Green Tea Conversations
Confidently Coaching Others Through Grief with Pat Sheveland
November 24, 2022
In this episode, we meet Pat Sheveland of the Confident Grief Coach School in Minneapolis, as we discuss the upcoming Reclaiming Joy: Healing Grief Together Retreat on December 4. Pat is the keynote speaker for the event, and she shares some of the information she will be providing during the retreat, including the latest research on the impact grieving has on our brains. She also explains a simple, yet powerful tool called B.R.E.A.T.H.E. which is her coaching model for grief. We also learn about her online grief coach certification program for those who want to assist others who are grieving deeply to acknowledge their sorrows and embrace their grief by giving it the time and attention it deserves, so they can live a peaceful, happy, and purposeful life. For more information and to register for the Reclaiming Joy: Healing Grief Together Retreat on December 4, visit Cost: $99 (includes free Wisdom Listening Session or Reiki Session, continental breakfast, and boxed lunch.) Location: Carondelet Center, 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul. For more information and to apply for the Confident Grief Coach Certification program, visit
[00:00:19.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning and Welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings Magazine and brings you the experts who share their progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, publisher the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today on our show, we are welcoming Pat Sheveland, a competent grief coach school here in Minneapolis. Pat offers a step-by-step coaching model for people interested in helping themselves and others work through their grief so they can finally live a life of peace, purpose and happiness. Welcome to the show, Pat.

[00:01:02.430] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Hi, Candi. Thank you. It's nice to be here.

[00:01:05.280] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I am so excited to have you on the show. Just for full disclosure to everyone, Pat and I work together pretty closely and we are working together on an event coming up here in December. But before we get into all that, I always like to ask people when they come on the show to kind of tell us a bit about yourself. And I think it's really interesting because you actually have a coaching certification program for people who want to help others work through grief. And I love the name of it because you say it's the competent grief coach. So you're giving them the skills they need so that they can confidently work with other people who are working through their own grief. So tell us a bit about what it is, how you kind of came about this, what your journey is.

[00:01:56.320] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
It's a long journey. I'm getting old, so it's a long journey, actually. I've been able to hold this space and talk about death, dying and all of that since I was really quite young. And then I went into nursing when I was like 17. I started working in a nursing home and started to really explore this death and dying and being able to hold the hands of people who are transitioning in their life and being around my first real step bodies and that type of thing. And just throughout life, just to have experienced so much and been that person that has always held the space for people and to hold the hands of the death and dying and to comfort their family members afterwards. So that started many, many decades ago. And then in around 2012, I was a corporate executive for like 25 years in the insurance industry. But I knew that I was stepping into my next phase of life. I was in my fifty s and it was like, okay, what's the next phase? And I wanted to become a life coach because I had learned about coaching way back in the actually my organization used a coaching model so I thought I'd like to become a life coach.

[00:03:18.430] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
So I just researched. And so while I was still being this executive, I was training to be a life coach and had to hang out my shingle, so to speak, because in order to become certified through the International Coaching Federation, you have to have coaching hours. And that you have to have real clients, you have to have like 100 and some hours before you can sit and actually get certified. And so I just started sharing with people that this is what I was doing. And I'm thinking I just want people to just reach their goals and just enjoy life and just get really excited and have the support to do whatever they wanted to do. Wasn't thinking about grief, but interestingly enough, the first two people that came to me were grieving mothers and looking for coaching. And one came to me because her father had actually just died. And so she was really having a lot of problems. She was in her 60s, but a lot, a lot of problems. You know, dealing with her grief, it was just paralyzing her. And when we started working together, very quickly, we realized that a lot of this grief was layered upon.

