Compassionate Bereavement Care-Yoga Certification®


Bringing together the ancient teachings of yoga with the most current research in traumatic grief

Grief has distinct physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual effects. Western society and allopathic practices focus on curing painful human emotions. In this model, grief is viewed- and treated- as pathology rather than a natural, normal response to profound losses. A more holistic and non-pathologizing approach, the practice of yoga, in all its forms, has tremendous potential as a means of helping people cope with and integrate traumatic grief. Yet, many yoga instructors have not had any training – to reduce potential risk or harm to vulnerable others – in working with the traumatically bereaved.

The Compassionate Bereavement Care-Yoga Provider (CBC-Y®) brings together the ancient and time-tested teachings of yoga with the most current research in traumatic grief to help yoga teachers who want to work, mindfully and gently, with the traumatically bereaved. In this 7-day intensive course, taught by researcher Dr. Joanne Cacciatore and yoga therapist Karla Helbert, LPC you will learn how to coalesce the science of grief counseling with the art of yoga and mindfulness practice to truly help clients reconnect, safely, with the world around them.

CBC-Y® Training Yoga Objectives Participants will:

  1. Understand grief, including traumatic grief, as a non-pathological and normal response to death, loss and trauma, and how the multiple branches of yoga are particularly suited to support those in traumatic grief and bereavement
  2. Differentiate between yoga based therapeutic interventions and bio-medical/allopathic models
  3. Understand and explain the basic concepts of the studied branches of yoga (Jnana, Bhakti, Tantra, Karma, Raja, Hatha) and how they complement and support current grief and trauma research
  4. Understand and explain the yogic model of the Koshas, how grief impacts the koshas, and how this is supported by Mind/Body integrative medicine and current science
  5. Explain the concepts of the Chakras and the use of the Kosha model therein Understand the yogic concepts of the gunas (universal qualities of energy) and how this model is reflected in grief and trauma particularly in terms of post-traumatic stress and current understanding of traumatic grief.
  6. Differentiate/compare concepts of grief in Western and Eastern conceptualizations
  7. Demonstrate/explain ways to integrate the learning and techniques into student/teacher and client/professional interactions
  8. Demonstrate clear understanding of how the Eight Limbs of Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga supports the ATTEND grief model
  9. Demonstrate ability to apply the use of learned yoga techniques including specifically asana (postures), pranayama(breathing), yoga nidra (guided relaxation) and other yogic practices with the goal of reducing Sympathetic Nervous System dysregulation and other post-traumatic stress symptoms with scripts and practice settings

This training is being held at the Selah Carefarm, in Cornville AZ, near Sedona. Registration cost for the 7-day program is $1595.00. Lodging is separate. (includes lodging for six nights, materials, course fee and CBC continuing education credits). The MISS Foundation does not provide a refund for any reason after the stated cancellation date nor do we offer a refund for cancellation or withdrawal once a program has begun.*Alliant International University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Alliant maintains responsibility for the program and its content. Alliant is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to provide continuing education for MFTs and LCSWs (provider # PCE234). Alliant is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide continuing education for Nurses (provider # CEP11235).

Course Info and Meet Your Instructors

Woman leaning on fence, smiling

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is a bereaved mother and the founder of the MISS Foundation, an international NGO that serves families whose children have died. She is also a tenured research professor and senior Wrigley Institute of Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University, spearheading the Graduate Certificate in Trauma and Bereavement. Her best selling book, Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief, is a national award winning best seller that has helped revolutionize the way our culture thinks, and feels, about grief. She works with and counsels families from all around the world who have experienced catastrophic deaths. Dr. Jo, believing that current practices around food production are a social, ethical, and environmental justice issue, is a vegan and hasn’t eaten meat since 1972.  She also teaches meditation, mindfulness, and compassion and ahimsa practices to students and clients from around the world.  If you’re a provider seeking supervision or consultation, please contact us.

View Joanne’s complete bio and vita please click this link.


