Peer Trainings


Holding the Hope:

One of the most important roles as a peer facilitator, when working with people whose lives have been shattered by loss is to hold the hope, keep it in the room at times when a person is feeling so devastated or overwhelmed that they can’t access their own hope. Effective facilitators come to realize that it is about creating “sacred space” in the group so that each person’s story can be non-judgmentally received. Facilitators help to create a mutual bond between the group members, help them to “trust the process” in being able to find meaning in their loss.

What to look for in Peer Facilitators:

  • Must have experienced a loss
  • Compassion and excellent listening skills
  • Self awareness
  • Belief in mutual/peer support
  • Openness and willingness to share of themselves
  • Tolerance and acceptance of others
  • Ability to hold back advice-giving
  • Need to be able to work as part of a two person team

The extensive 25 hour training will provide a basic understanding of the grief processes and the feelings that accompany them. The facilitators will become keenly aware of the differences in the way people grieve, the key point being, that we can not dictate the way people grieve, but rather allow people to grieve in the manner in which they feel comfortable. The program is based on a combination of two experts in the field of bereavement. William Worden’s “four tasks” and Alan Wolfelt’s belief that “companioning” people on their grief journey, helping them to integrate life’s losses by allowing them time to contemplate and turn inward is key to a persons healing.

Although this is an eight week peer training program, it can be customized to fit your organization needs. To see if Hope and Healing with Peers training and other peer support programs would align with your bereavement services contact:

Patti Comeau-Simonson, 978-360-3903 or email at

“Hope is the vital ingredient that helps us reignite our divine spark after loss breaks our hearts and touches our souls.”
—Alan D. Wolfelt

Please complete the Training Application here.

See the testimonials from previous Peer Facilitator Trainees

"Keep doing what you are doing! You kept the pace moving in each of the sessions. Also kudos for truly listening to each of us, never being judgemental and never displaying a visible reaction if something offered might differ from your expectations."
"Very informative. I learned a lot. It definitely helped me better understand what a facilitator does."
"Outstanding! time was managed extremely well- After 8 weeks of training I'm feeling prepared to facilitate a group."
"To understand and learn the role of a facilitator as a support person not a fixer. The value of the various exercises and activities were very helpful."
"Learning the skills required for facilitating a group, the nature of the grief journey and how important what we will be doing really is."