Companioning the Grieving Child: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers


When children and teenagers experience the death of someone they love, they naturally grieve. That is, they have thoughts and emotions inside of them about the death. But if they are “companioned” by caring adults, they will also learn to authentically mourn — to express their grief outside themselves — because they are organic mourners who have the instinct to mourn. And it is through mourning that they go on to heal and live and love well again.

In this compassionate, comprehensive guide, Dr. Alan Wolfelt explains his philosophy of “companioning” versus “treat” grieving children and explores the following topics through the companion’s lens:

  • How a grieving child thinks, feels, and mourns
  • What makes each child’s grief unique
  • How the grieving child heals: the six needs of mourning
  • Foundations of companioning grieving kids
  • A family systems approach to companioning
  • Helping grieving children at school

A must-read for child counselors, hospice caregivers, funeral directors, school counselors and teachers, clergy, parents — anyone who wants to offer support and companionship to children and teens affected by the death of someone loved.


“An outstanding book designed or caregivers in dealing with children who have suffered seemingly irreconcilable loss. Grief is not seen as an illness requiring a cure, but as a normal, natural, and necessary process leading to adaption to, an reconciliation with, the processes of life and growth. ¬†Essential, invaluable reading for parents, teachers, counselors, clergy, and anyone else trying to assist a bereaved child of any age or circumstance.” — Midwest Book Review

Additional Information

Weight0.9 lbs
Dimensions9.25 × 6.25 × 0.5 in
Weight0.9 lbs
Dimensions9.25 × 6.25 × 0.5 in

ISBN: 978-1-617221-58-3

Author: Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Product Type: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 208

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