Becoming an End-of-Life Doula

This dynamic three-day End-of-Life Doula Training Workshop encompasses how to provide comfort and support to the dying person and their loved ones in the final days and weeks of life. Doulas provide resources, education and companionship for the dying and caregivers as they fill in gaps in hospice care and medical support systems. End-of-life doulas represent a new frontier in the doula profession, traditionally centered on birth and postpartum support. They are an outgrowth of recent cultural trends favoring natural death care.


End-of-Life Doula Training Workshop

Fee $535; $485 if paid in full by ERD


Workshop Content for End-of-Life Doula Training

Covered topics include the following:

  • What is a “good death”?
  • Exploring the dying process
  • The needs of the dying and the family
  • Biopsychosocial-spiritual-cultural aspects of end-of-life support
  • The doula model of care
  • Accompanying the dying (holding vigil, creating a peaceful atmosphere)
  • Grief and bereavement support
  • Understanding hospice and palliative care
  • Scope of practice for end-of-life doulas
  • Active listening and communication skills
  • Family needs assessment
  • Hands-on comfort measures, aromatherapy and more
  • Self-care for the caregiver(s)
  • Introduction to Advance Care Planning
  • Natural after death care–home funerals and green burial choices
  • The doula business professional and end-of-life doula practice considerations

Who will benefit from End-of-Life Doula Training?

  • Anyone who wants to become a professional end-of-life doula
  • Family members and friends of the dying
  • Hospice and palliative care providers
  • Midwives and doulas
  • Nurses and doctors
  • Social workers
  • Clergy, chaplains, celebrants
  • Healers and therapists
  • Those who provide home care and companion care
  • Life coaches
  • Death educator
  • Hospice volunteers and others wanting to serve

Read what past participants in this class have to say.

“This training far exceeded any expectations. The role playing, the exercises, the case story challenges and the general class materials you presented were all rolled into a beautifully cohesive package.” — Pat Deardorff, Ann Arbor, MI

“Patty Brennan and Merilynne Rush are two of the most inspiring, knowledgeable and compassionate instructors I have met. This was a great training and I am excited to share it with the world. I am home!” — Sarah Gregory-Ferguson, Lansing, MI

end-of-life doula training

end-of-life doula training

Please Note

This training is designed for folks who want to support those who are dying and their loved ones. We are not a grief support group. We respectfully ask that if you have suffered a loss within the year prior to this workshop that you consider waiting before engaging this work. Likewise, if you personally have a life-limiting illness and are seeking to learn more about the dying process, this training is not designed for you. If in doubt, please contact us to discuss your situation prior to registering.

Local Accommodations

Our October training is taking place on a home football game weekend for the University of Michigan. Hotel space will be at premium prices and is likely to fill quickly. If you are traveling from out of the area for this workshop, please do not wait to reserve your hotel room. You may do better price-wise if you stay just outside the city of Ann Arbor, for example in Ypsilanti, Dexter, Chelsea, Whitmore Lake or Canton, depending on which side of town is closer to you. We are located on the northwest side of Ann Arbor, close to downtown. There is a Holiday Inn Express on Zeeb Rd. right near I-94 and that would be an easy 10-15 minute drive to our location.

What’s Included in the Fee for this Training?

The Class Manual, shown above, is included. We will provide a selection of healthy snacks and beverages throughout the day, but full meals are not provided. There will be an hour lunch break each day and participants are welcome to bring their lunch and eat at the Center or go out to lunch. We are just a mile from downtown Ann Arbor and there are many places from which to choose. We have a refrigerator and microwave available for those who bring food with them.