Apprenticing to Grief

An immersive journey for people wanting to deepen their relationship with grief, and strengthen their capacity to hold grief spaces for others. We explore common stages on the journey of grief, different views of grief, and traditions about how to welcome it; exploring facilitation, questions of safety and ethics in holding grief spaces, and the relationship between grief, trauma and the wider systems of harm and times of disruption we are living in and impacted by.

Our intention is to share what we have learnt in more than a decade of holding collective grief spaces, and to support others to take their next step towards working with grief as an ally and force for healing.

Held by a team of experienced grief tenders who have led or supported the Apprenticing journey many times. You can see more information about us here

See below for more information about:

“..a gathering of folk dedicated to bringing back the sacred art of grieving… Reassured by the extensive knowledge and humility of the facilitators, we spent an alchemical week weaving stories, dance, laughter and tears, deepening our knowledge, finding our gifts and establishing what feels like a strong support network as we went forth. It was a week of pure soul food.

We ask that all who come have done some work with us beforehand to get a feel for our approach, and to be familiar with the journey of tending grief as we offer it. This could be a residential, or 2 – 3 day event; or 2 or more shorter one day or half day workshops. If you are wanting to facilitate grief spaces we strongly recommend attending a longer journey.

“A rare and special training with two highly experienced and skilled elder facilitators. This work is deep & powerful. The programme holds that by being trauma informed, culturally sensitive and playful when needed!” Sarah

This is NOT a training – see below..

Apprenticing to Grief On line Spring 2024


  • Feb 23 – 25
  • March 22 – 24
  • April 12 – 14

We will invite some connection and study between modules


Al times are for UK. The April weekend will be slightly different

  • Friday: 4 – 6pm and 7 – 8.30pm
  • Saturday 12 – 2, 4 – 6pm and 7 – 8.30pm
  • Sunday 12 – 2 and 4 – 6pm

Cost: Sliding scale from £480 – £920. Let us know on your form if you need a low cost place, or to pay in instalments.

Working in 3 modules over 3 months allows time for integration of the deep work between sessions, and to bring live examples from your own practice. There is space to connect with your “home group” for exploration and support.

We will provide a store of on line resources, recordings of any talks, presentations and other content, and offer links to encourage further reading and learning.

We have been repeatedly surprised at how powerful on line grief tending can be, and found this on line format to be an effective and far reaching way of offering this body of work.

If you are interested in either version of this programme please read all the information below. If you are still interested there is a link to the application form below.

We will be in touch to confirm your place and send full details when we receive your form.

Apprenticing to Grief in person 2024

Dates coming soon – it will be in October

  • In person at High Heathercombe on Dartmoor – a stunning location on the high moor. Camping as well as small dormitory accommodation is available. This is a 6 day residential programme led by an experienced team. You’re welcome to apply (see link below) and we will be in touch about full details when they are finalised.

Our intention

The intention of bringing this workshop at this time is to share our learnings around holding grief spaces, and to help support and resource others that are stepping towards this work.

We recognise that we are still learning – and we see that more and more people seem to be drawn to the work – to hold spaces for grief as well as to participate in them. In a land where we have lost the role of elders and many other helpful traditions we are feeling our way towards forms and practices that can be both accessible and effective. So we are happy to share our understandings, hoping they can benefit others, honouring our teachers who have helped us to grow in this work, and knowing we will learn together when we gather a group around this intention.

See below for details of how to apply.

What you can expect from us

Residential: Six day immersive programme in a beautiful venue, with food.

On line: Three modules using Zoom, usually not more than 4 1/2  hours screen time per day. There will be resources and practices to work with off line both during and between modules.

We will explore how to open pathways into the landscape of grief, hold space there, and guide the journey back, integrating our experience so we can go forward in our lives in a good way.

“Sophy and Jeremy together share a deep passion for healing our relationship to nature and each other and skillfully created a communal space for us to approach grief with a slow gentleness. Going home, I feel more capable of serving my community in kind, inviting people to a monthly gathering where we can grieve together, and recognize our shared love of life.”

