Pet Loss Grief Support Animals in our Hearts  Animal Communication Teresa Wagner
  • The best way to learn the language of another species is as a social partner.

    ~Conrad Lorenz

Workshops & Events

Ethics and Essential Energetic Boundaries
for Grief Support & Healing Arts Practitioners

Ethics quote



A 3-part teleclass: 12 hours total audio

or LIVE?

This is an on-demand teleclass to take anytime, at your convenience.
The MP3 recordings received with this purchase are from a live class which include the questions, comments and interactions of the participants with the instructor.


$299   Includes 12 hours digital audio recordings and 119 pages of detailed handouts including 19 case studies.  


Register Here 

This is a required class in the Animal Loss and Grief Support Training and Certification Program. If you wish to take this class for credit in the program please see Certification Requirements and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..






Teresa Wagner, M.S., Program Founder  

The class  has been designed for all helping professionals including, but not limited to, grief support practitioners in various roles and settings (such as pet loss support group facilitators, chat room moderators, veterinarians and veterinary staff, shelter staff, etc.), animal communicators, chaplains, counselors and those who practice any healing arts. You are lovingly welcome to join us!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to read



*  Learn methods of energetic protection to be able to remain fully open-hearted and compassionate when working with clients without taking in their pain and energy which reduces the risks of secondary traumatization (compassion fatigue) and burnout.

*  Increase understanding about the full nature of "being sensitive"--that it is normal, it is healthy and is a gift that must be handled with continual, conscious care if it is to be enjoyed by those who possess it and used effectively to help others.

*  Develop a clear understanding of the dynamics and negative impact of filtering and projection; and learn tools to prevent inappropriate--and often unconscious--filtering and projecting of our own beliefs, ideas and values onto clients.

*  Explore the core ethics of the helping professions, with particular attention to the context of grief support as a tool to bridge the gap between our intention to serve with integrity and professionalism and specific guidelines of how to do that. 

* Build our awareness of how to set boundaries regarding the logistics and decisions of how we work, when we work, and with whom we work.


Have you ever felt worn out or overwhelmed with your work in helping others? Have you ever struggled with boundaries in client relationships?  Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma in your role as a helper or as a client? Have you ever been told you are "too sensitive" for your own good?  I think that most of us in professional helping roles have faced these issues at one time or another. I'm very excited about this new class that covers these issues in a dynamic and hopefully fun way with discussions, shared ideas and stories, case studies, hands-on exercises and numerous handouts.

Many of us began our work in the helping professions--whether in counseling, animal communication, grief support or other healing arts--deeply motivated by love, compassion and a genuine heart-felt desire to serve. While this provides a profoundly important foundation, it's not enough. If we don't also consciously develop and use energetic boundaries and ethics in our work, we can inadvertently undermine the effectiveness and quality of the help we offer and also become depleted ourselves.

The practice of consciously using energetic boundaries and protection is one of the most vital and primary areas of competency needed to do any work in the helping professions and to do the work well without becoming burned out, and without violating ethical boundaries--even unwittingly.

This class provides an in-depth opportunity to examine and explore how both ethics and boundaries can be applied in our work to provide clients with a sense of safety, trust and optimum opportunities for healing and growth, and to provide ourselves with energetic preparedness to offer our knowledge and skills with clarity, without bias (including unconscious bias), and with greater ability to be fully present with the stories, pain and trauma of clients and with reduced risk of burnout and compassion fatigue.

         Sound ethical practice is good counseling practice,
                          and good counseling practice requires sound ethical practice. 
                                    ~ Louis A. Gamino, PhD, Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling

Session 1:  Ethics and Our Motivation to Help Others

• The intersection of helper values and beliefs and client values and beliefs:  The role and purpose of ethics and guiding principles in the helping professions
• Assessing and Understanding Our Own Motivations to Help
• The Helping Practitioner's Pyramid: The Four Elements of Effective Facilitation of Healing
• Traditional Ethical Principles and Areas of Needed Competence for Hepers
• Awareness and Illumination of Blind Spots
• Code of Ethics of the Animal Loss and Grief Support Professional Program of Study
• Strategies for Thinking Through Ethical Dilemmas:
          Who and what needs to be considered?  What is the best possible course of action?
• Case Studies: Which ethics and guiding principles apply?
• The Ethical and Legal Issues of Copyright: Guidelines to protect your intellectual property and to respect the intellectual property of others

Session 2:  Energetic Boundaries to Protect Clients from Potential Bias, Filtering or Projection
•  The role and purpose of energetic boundaries to protect clients in helping relationships
• Obstacles to grief support [and any helping] competence
•  The power of language to communicate respect, acceptance and nurturing neutrality
•  Effectively handling our own reactions and pain about our client’s loss and pain
•  The importance of not exposing clients to our pain or reactions about their loss  
•  Tools:  Internal and external strategies for clearing own values and beliefs during client contact
•  Case Studies: Which ethics and guiding principles apply?