[00:04:28.300] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
She had a child that died 30 years prior in an accident that she had never been able to really deal with, so worked with her. But I would say the getting into the grief coaching piece of it, grief chose me. I did not choose to be a grief coach. That wasn't where I was headed. But I realized in 2012, I knew that I had a brother that had died before I was born. Greg was four and a half months old, and no one in our family ever talked about Greg. There was no indication that he had ever lived until I found some photos of him when I was a little girl. And so for years I knew that I had this brother because I had approached my mom when I was real little and I had a connection to him in a way that's hard to describe. I would go to the cemetery and hang out, but I never brought that home or talked about it with anybody in our family because it just was not a subject we talked about. And in 2012, he would have turned 60 years old. And my mom finally opened up.

[00:05:35.770] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
She was in her eighty's, and she finally opened up to me about Greg and all of the circumstances. And I just naturally went into kind of coaching mode with her, just exploring it, allowing her to open up about her grief, to really give air to all of the emotions that had been sitting in her heart and inside of her body for 60 years since his death. And that was a life changing moment for both my mom and myself. And so we really did explore it. I was able to bring in my nursing hat and look at what happened clinically to help reframe some of her thoughts of what happened back then and yeah. So that was really the start of becoming a grief coach. Yeah, I coached a lot of other people, but what I realized is there's so many different forms of grief out there and so everybody who came to me had some type of grief that they were dealing with. And then, I don't know, life just kind of took on a life of its own. And pretty much it was people who were grieving that were coming to me for support.

[00:06:50.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
What a gift to be able to give your mother, though. I mean, when you think about in 2012, 60 years prior to that, 1962, she probably had no support or almost no support or understanding or anything about what had happened. And then to carry that pain for so long. And people really didn't talk about death so much back then, or especially losing a child. My stepfather had lost a daughter who was two years old to a drowning accident, and he never talked about her except on Memorial Day. And then we would go to the cemetery and he cleaned her grave and cry and set up the flowers and everything. But it was like once a year he would talk about her, otherwise he wouldn't it was just I don't know if it was too painful.

[00:07:50.510] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Yeah, it just wasn't talked about. It's a taboo subject. People don't want to talk about it because they're afraid that they're going to cause further pain for the person who's grieving. I could not even tell you if my parents ever visited Greg's grave. I found it on happenstance riding my little bike, because I used to go to the cemetery to visit my next door neighbor Joey, who died when he was three and I was five, and he was my bestie. And I loved to go to the cemetery and just kind of be at his gravestone. They had a little picture of him. So I was hanging out with Joey one day, probably early grade school, where you could still ride your bike. It was safe to do so. So maybe eight, nine, I don't know. I have no idea how old I was, but I would ride my bike there and then I happened to walk away from and just explore. I'm one of those people that kind of like hanging out in the energy of cemeteries for some reason. And all of a sudden I came to a gravestone that was in the ground and I looked and it's like, oh, my gosh, that's my brother Greg.

[00:08:48.840] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And they were like maybe 80ft away from each other.

[00:08:52.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host

[00:08:53.740] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
But I couldn't tell you if my parents ever did go there because not to my knowledge, I hope they did.

[00:09:00.870] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So that must have been quite the experience for you too, to be able to connect with your mother in that completely different way, adult to adult, and really be able to help her. What a gift that you were able to give her. You're talking about there's many different types of grief. And so you and I have talked a lot recently about grief and about what is happening in our world right now. And I have been called, after working with so many people, who work with people who work through grief. So I'm blessed to have a lot of people in my life who have some really awesome skills and abilities. And I was called to put together a retreat which is going to be on December 4 called Reclaiming Joy: Healing Grief Together. And in this, you and I were talking several times about, especially here in the United States, we really do everything in our power not to feel any kind of pain. Like, we'll do everything we can to just avoid it. And when it comes to grief, we really can't just get over it or move past it, or pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, or think positive thoughts, say our mantras.

