Tenets of Companioning
©Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Center for Loss and Life Transition (Note: These tenets are from a grief counselor. They invite soulful presence.)
Companioning is about honoring the spirit;
it is not about focusing on the intellect.
Companioning is about curiosity;
it is not about expertise.
Companioning is about learning from others;
it is not about teaching them.
Companioning is about walking alongside;
it is not about leading or being led.
Companioning is about being still;
it is not about frantic movement forward.
Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence;
it is not about filling every painful moment with talk.
Companioning is about listening with the heart;
it is not about analyzing with the head.
Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others;
it is not about judging or directing those struggles.
Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain;
it is not about taking away or relieving the pain.
Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion;
it is not about imposing order and logic.
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.
 Adapted for liturgical reading. See Dr. Wolfelt’s book, The Handbook for Companioning the Mourner (Companion Press, 2009)