"A Companion is someone who accompanies another” Concise Oxford Dictionary
An effective Seasons for Growth Companion is a person who:
• cares deeply about supporting children, young people and adults as they learn about the impact of change and loss in their lives, and how best to attend to this
• can facilitate learning through effective small-group processes
• can listen deeply and effectively
• is not burdened by their own unresolved grief and does not bring inappropriate personal agenda to the group
• has the ability to attend well to their own feelings and emotional responses
• acts supportively and does not rescue, distract or make participants dependent
• trusts in the participants' experiences and capacity to learn, and to choose what is best for themselves
• asks 'what' and 'how' questions, not 'why' or 'which'
• respects the uniqueness of each person's life story, including cultural differences
• is able to affirm others
• has a sense of humour and can relate well to the age group they are companioning
• understands issues and responsibilities related to Mandatory Reporting, Child Protection and Working with Children Checks (if companioning children).
• is willing to participate fully in the Companion training
Who can become a Companion?
A teacher, psychologist, chaplain, nurse, counsellor, social worker or someone who feels that they are well placed to offer one or more of the Good Grief programs within their community.
All potential Companions must be endorsed by their employer or organisation (school, government or non-government organisation, parish etc.). They also need to agree to a criminal background check specific to their state or territory and have clearance to work with children, if facilitating the Seasons for Growth Children and Young People's Program.
To become a Companion, individuals participate in a two-day training program facilitated by a skilled and accredited Good Grief trainer. The training involves engaging with the theory and principles underpinning the program, experiencing the content, practising the skills necessary to implement it well, and reflecting on the possibilities and limitations of their role so as to ensure a safe, quality learning experience for the participants they companion.
* Note: Only trained Companions can order and use the Seasons for Growth materials.