[00:10:20.230] - Candi Broeffle, Host
We really do need to feel it in order to heal it. And we have people around us, people who we talk to, our clients, different people in our lives who are going through many different types of life choices that bring up a lot of grief. So whether it's the loss of a loved one or a divorce or a loss of a job or career that you were a big part of, even if you chose some of the losses that you have, you still are going to grieve in different ways. So putting together this conference was really important to me to be able to bring together these great minds who can come and help people really move past that. And you are going to be our keynote speaker. And so I'm really excited for people to kind of hear some of the things that you're going to talk about at the conference. But we have to go into a break first before we get into this. So this is kind of our little introduction about the retreat itself, which is going to be on December 4th from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Carondelet Center in St.Paul.

[00:11:32.500] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So for people who want to learn more about the retreat and how they can register for it, go to We're going to come back in just a bit and continue our conversation with Pat. You're listening to green tea conversations, on AM950, the progressive voice of Minnesota and we will be right back.

[00:12:12.790] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and we are visiting with Pat Sheveland of the Confident Grief Coach School here in Minneapolis. And just before the break, we were talking about an upcoming retreat that we're doing and that Pat is our guest speaker, our keynote speaker who's going to be starting us off on the day. And we were also talking about kind of your journey and how you came to putting together to becoming a grief coach yourself. In a little bit, we're going to talk more about your school as well. But you were telling us a story about how you helped your mother through the loss of a child 60 years prior. And I just wanted to kind of go back to that a minute because it is so important what you did for her and what she was able to do for herself as well, to be able to work through that grief.

[00:13:08.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So I'm just curious, what kind of change did you see in your mom?

[00:13:15.640] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Well, she said Greg's name and I'm going to tell you one story that was probably the most profound moment where I knew that, wow, this really made a difference, allowing her to really speak of her grief and process it. And I just want to say real quick, I called what my mom went through failed grief. I actually wrote a book about this many years ago about that process and had other women that came that had never really been able to deal with it on their stories. But it was failed grief because she was failed in so many ways. But the biggest thing that happened that I recall is we went into a bank, local bank, where she banked, and I don't know what we were doing, but the woman came up to her and we went into her little cubicle and she said, so Mrs. Houss, how many children do you have? And it was the first time my mom said I have five. One died many years ago. In the past, it was always, I had four. I have four.

[00:14:22.560] - Candi Broeffle, Host

[00:14:23.350] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And when she did that, I just almost started crying in the bank. And my mom, I don't even think she realized the shift that she could finally say, I have five children.

[00:14:36.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
I have big tears.

[00:14:38.310] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
I know. I'm getting so emotional when I think about it.

[00:14:43.310] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That's amazing. So one of the things that you had said you kind of just touched on when you were giving us your story a little bit is how people don't really know how to respond to people who are going through grief. And I know, you know, it's always a hard thing. It's hard to accept to what people are saying to you or the care that they want to provide you or God forbid, if they make a mistake and they say something maybe a little tainted and in your raw state how you respond to it. So maybe you can give us just a couple of ideas of ways that we can be supportive in a good way. When somebody has had a loss.

[00:15:31.410] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
You reach out to them. The worst thing that any of us can do is to hide out. Yes, we're going to be uncomfortable, but just knowing that you can't make their pain any worse or it's like, oh, I just don't want to bring it up because I don't want them to feel bad. I'm sorry. The person who's grieving is feeling bad. That goes that's the normalcy of grief. So being there and just kind of following the lead of the person who's grieving. Some people really want to talk about it and share and they want to say their loved ones names and they want the stories and all of that. Other people may quietly just like I just really don't want to talk about it. My husband is a very quiet man. Both of his parents died within days, two weeks of each other recently. And I don't can we talk about it? I may say something and if he responds then we may explore a little bit more. But I learned to just follow him on his and when he wants to talk about it, he'll talk about it. But I don't exit him or you just don't want to leave people alone.

[00:16:43.540] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
So that's the most important thing is people just need to know that you care about them. And I'm also a certified celebrant for funerals and celebration of lives and I tell everybody when they come in and I'm standing up there starting it is that what you are doing is you are helping this family on their first steps on the grief journey by just showing up. They're going to remember everybody who is sitting here right now. They will remember any of us who have had that happen with our family members. I remember everybody that came to my mom's funeral. I remember everybody that came to my dad's wake funeral that was over 30 years ago because that just touches our hearts so much that people show up.

