I see grief and compassion fatigue as normal human responses…
to the situations that cause them.
The darkest times can teach us how to live.
If we let them.
Joy will come again.
Honor your pain and trust your process.

About Companioning Care LLC

My heart gets to come to work with me now.

Moving into my second career allowed me to uncover a wellspring of compassion I had thought I had to hide from the world. Now I share my compassion with people who are facing difficult times, as I help them figure out their way through.

Marcella headshot photo

Hi. I'm Marcella. Opening up to the pain and joy of life has taught me a lot.

Along the way, I found that difficult things don't need to be difficult when we learn to trust ourselves and our innate humanness. Singing lessons (thank you, Chris Rosman and Christopher Woitach!) taught me to breathe deeply, feel the music (read: life energy), allow messy stuff, open my heart, and spread joy. This has informed my life and the way I help people move through pain.

My approach to the professional care I offer was formed beginning in 1996 – at the summer institute at The Dougy Center, and later at Western Oregon University, where professor Tamina Toray helped me understand grief, and instructor Trey Malicoat helped me relate that to all kinds of loss and change. Also, as Dr Toray's first research assistant for her project on how healing professionals view clients' grief for their animal companions, I learned that most counselors are uncomfortable with grief. I see grief as a normal response to change, loss, and death.

Working for hospices and hospitals has shown me how much pain there is in the world, and how much it can help to have someone's solid presence at your side when you get bad news, have to make difficult decisions, or have lost someone dear to you. I've been asked countless times how I can be that presence again and again, and the short answer is that I can hold your pain with compassion, but I don't take it on. (The longer answer is the basis for my Caring for the Hearts of People Caring for Others program.) I trust that you will make it through your pain – if it is honored as valid, and you get the support and information you need.

This is Forest, my office greeter and client relaxer.

Photo of dog's head.

When at work with me, Forest will greet people who seem interested in her, but is usually settled on her bed at my side. Most people find her calmness helpful. If you are not comfortable with her, she can be confined to the other room.

In our spare time, Forest and I are a registered Therapy Dog team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and we volunteer locally with FETCH (Friends Eager To Come Help). (Therapy Dog team visits are a form of Animal Assisted Activities, and are considered "therapeutic contact." They are not a form of counseling or therapy.)

My connection with my many animal companions through the years – and my sadness when they've been seriously ill and after their deaths – are why I offer my Pet Coping and Grief program.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about my background, approaches, or how I do business. Please contact me and let’s talk about how my services might be helpful to you.

Help with planning. Understandable information. Compassionate support.
Contact me to learn more: (541) 255-7116 or care @ companioning.care

(I do not offer counseling or therapy, but if that is appropriate for you I’ll give you referrals to other appropriate professionals.)

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