Frequently Asked Questions

No, Soul Midwives give non-medical support, working alongside and in co-operation with the existing medical teams.

We train Soul Midwives from all walks of life, including teachers, veterinary assistants, healers, funeral directors, therapists, even a rock star! Many nurses, doctors and chaplains have also completed our training to enhance their existing work skills.

We are there to provide comfort, love and support to anyone facing the end of life, it’s as beautifully simple as that.

Our work is non-denominational and not aligned with any particular faith or religion. We are there to provide deep and consistent companionship and spiritual support during the dying process.

Our Soul Midwives come from many backgrounds including Anglican, Catholic, Buddhist, Quaker and Pagan, and we honour all faith traditions. Many hospice and hospital chaplaincy teams include Soul Midwives.

We have twenty or so qualified male Soul Midwives and we’d welcome more. They are a great comfort, bringing calm and dignity to all who work with them.

The Soul Midwives School is at Watercleaves, Dottery, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 5HW.

The nearest railway stations are Axminster (about 7 miles away) and Dorchester (about 18 miles away).

Both stations are served by the number X53 bus, which stops in Bridport.

Yes ! You may not be able to come to us, but we can come to you.

Our Distance Learning programme has been running for over ten years and is highly acclaimed. Many people from all over the world have trained to become Soul Midwives in this way.

If you would like to study in this way please contact us.

That’s easy – for the Introductory Day, go to the Introductory Course page of this site, and complete the form. For other courses, please complete the booking forms on the relevant pages relating to the course you’d like to attend.

For an Introductory Day, nothing except an enquiring mind and a loving heart. In its simplest form, Soul Midwifery is all about being a loving companion or friend to someone who is dying. For Level One and Level Two, you will be given joining instructions after acceptance on the training.
We suggest that you visit the Bridport Tourist office site and/or the Chideock and Seatown site. If you are booking for a Level One or Level Two Course, we will send you full details of recommended accommodation with our ‘Joining a Course’ information.

The way to start would be by attending an Introductory Day, or completing a distance Introductory Module, or Access Module online (if you have attended a TLC Day). This is the essential groundwork needed before embarking on full training.

Many people come along to the Introductory Days to ask questions and to learn some simple but useful skills for supporting loved ones.

This is a three day intensive, non-residential course at the Soul Midwives School in Dorset. During these three days, you will learn the theoretical aspects of Soul Midwifery, advocacy and end of life planning, along with techniques and holistic skills.

After this you will begin the Apprenticeship period where you need to find a volunteer role in order to complete six Case Studies. You will be Mentored during this period by a senior Soul Midwife. In some cases (depending on where you live) we may be able to help you find a placement.

The Level One Distance Learning course contains nine modules which cover similar content to the live course. It is a completely different approach to learning, but the outcome is the same.

You would be qualified as a Soul Midwife at the end of your training, though you would still be required to complete the Apprenticeship period and complete your six Case Studies in order to be eligible to practise.

Becoming a fully fledged Soul Midwife doesn’t happen overnight. After completing the Level One Practitioner training, you will be asked to serve an active Apprenticeship in sitting with the dying (usually in a voluntary role) for a period of about six months, and asked to provide six Case Studies for assessment, before you are fully qualified . The Apprenticeship period is an extremely important part of becoming a Soul Midwife. You will be assigned a Mentor after Level One and will be required to attend two meetings with her during your probationary period, for supervision and support, at a cost of £30 per session.

Level Two training is optional and only offered at the Soul Midwives School. It covers post-death work, bereavement and care of the soul. This level is only offered to students who have attained Level One, either at the School, or via distance training.

Practitioners who hold a Level One Practising Certificate will be assigned a Mentor for regular support and supervision and ongoing professional development. They also have access to our private Soul Midwives Forum, which is a vibrant platform for sharing ideas. It also has news of events and offers peer support and advice.

Individual professional supervision is also available to qualified Soul Midwives.

We are always exploring more ways to extend our services to those who most need them, and it is  just as important to offer love and support to each other.

Local groups of Soul Midwives regularly meet to support each other, across the UK.

Yes, you will need to gain insurance in order to practise. Our training (Level One and beyond) will enable you to gain professional insurance (at the discretion of the insurance company) and we only refer families seeking help to fully insured Soul Midwives.

This is up to you, some Practitioners offer their services as volunteers, but most Soul Midwives, once they have completed their training and carried out the probationary period, charge an hourly or block rate for their time. This is usually in line with local rates for services such as complementary therapies or counselling.

You may need  to have a DBS check in place and you will need to be fully insured.

Some work organisations, such as care homes, pay retainers for Soul Midwives to come in as required.

Some Soul Midwives may choose to volunteer their services to groups or organisations. These may include cancer support groups, church groups, elder women’s groups or community centres. We can suggest ways in which to volunteer your new skills.

We have been offering our training for around twenty years and are very well known in the field.

We are respected for our pioneering and education work, and for developing the benefits of holistic and spiritual care at end of life.

We offer our work in many care settings and have won two major awards – from the National Council for Palliative Care (sponsored by The Royal College of Nursing) and The Good Funeral Awards.

Our TLC Programme has been adopted by the NHS in Dorset.

There are approximately 800 trained Soul Midwives in the UK, although not all of them are always currently available to practise.

With regard to the titles of ‘Soul Midwife’ and ‘Death Doula’, we prefer the term ‘Soul Midwife’, which we feel better reflects our therapeutic and spiritual companionship role.

Many Soul Midwives also use the title ‘End-of-Life Companion’.

Our courses, and trained Soul Midwives are highly regarded by many End of Life care organisations, including the NHS.  Felicity Warner, who pioneered Soul Midwives and is Principal of the Soul Midwives School, was awarded the National Council For Palliative Care Council’s prestigious End of Life Care Champion in 2017. This was recognition from the UK’s leading clinicians and policymakers, and testament to the high reputation Soul Midwives have amongst the End of Life care community.

Although the Soul Midwives movement is still relatively young, our good reputation has developed through consistency, trust-building and integrity. We follow a strict Code of Practice to protect and honour the “friends” and families we support.

Our mission is “to support changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards death, dying and bereavement, and through this to make ‘living and dying well’ the norm”. Visit the  Dying Matters  website.

If you are an organisation seeking to work with an accredited and qualified Soul Midwife, trained by Felicity Warner at The Soul Midwives School, we would ask you to contact us for confirmation that this Soul Midwife has indeed been trained by us and follows our own strict criteria. Flattered as we are that others are calling themselves ‘Soul Midwives’, we can only vouch for, and recommend our own students.

Soul Midwifery is still a relatively new concept within integrated healthcare.

There is currently no statutory body regulating Soul Midwifery/End of Life Doula work in the UK, the US or Canada.

There is no government requirement for accreditation or certification of Soul Midwifery/End of Life Doula courses either.

However, anyone can pay to set up an “accredited” course, through various accrediting and training organisations.

For this reason, we have chosen to continue certifying our own courses for now, as our reputation is respected in its own right.

Many courses have sprung up over the last year or so offering so called” Soul Midwifery” training (and in some cases offering accredited courses). These courses copy us in name only and are in no way a part (or offshoot) of our organisation.

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The Soul Midwives Handbook

The Soul Midwives Handbook by Felicity Warner

Learn more about Soul Midwifery.

This movement, begun by Felicity Warner, has changed the face of modern holistic and spiritual palliative care in the UK and abroad.

Anyone with an open and compassionate heart and a desire to help others can train to become a Soul Midwife. This book will guide you through the core principles and techniques of this practice. Read More