Karla, bereaved mom of Theo, is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), internationally certified yoga therapist, (C-IAYT), registered yoga teacher (RYT), award winning author, and a certified Compassionate Bereavement Care Provider.  Counseling and supporting those living with traumatic grief and bereavement is her main focus of work. Her book, Yoga for Grief & Loss, is a wonderful adjunct to any practice. Karla has taught the Compassionate Bereavement Care-Yoga provider certification course with Dr. Cacciatore several times. She facilitated the MISS Foundation’s Richmond VA support group for grieving parents for many years.

*Returning this year — CBC-Y taught by Karla Helbert and Dr. Joanne Cacciatore. We are excited to once again offer our popular Compassionate Bereavement Care Yoga Training. It will take place at the Selah Carefarm, October 7-14, 2024. The CBC-Y® program combines the evidence-based CBC model that focuses on the art of full presence and compassionate counseling with the science and philosophy of yoga.

October 7-14, 2024

Selah Carefarm and Sanctuary

$1595 registration only

Sanctuary, $625

Compassionate Bereavement Care Certification® FAQs

When should I arrive?

Please arrive by Sunday evening, Oct. 6 (3-5 p.m. if staying at the Sanctuary). The program begins at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Sedona is only 20 minutes away. It’s easily one of the world’s most beautiful and popular travel destinations. If you can schedule your extended vacation around the program, we highly recommend it. Things to see and do in Sedona include hiking, mountain biking, Palatki and Honanki ruins, jeep tours, helicopter tours, cave exploring, camping, Slide Rock, hiking in creeks and mountains, and so much more!

Can I attend only a few days?

Because of the nature of this program, please plan to attend the entire week.

What time does the program start and end?

The program starts on Oct. 7 at 6:15 a.m. at Andy’s Sanctuary at the Selah Carefarm.  The program ends Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m.

What is the nearest airport?

The nearest airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport which is approximately 2.5 hours away.

Are there shuttles from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport?

There are several shuttles to choose from (including Airport Shuttle of Phoenix) between the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Cornville, AZ. It is recommended you make your shuttle reservations in advance of your arrival. We are not able to provide ride services to or from the Carefarm.

What is included as part of the CBC-Y programs/training programs?

The 7-day program, includes shared room accommodations during the length of the program. For more information, please contact us directly at

What is the weather like?

The retreat location is in Cornville, Arizona and is located in the high desert at 4,500-feet altitude. Typical desert weather is warm in the day, with dropping temperatures at night. There may be strong winds that can help with the warm temperatures, but which also circulate dust and pollen in the air.

How are the accommodations?

The retreat accommodations includes a 3400-square foot guest house with rooms that are decorated in a style conducive for relaxation. There is a full kitchen with modern appliances. To maintain an environment conducive for meditation, the rooms do not have televisions.

Can I bring my pet?

We do not allow pets.

When do I need to pay for the program?

Payment for the program is due at the time you register.

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes you may pay by credit card through online registration

What if CBC-Y doesn’t have enough people to fill the program?

Like with our other CBC programs, we expect a full turnout. If for some reason we do not have enough people to fill the course, we will let everyone know by August 1 that we plan to reschedule the program to a later date. You will be offered a full refund for the course (or the option to transfer your fee to a later program) and your registration acceptance will be honored for future programs.

What do I do if I need to cancel?

Send an email to as you know you’ll have to cancel. There is a cancellation fee of $100 if made on or before July 31. There are no refunds for cancellations made on or after August 1.  Please save your email and if you do not receive a cancelation notice back within 48 hours, please call us with your intent to cancel at 602-279-6477.

The MISS Foundation does not provide a refund for any reason after the stated cancellation date nor do we offer a refund for cancellation or withdrawal once a program has begun.

Do I have to be a certified yoga teacher to take the CBC-Y®?

You do not need to be a certified yoga teacher to take the CBC-Y® but you should have extensive personal practice in yoga and your own established zazen (meditation) and mindfulness practice. Each application will be reviewed individually.

How much yoga training or experience do I need to have to be able to take the CBC-Y® training?

You do need experience in yoga, as a teacher or advanced level practitioner. The ideal candidate will have a personal practice (sadhana) in asana (poses) and meditation and will have basic knowledge of common yoga postures as well as basic knowledge of the teachings of Hatha yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Raja yoga and the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The ideal CBC-Y® candidate will have the desire to learn and apply the use of the philosophy and practices of yoga in your work with those experiencing loss, bereavement and/or traumatic grief.

