case stories, guided meditation, discussion, and experiential exercises. These methods are designed to help you discover for yourself and through engagement with other trainees what it means to face death with dignity, honesty, and a recognition of its sacredness. You will learn how to listen and communicate well, the basics of assisting with simple physical care, and the symptoms of end of life.


The instructor will teach you how to assist in preparing advanced directives from a doula perspective, how various illnesses impact the dying process, and how to provide support to a dying person and their loved ones by using powerful doula techniques. More importantly, you will be trained to be open and dependable during intense moments, how to practice cultural humility and serve people of different identities.
You will also learn how to move into the career of being a death doula. The way to approach hospice, how to network with professionals, and how to build awareness in your community. 


By the end of the training, you will know how to be a compassionate and effective end-of-life doula serving people with a terminal illness or those who have experienced the sudden death of someone close to them. 


While the role of a death doula is challenging, because you will work with people at an intense and fraught time in their lives, it is also tremendously rewarding. Even if you never serve the dying as a doula the training will give you a greater understanding of the cycle of life and death, and how to live knowing you will die.

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schedule

Schedule

The death doula training utilizes blended learning methods that will make you a well-equipped end-of-life doula that clients and their loved ones can depend on.

 

March - Menla Retreat

March 26  -  Sunday  -  7-10 pm

with arrival and check-in from 3-4 & dinner from 6-7;

March 27-29  -  Monday-Wednesday  -  9:15am-5:30pm

with an evening discussion session;

March 30  -  Thursday  -  9:15am-12pm

followed by lunch and departure.

May/June - Online zoom class

May 30  -  Tuesday  -  7:00-10:00 pm

June 3 & 4  -  Saturday & Sunday  -  9:30 am-1:30 pm

June 6, 13 & 20  -  Tuesday  -  7:00-10:00 pm

June 24 & 25  -  Saturday & Sunday  -  9:30 am-1:30 pm

June 27  -  Tuesday  -  7:00-10:00 pm

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About the Instructor

In 2003, I created the first structured doula program in the United States at a hospice in New York City. Based on the work of birth doulas, it was the spark that ignited the contemporary end-of-life doula movement. Although I was a licensed clinical social worker, and had been working at hospices for a decade, the doula work transformed how I served the dying.  I continued to work as a social worker and administrator in hospice until 2014. At the same time, I also did direct doula work for hundreds of people and their loved ones—which I still do today.  Through the doula programs I created in hospices, and my public teaching that began in 2007, I have taught thousands to do this incredibly meaningful work across the U.S., Canada, and in Singapore.

After leaving my hospice work in 2014 I cofounded and led the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA), an organization at the forefront of the current movement. I also wrote the book Caring for the Dying, which was selected by the Library Journal as one of the best healthcare books of 2017. It was later reprinted under the title, Finding Peace at the End of Life and has been published in several countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

 

At the end of 2021 I resigned my position with INELDA to have more personal time and to get active again in direct service to the dying, as well as teaching and mentoring doulas. Teaching and mentoring give me the opportunity to share what I have learned from the dying and those who care for them over my two decades of service as a doula and a hospice social worker.

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FAQ

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