[00:17:32.810] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, I think I remember being very young and one of my colleagues lost her mother and I was probably 20 years old and I had no idea what to say or how to say it. And I had another colleague who is older than me, she was more middle-aged. And the person came up to us after they came back to work and my colleague said to her, I'm so very sorry and that's all it took. And the person who had lost her mother just said it's so hard and she just sat and listened and held her hand. And I thought, okay, you just have to be there, right? Like not try to fix it. And I think so many people like try to fix it or don't want to have, don't want to be involved with it too much. So you are going to be talking at our grief conference and this is a really innovative day. This is a day when we can get together and we can really honor our grief and really learn some things that will help us to understand what's actually happening with ourselves as we go through grief. So one of the things that you're going to be discussing is kind of the science behind grief.

[00:18:51.910] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So give us a little bit of a hint about what that's going to look like.

[00:18:56.820] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Well, there's a lot of research now that we can actually scan our brains and see what are the various emotions of grief doing to our brain. And there's this fascinating book, the Grieving Brain by Frances O'Connor. Hopefully I get that right? But anyway, it's fascinating because it really gives permission for us as grievers. Like, oh, that grief brain is real. That grief fog is real. The things that I'm feeling that there's actually science behind it because our brain is wired a certain way when we have someone that we're with all the time or we have a relationship, that type of thing. And when that is stopped, whether it would be divorce, whether it would be death, whether, you know, even a job. But when you think about the grief, we have this pattern that our brain has been in in that relationship, whatever it is. And when that relationship is no longer physically present, brain is like, okay, now what do I do? Now what do I do? I'm not sure how to process this. I'm used to having so and so at the dinner table every day and now there's an empty I'm not quite clear how to process this.

[00:20:11.820] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And so I really love it because a lot of times people, the people who are grieving put a lot of pressure on themselves that they need to be in a different space. They need to have a certain timeline that people are not going to understand. And this to me, gives all of us permission to say, yeah, I'm grieving and there's science behind it, there's a reason why these things are happening and the thoughts that are going through my head and all of that because the brain actually is wired a certain way. And when we step onto that path of grief, it just really scrambles up the messaging and the wiring. Yeah.

[00:20:57.730] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, very much so. I always tell people it wasn't until I actually lost my own mother that I understood that so much better because I had lost a lot of people in my life. And it was sad and it was unusual, but there was always other things that needed to be done, like, other people that needed to be cared for, other people that I needed to kind of help through that. And when I lost my mom, it was like the oddest loss of all. Like, I felt completely, utterly alone. And I was scared. I felt actually felt scared. And I would have thoughts about like, who am I going to live with if my husband and I get divorced? Yeah, we've been married 32 years and I probably would never have lived with my mother anyway, but it's like nobody's there for me anymore. This is my mom is gone. The person who's always been there is gone. And that has been like, never having anxiety or anything like that and actually having anxiety attacks by it. So it's a very physiological thing that we go through.

[00:22:16.590] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Absolutely. That's what we need to understand and to be able to support people through it. This isn't just a mind over matter thing. There's physiology that goes with it. It's having an impact on our physical being, on our brain, our command center. So just understanding that and knowing that there's a course, there's a course that we're going to go through, and there's some course corrections, and there are things that we can do to help rewire the brain and help us with that. But just having an understanding of the science behind it, I think, is just critical. And we never have really talked about that that I'm aware of in the past. So this book to me, was like a manna from heaven. Boy, to have research that you can really share with people in a way that they can understand and feel okay with where they're at.

[00:23:14.020] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes. Well, we're going to go into another break, but I just want to remind people, for those who are interested in registering for the Reclaiming Joy Healing Grief Together retreat, which is on December 4 from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul, you can register by going to And again, that's Grief.NA as the NaturalAwakenings You're listening to Green Tea Conversations, on AM950 the progressive voice of Minnesota and we will be right back.