What’s included in the training?

Your registration fee and all supplies, including a manual for the duration of the training are included. Lodging is a separate cost. Someone seeking a grief and trauma-sensitive yogi will be able to locate you in their online search through our database.

You are responsible for transportation to and from the Selah Carefarm.

Upon satisfactory completion of the training you will receive a certificate and badge to confirm your certification which you may display on your website, in your office, teaching space, on business materials, etc. You may also refer to yourself as a certified Certified Compassionate Bereavement Care (R) Yoga Provider.

What should I bring?

The climate in Cornville AZ (near Sedona) is changeable, so please bring a variety of loose, comfortable clothing that can be layered and in which you can easily move. Bring outdoor walking shoes as well as slip-on shoes and socks. Shoes are not allowed in indoor spaces. You may wish to bring a swimsuit as there is a pool and jacuzzi on grounds.

If you’d like, bring a hat in the spring/summer and/or rain gear in the fall/winter for outdoor walking.

A zafu or meditation pillow is a good idea. Please bring your yoga mat. You may also want to bring a jacket or shawl, including a meditation shawl if you like.

Please bring pens or pencils, notebook or journal, and photos of any loved ones, or anything you would like to place on a class altar as well as your own personal altar.

We will engage in group and individual altar creation as well as other expressive arts activities. Supplies will be provided, but if you have your own preferred supplies (pens, pencils, brushes, etc.) or any small objects or photos you may like to attach to a work of art or altar, please feel free to bring these.

We also request that you have and bring your own copy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The copy which will be primarily used in teaching is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Commentary on the Raja Sutras by Swami Satchidananda. Some sutras specific to study will be included in the manual, but it will be helpful to have your own copy.

Who can apply to take the CBC-Y®?

Those who may be interested in becoming certified with the CBC-Y® may include:
  • Medical and mental health providers* working in the field of trauma and grief who are also certified yoga teachers.
  • Certified yoga teachers who wish to learn how to better provide a safe space and teachings for those experiencing loss, bereavement and/or traumatic grief.
  • Providers who are not certified yoga teachers, but who have a strong personal practice and desire to use yoga and yoga based philosophy in their work with those experiencing loss, bereavement and/or traumatic grief.
*“Providers” refers to nurses, hospice workers, physicians, psychiatrists, midwives, clinical therapists, bereavement coordinators, social workers, sociologists, chaplains, clergypersons, mortuary scientists, support group facilitators, MISS Foundation facilitators and volunteers, graduate students, mortuary scientists, first responders, and potentially other professionals who work with those in grief.

Can I take this training if I already have the CBC® training?

Yes. If you are already a CBC® provider you will learn how the yoga component is the perfect complement to the learning you received in your initial CBC® training. You will gain an understanding of why the teachings and philosophy of yoga provide an ideal framework for working with those in traumatic grief and you will gain an even deeper understanding of grief from a different perspective, building on what you have already learned.

The grief and trauma aspects of the CBC-Y® training will be similar, but taught in a different way. You will learn new applications of the knowledge you have already gained, expand upon what you have already learned with new perspectives as well as new learning and practices which you can apply personally and professionally. If you have received the CBC training within the year, you will not be able to receive the 30 CEUs. If you are a yoga teacher, you will be able to receive yoga CEUs through Yoga Alliance even if you have already taken the CBC within the year.

How is this similar to the original CBC® training?

The CBC-Y® training is based in the same philosophy of a non-medicalized, non-pathologizing, mindfulness approach combined with current science and evidence based practices in traumatic grief.  We will learn new things and review some data and information in the context of yoga practice.

How is this different from the original CBC® training?

This training differs in that the science and evidence based learning of grief and trauma will be combined with the teachings and philosophy of yoga. The CBC-Y® is a retreat model training program. We believe that personal practice and retreat time is vital to being able to be fully present and compassionate as a provider and teacher for those in grief and trauma. This model is a residential learning-retreat that combines didactic teaching with experiential learning, meditation, chant, creative and expressive activities as well as daily personal and group practice.

You will also have the opportunity to continue your learning process as new training modules of the CBC-Y® become available and the opportunity to obtain support through mentoring after the training.

What will I learn?