Here’s a summary of what we will cover:

  • Looking at the elements of a safe, held and deep journey into and back from grief. This includes –
    • Welcoming and creating trust in a group and building the “banks of the river” – calling in resources that we can return to
      • Introducing grief in ways that are inclusive and respectful
      • Practices to stir and express grief
      • Integration and soothing; making meaning and harvesting insights from grief tending
      • Reconnecting to resources and supporting people to leave in good shape for the return to their lives
  • Sharing different practices and philosophies around grief, trauma and healing; exploring the relationship between cultural norms of avoiding feeling pain; creating systems of harm and oppression; a system which is destroying the living web of life. Acknowledging we have different identities, spiritual beliefs, if any, and cultural contexts which affect how we step towards this work.
  • Exploring “ceremony” and “ritual” and entering ritual space together. An optional ceremony to strengthen support from the ancestors, in the widest sense of the word (lineage, teachers, trees, nature, earth..)
  • Reflecting on how we deepen into our own grief, and how this supports us to work with others – understanding that whatever we cannot face or facilitate in ourselves we are unlikely to be able to welcome or facilitate for others.
  • Looking at skills of facilitation – reflecting on how we can continue to develop and hone these skills
  • Recognising that this can be challenging and difficult territory, we will look together at creating ethical and robust practices
  • Exploring how we each strengthen the skillset we need to be competent, skilled and ethical – whilst recognising that there is a deep and sometimes urgent need for this work, to which we are responding.
  • Times for participants to facilitate, including part of a full grief journey held by the group; self, peer and tutor feedback
  • Joining a network or community of practice
  • We will explore how the intention shapes the work – for example, that Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects has a different purpose and evoke a different response to holding a general Grief tending event.

It’s a lot!

“ are about to embark on a journey that brings you close to some deep, sweet, still and sad places and you may not come back the same but you will be shaped for ever in these magical waters.”  FG, participant

What we expect from you

  • To attend the whole course, unless you have an agreement with us otherwise
  • That you are in some process of inner exploration, including ways of tending your own grief
  • That you have attended at least one Grief Tending workshop with us, preferably longer than one day, so you have a sense of our work and approach and have done a deep journey of grief yourself.
  • That you are resourced and supported so you can participate in and help to hold processes that invite the sharing of feelings, vulnerability and self exploration with others.
  • That you have experience of holding others either in one to one or group settings
  • To prepare and facilitate part of the grief journey, working with others in the group
  • To take responsibility for the other aspects of grief work that are needed for you to be a safe and competent facilitator before you hold others in this work (including facilitation skills, working with others at depth and holding people as trauma surfaces)
  • On line journey: to do some work in between on line sessions, during and between the modules individually, and in learning groups

This is NOT a training

We want to be clear that we are not offering a training in “becoming a grief facilitator”, nor in facilitation, in holding people at depth, nor in working with trauma. We have both completed professional trainings in counselling / therapy, as well as having many years of experience holding groups and individuals in deep work in a variety of contexts. When working with grief we are likely to touch wounded places, including trauma. We see that facilitators of grief spaces need to have skills in group facilitation, working at depth, and meeting trauma. Whilst we can touch on these themes during the workshop it’s your responsibility to equip yourself to work safely with people in any contexts you are offering.

Apprentices Network

There is an online group of people who have completed the Apprenticing to Grief journey who connect and occasionally have meet ups for support, discussion of shared themes, and anything else anyone is up for.

To apply for Apprenticing to grief

We ask that you have attended at least one Grief tending workshop before applying, with us, or with others working in similar lineages. The more you have experienced the journey into, being with, and returning from spaces of grief, the more you will bring to this Apprenticing programme. There are up-coming opportunities for this on our Events page, and links to other grief spaces here. If you aren’t able to attend something and would like to apply to the Apprenticing programme please contact us.

To apply please complete the on line Application form. When we confirm that you have a place we will ask for your deposit of £120 to secure your place.

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