[00:24:11.760] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host. Candi Broeffle. And today we're visiting with Pat Sheveland of the Confident Grief Coach school here in Minneapolis. So we have been talking about your journey and about the grief retreat that you are going to be a keynote speaker at. But I also want to talk to you about the grief coach school that you have, because it's really interesting to me, and I think such an important type of certification for people of all different walks of life to get. So tell us a little bit about how you got started with the school itself.

[00:24:55.690] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Okay, well, as I mentioned earlier, grief found me in coaching, and so a lot of people came to me, most of them grieving mothers, which I think, like, what I was put here on Earth is to really help the bereaved parents of the world. But then it was spouses, and then there'd be siblings, and there was just so many different aspects with that grief. And I was actually shifting into caregiver coaching. I created a coaching model for caregivers because my mom lived with us and I was her caregiver for a long time, many, many years. And then so I wrote this program because it was a pandemic and a lot of people had multigenerational living. And so my coaching program was to help kind of the people find flexibility and balance in that when you're caring for all these people. So that was my goal. I wrote a book about it, created a program. I was out doing my thing, helping people with that and then my mom died a year ago in January. It'll be two years in January. Sorry. Two years in January. And it was probably about a month after that where I had a little voice in my head.

[00:26:04.170] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
I have little voices in my head. And no, it's not a psychological or psychiatric condition. It's just thoughts come. And this voice just said, you're not done with grief yet, girlfriend? And I thought, so what does this mean? Do I need to pivot? Do I need to go back to what I was doing? And then the next little thing that came into my head is to provide accessible and transformative healing for grieving families throughout the world.

[00:26:30.780] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Well, that's just a little thing.

[00:26:32.280] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
That's just a little thing. Yeah. How am I going to do that? You know, I have a lot of faith. I believe in God. So I was having this conversation with God, like, okay, yeah, okay, right. You know, how am I going to do that? Just me. And then the realization came that the Breathe coaching model for grief that I had built from working with all of the breed, especially mothers, for a decade that needed to get in the hands of other people because I could not always provide the accessibility. But I knew the transformation could be there. But it was time to share that in a deeper, greater way. So I decided to start a school, and I am certified through the International Coaching Federation. So I wanted to make sure that it was well vetted, that it was, you know, we can all hang our shingle out, we can all say where this or that, we can all hand out certifications. There is no really rules around that, no laws about how you do it. But I wanted to make sure that it was well vetted and really had the breast behind it's called the Breathe Coaching Model for Grief Studies, but had the breath behind it and was solid.

[00:27:41.820] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
So I actually submitted it into the International Coaching Federation and said, I'd like to use this for continuing ed. I'd like to have your approval for it. So they did. It was actually a year ago yesterday, where the first time that they awarded me and said, yes, it's accepted as continuing education programs, the International Coaching Federation. And so we did our second level where we had to re up and got it again. And then I just started telling people, and we'll start doing classes, and I will teach you the Breath Coaching Model for Grief, and you can take it. I will give you all the resources, all the materials that I've used to coach people and all the knowledge to help you become a confident grief coach. And so that really is what the program is, is the confident grief coach. And it's a grief coaching certification program. And to become a brief coaching model for grief facilitator, where people can take it and just run with it to touch people wherever they're in their communities and their businesses and their organizations and whatever services.

[00:28:52.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That is fantastic. And we really are not taught how to properly help people who are going through grief or even ourselves as we go through grief. So who do you think the program is for, mostly?

[00:29:07.910] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Anybody that's a helping professional. Because that's why we go into the helping professions. Anybody.

[00:29:14.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
When we say helping professions, let's kind of clarify what that means because some people might not know what kind of rules those are.