Session 3: Energetic Boundaries to Protect Ourselves from Potential Overwhelm and Compassion Fatigue

• The role and purpose of energetic boundaries to protect ourselves in helping relationships
• Concepts and self assessments
• Issues heplers may encounter regarding boundaries of logistics policies and unrealistic client expectations
 • Preventing Secondary Traumatic Stress: Managing overwhelming feelings
 in response to client stories/trauma  
• Energetic protection issues for highly sensitive and empathic people
• Tools:  internal and external strategies for protection from overwhelm of others’ energy and pain
• Case Studies:  Which ethics, guiding principles and tools apply?


Nina McIntosh, author of The Educated Heart, a book entirely about ethics and boundaries says:

Boundaries are like protective circles surrounding the professional relationship. Rather than being barriers that separate us from our clients, good boundaries safeguard both practitioner and client. Good boundaries don’t create walls between client and practitioners: rather, they create a safe space within which we can touch clients’ hearts and ease their spirits.

Without clear, thought-out boundaries, our decisions about boundaries and ethics are likely to be based on a hodgepodge of conflicting influences: our upbringing, our own biases and prejudices, emulation of teachers or mentors who may or may not have good boundaries themselves, and when in doubt, we may throw in a random piece of wisdom from the latest self-help book we’ve read.


Stamm quote



It has changed my whole outlook and  opened up my eyes to see how I can be effective for clients. Changed by whole business outlook. Everyone should take this class!!

~ Diane D, Kingston, MA

Very, very good class on boundaries and ethical practices   A good reminder to be more protected while in a helping role. Very helpful to look at the individual examples of exercises and case studies.
~ Lori P, Cloverdale, CA

Its a very unique class and addresses so much. I have enjoyed clarifying many grey areas.
Boundaries has been a biggie for me as I work with people and they start to see me as a "friend" then I feel guilty if I cant enable that friendship like I am hurting them. THe class has given me ideas to strengthen my boundaries with love from the beginning. Thank you!
~ Narel W,  Tomerong NSW, Australia


The class was magnificent. The written materials were so filled with valuable information and very pleasing to the eye. Teresa's soothing voice and meticulous holding of space brought me immense healing while I learned.  Thank you so much for this big gift.
~ Jane S,  Santa Maria, CA

I received some wonderful training in the tools of my practice, but knew something was missing. This was it. Principles that I had grasped intuitively but not named became clear and therefore reliably accessible to me. I feel ready to embrace my work as a flower essence practitioner with fresh verve and confidence. As a college professor, I know how valuable "could have been better" comments are in fine-tuning a course. So I wish I had something to contribute. No luck there! Having done a lot of curriculum design, I was constantly aware of how beautifully conceived and implemented this course was. When students are learning happily and easily, you can bet that the instructor has spent countless hours and much deep and detailed thought to create the conditions that make learning seem easy. Teresa is a master teacher.

The Helping Practitioner's Pyramid brings important principles together in an integrated way that can be called on right in the moment for guidance. Only two days after my first class, I was asked to help with a very serious and difficult decision about an animal's health care. I brought the pyramid to my mind's eye and referred to it repeatedly during the session. I found it to be an elegant and reliable guide which contributed considerably to the positive outcome of this conversation.

Doing the exercises in advance primed me for full participation in the class, allowing me to start mulling over issues and how they related to me so that I could take full advantage of the sessions. The case studies helped anchor the principles in real life, and will make it much easier to remember and apply the principles in the future.

Teresa is a trustworthy guide who practices the principles she teaches. She listened carefully to what participants had to say, honored our contributions and skillfully tied our input back to the principles she was teaching. She is a caring presence and skilled teacher.
~ Laurel B, Pasadena, CA

The class was very well prepared. The handouts were actually more complete and thorough and a great prep for each session, much more so than most of the nursing seminars I've attended that have cost more. There was a lot of time to hear comments and ask questions. Teresa was very generous with her time.
~ Kendra L,  Los Angeles, CA

Teresa's usual thoroughness and excellent organization made everything very digestible and clear. I got clarity on copyrights and use of materials.
~ Roberta J, Chelsea, MI


Excellent class Teresa!! Great material. Wonderful handouts. Great discussion. You outdid yourself again!!! I am so grateful for this experience!!! Thank you!! Thank you!! Thank you!!  I enjoy your classes so much! You are an excellent teacher and facilitator. And one of the most big-hearted most compassionate people I know. I am so grateful for you.  

~ Lori K, Fallston, MD    

The class was magnificent. The written materials were so filled with valuable information and very pleasing to the eye. Teresa's soothing voice and meticulous holding of space brought me immense healing while I learned.  Thank you so much for this big gift.
~  Jane S,  Santa Maria, CA  

I so admire your integrity in doing whatever it takes to get the information out, clearly and completely!  The material on boundaries has framed a couple of conversations with clients this week. Even when I know the material already, it helps (adds to the toolkit) to hear the way you put it. Thank you.
~ Rev. Nancy S, Hayward, CA