The entire Compassionate Bereavement Care Certification® program explores and extends current evidence based practices in traumatic grief and is based in a non-medicalized, non-pathologizing, mindfulness-based approach. We teach the art of full presence and compassionate counseling informed by recent science (Cacciatore, 2010; Cacciatore & Flint, 2012; Thielman & Cacciatore, 2013; Cacciatore, Thieleman, Killian, & Tavassoli, in press).

The CBC-Y® program combines the above approach with the science and philosophy of yoga. The training is based the novel, empirically tested mindfulness-based intervention of the ATTEND model—combining attunement, trust and touch, egalitarianism, nuance and death education—merged with Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga as well as teachings of the multiple branches of yoga including Jnana, Bhakti, Tantra, Karma, Raja, Hatha, and Japa. We will explore how yoga philosophy and science is reflected in the ATTEND model as well as how yogic science, philosophy and the teachings from various branches of yoga provide tools for both practitioner, provider and the bereaved to be with, surrender to, do with, and integrate grief. You will also learn and experience how the teachings and practices of yoga can ideally support clients enduring traumatic stress.

You will discover, through a phenomenological perspective, creativity, ritual, art, service, group and personal practice, the particular efficacy of the various branches of yoga in providing support and psychosocial care to the traumatically bereaved.

What can I do with a CBC-Y®?

If you are a certified yoga teacher you will be able to teach yoga for grief and loss classes with confidence in your knowledge of current empirical science and how aspects of multiple branches of yoga can support your students who have experienced trauma and grief.  Traumatized people are vulnerable, and it is imperative that yoginis learn how to care for others in a safe way during yoga practice.

If you are another kind of provider, you can use varied aspects of the teachings of this retreat style training in any way that seems appropriate to your practice. This may include use of asana (postures), pranayama techniques (breathing practices), yoga philosophy and practice with your clients as these relate to self-care, support, trauma, relational aspects, or psychosocial concerns. You may choose to introduce ritual, relaxation, mindfulness and meditation practices to clients. You can utilize the tools in any way and in any combination, that seems appropriate in the context of compassionate care for those you support.

Can I get CEUs?

If you are a licensed provider you may receive 30 CEUs for the grief and clinical portion of the training.

If you are a certified yoga teacher registered with Yoga Alliance, you will be eligible to receive 30 contact hours with a registered YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider)  as well as non-contact hours of Yoga Alliance CEUs through this training.

If you are both a licensed practitioner and a yoga teacher you can pay for and receive CEU for both your license and through Yoga Alliance for the yoga portion of the training.

How much physical fitness is required for this training?

To participate in this program, we ask that you have your own personal practice. If your physical abilities do not include a vigorous asana practice, this is fine. One of the essential teachings of this training is to meet clients and students where they are at all levels of physical fitness. We will have daily yoga asana practice in which each participant will be invited to engage in to the best of their abilities. Multiple options will be given and taught with the support for each person to find his or her own edge. Yoga should never hurt. Taking care of the body and honoring your own individual abilities is part of the teaching. Learning to adapt, adjust and accommodate is essential to best practices in yoga as well as in grief and life. We ask that you use your judgment at all times.

Am I guaranteed to be certified?

We reserve the right to confer certification, which includes inclusion on our Certified Bereavement Care Providers websites based on demonstration of learning, compassion, self-awareness, and confidence in each practitioner’s abilities.

Our Upcoming CBC-Yoga Instructor Certifications

Travel Info

Our CBC-Y training program will take place in our state-of-the-art gathering room at the MISS Foundation’s Andy’s Sanctuary at the Selah Carefarm near Sedona, Arizona. Address will be provided to attendees. Attendees may stay at the Sanctuary (shared room) or find nearby hotel accommodations in areas close to Andy’s Sanctuary at the Selah Carefarm (zip code 86325) in Old town Cottonwood, the Village of Oak Creek, and Sedona. Contact if you have questions. We recommend  reserving a room if interested in staying at Andy’s Sanctuary as soon as possible. Space is limited.


Compassionate Bereavement Care-Yoga Certification® Application

You are required to apply for this program. If accepted, your notice of acceptance will include instructions for payment and registration for your training.

Selah Carefarm in the Press