Companioning

phelamanga

I love learning. New words or concepts bring me to a place of vibratory excitement and pleasure. I am a cheap date! Today, a beautiful woman who has worked with hospice patients for years taught me the word, companioning. From the word companion: “com” for with and “pan” for bread. Someone you would share a meal with – a friend, an equal. When we are on the healing journey we are companions. When you become a patient/client at  Wellspring Holistic Center, we become companions on the road to health and wellness.

The word “treat” comes from the Latin root word “tractare,” which means “to drag.” Personally I do not want to be dragged , nor do I want to drag you (although sometimes we do need a little gentle push or nudge – ok, or a good whack over the head!).

I like the term companioning instead of treating. Dr. Alan Wolfelt has made the word companion into a verb, because it really does capture the essence of what complementary/alternative medicine is about: listening, sharing, supporting, communing, and advocating. A great meal has all of these components, doesn’t it?

Here are Dr. Wolfelt’s 11 tenets of companioning:

  1. Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away pain.
  2. Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.
  3. Companioning is about honoring the Spirit; it is not about focusing on the intellect.
  4. Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.
  5. Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing those struggles.
  6. Companioning is about walking alongside;it is not about leading or being led.
  7. Companioning is about discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it is not about filling up every moment with words.
  8. Companioning is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.
  9. Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.
  10. Companioning is about learning from others; it is not about teaching them.
  11. Companioning is about compassionate curiosity; it is not about expertise.

This mixed with a healthy dose of science, years of professional training and clinical practice seems like an amazing recipe for healing.

See you at the table – I’m saving you a seat!

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