End of Life Doulas

What is an End of Life Doula?

An End of Life Doula is not a new concept. Many cultures for thousands of years have supported the practice of people staying in their homes to die, looked after by family and community. However, in the modern Western world there has been a trend towards nursing homes and hospitalization which can lead to isolation, lack of choice and opportunity for all concerned. Death, which is inevitable, often can become a lonely and somber ‘medicalised’ experience.

An End-of-Life Doula is a non-medical role that provides support, options and education assisting the dying and those around them have their end of life unfold in alignment with their wishes, to preserve the quality of life, well being and self-worth up to and beyond the end of life as we know it.They are the “informed companion” bringing comfort, support, compassion, and assist a person and their family in feeling safe and supported during this important transition.

What does an End of Life Doula do and why would I want to hire one?

Facing the end of life of someone you love or care for is often a very challenging, confusing and overwhelming journey.  There are a myriad of things to plan for and manage, options to explore, choices to make and medical and life issues to navigate.  Many people around you have needs, opinions and advice.

As with all big events in our lives it helps to make a plan, to sort through all the options and choose our preferred way forward.A Doula can guide the person being doula’d and/or their family members and people close to them through the process, telling them what to expect and acting as an advocate for them with medical and nursing staff, the hospital or other care providers, funeral homes, and other personnel  involved.

Having an end of life doula gives you support, assists you sift through choices looking at all the pro’s and con’s thereby allowing you to make informed choices. Sharing with you options you may not have known about all along the way.Providing a shoulder, an ear that is empathetic, resourceful and understanding of your journey and all it entails…assisting you fulfill this life journey as you choose to.An End of Life Doula will assist in making the road ahead an intimate, sacred and rich experience for everyone involved, whether medical support is required or not, whether at home, in a hospice or hospital – creating ‘home’ wherever you are.








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How can we help?

Can I learn to be an End of Life doula for someone I care about or make it a profession?

  • The Australian Doula College, in collaboration with Preparing the Way, proudly presents two options for exploring and gaining skills in this area.
    Whether you:
  • are someone who is or is considering supporting someone at the end of their life.
  • have someone in your life who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • feel drawn to work with people at end of life.
  • are a professional wanting to deepen your skills around death and dying.
  • are simply interested to start the enquiry and reflect on mortality and make preparations yourself.

The Owner and Educator for Preparing the Way who presents the End of Life Doula Training for the Australian Doula College is Helen Callanan.  Helen has had over 30 years working with people who are very ill and the dying.  Initially practicing in Chinese Medicine & body work along with over30 years as a professional Reiki II practitioner and 20 years Teaching Reiki has given Helen extensive experience and insight into all aspects of health and healing, including end-of-life, mental/emotional and spiritual development.  Her many years working with people in both public and private palliative/hospice situations have provided Helen a unique perspective and experience into the precious Journey that Life is whether at the beginning or end of life.


Helen shares many stories of direct experiences she has had in her cherished role as an End of Life Doula.  Through those stories and the sharing of deep personal experience, growth and reflection, along with research on best practice, Helen delivers both profoundly insightful and practical training.  You can receive information and testimonials on the training by emailing enquiries@preparingtheway.com.au

About the Preparing the Way Workshop and Course:

These courses are for those supporting one in their personal life as well as for people who have a professional background and wish to deepen their skills in end of life support e.g. Nurses, Complementary Therapists, Aged Residential Facility staff etc.

Part 1: Preparing the Way One Day Foundation Workshop (this is a stand alone workshop)

“The only time you don’t have a choice, is when you haven’t made one” Helen Callanan

Broadly we cover:

  • Death and Dying: who dies? what is a good death?
  •  Who is a Doula – Inside and Out
  • Communication
  • Planning for the End-Of-life
  • Stages of End-Of-Life and how to respond to them
  • What’s Next – Care of self and the Living.

Part II:  Preparing Your Way 4 day Course

“To learn really how to help those who are dying is to begin to become fearless and responsible about our own dying, and to find in ourselves the beginnings of an unbounded compassion that we may have never suspected.” Sogyal Rinpoche

For people or professionals who want a more indepth understanding and develop skills in end of life support and those who are called to become an End-of-Life Doula to one or many.  The purpose is to enquire into, build your awareness and empower you to be with the process of death and dying.  Also, time is spend looking into what one needs if they wanted to do this work in their community.

Upcoming Course Dates:

One Day Foundation Workshop: All classes run 9am – 6pm 


  • December 17th 2019
  • February 19th
  • April 7th 
  • July 9th 
  • August 26th


  • December 17th 2019
  • February 19th 
  • April 7th
  • July 9th 
  • August 26th


  • November 3rd 2019
  • January 7th
  • March 31st 
  • April 20th 
  • July 7th 
  • August 20th

Four Day Intensive Course: All classes run 9:30am to 6pm


  • November     15,16,17,18 – 2019
  • January         10,11,12,13 
  • February       13,14,15,16
  • April/May       30,1,2,3
  • July/August   30,31,1,2


  • October        20,21,22,23
  • January        17,18,19,20
  • Feb/March    29,1,2,3
  • July               11,12,13,14



For all enquiries, bookings, testimonials and registration forms please email enquiries@preparingtheway.com.au