[00:29:22.560] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Nurses, social workers, doctors, therapists, teachers. And then there's so many that are other helping professionals, like doulas, death doulas and that type of thing. People who do energy work, who do reiki or different things like that, where they're really working with people. Chiropractical I mean, you could name anybody who is here to serve someone in their health in some way, in their emotional, physical, mental health, can use this program. And what people have told me who have come, some people have done other certifications for grief coaching, but they've come to this program and kind of reupped and got another certification. Because what they're looking for was, I don't want to have to build it myself, I don't know how to build it. And so I give them the whole program, the whole model, so all they have to do is replicate it and put their own special sauce into it. And that's what's done really profound. And for the students that come, it's like a two for they get a two for one. Because I have them go through the B.R.E.A.T.H.E coaching model for grief. That's part of the practicums that is part of it.

[00:30:43.930] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Because I don't think that we should ever ask anybody to do anything or try on anything if we haven't tried it on ourselves. Right, so they actually go through the program. And the bulk of the people, we're all going to experience grief in our lives, but many people who come, they have the lived experience and now they want to go help others.

[00:31:03.640] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, I think it's so important. You look at like HR professionals, leaders and organizations, we're all going to be touched by it. We're all going to have to have to step up in some way for people, people who work in colleges and universities. It goes across the board. Everybody is going to experience grief. And if you want to feel more confident in doing so, in helping the people who you lead or in helping the people who you assist, that it is a great opportunity to do that. Now, this is a certification program, so this is a twelve week program that people do kind of walk us through that a little bit. What is it that they go through during that twelve week?

[00:31:47.940] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Well, part of it they do on their own. I have video recordings where I'm doing some training so that people can go through that. They each get my book, The Competent Grief Coach, which is the step-by-step program. So it's kind of their manual of going through that. But they're going through the exercises, so they're doing the evaluations, they're doing the meditations, they're doing all the different aspects of things, creating their own health and wellness toolbox, all these different things that we do there. But they're actually doing it themselves that they can have that experience. And then once a week we meet via zoom and do Practicum sessions. Because you can't become a confident grief coach unless you've actually been coaching people. So we get online and the students get to practice with one another in real life situations. We don't make up, oh, this is what's going on with me. Let's just have a practice playacting session. We're coming and we're bringing real life situations. And so the students are coaching each other and that's where it's just profound because the confidence level just continues to increase with that. And that's probably the key part, is our time together.

[00:32:59.850] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
But so it's like, it's not all Practicum. There is some other work that we have you do just so that you can really start integrating it with that. And I measure things. I think that's my executive background. I love to measure results. And with the students, I have them rate when they come in. How confident are they on a scale of one to ten in providing grief support for people, how confident are they having these conversations? And being that support? Usually they're coming in about a five, maybe a six, because a lot of them are in the helping professions. Absolutely unequivocally. Everyone who leaves after twelve weeks rates themselves at a nine or ten that they have shifted just in that twelve week period of time. And I watch it, you know, I can see it. I ask them, okay, are you ready to coach tonight? And they're nervous, nervous, nervous. And I just if I can tell a quick story, just this week I had one of my graduates come in and work with someone who's in the program right now. And she was doing the coaching and she just like flawlessly was coaching, but she hadn't have a background in coaching.

[00:34:13.590] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And I said to her, I said, oh, it's so amazing to see just how much you've grown. She was able to share with the students she was working with all the first time Pat asked me to do this, I was just so shaken, I had no clue how to do it. But yet here she was, just like it just was fluid. It flowed out of her. She was so confident and so extraordinarily helpful for her client in this session that it was just amazing to see the transformation.

[00:34:42.270] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, that is so cool. So really the program is for anybody. I mean, you don't have to be in an employment situation if you just want to feel more confident in helping others go through grief. Sign up for the program.

[00:34:58.390] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Apply for the program.

[00:35:00.060] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So Pat has an application process that people go through in order to become a part of the program. And to learn more about that and how you could become a confident Grief coach, visit And again, that's To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, or to check out our complete online calendar of events, visit You can find a podcast of this show on or Apple and Google podcast. You've been listening to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're visiting with Pat Sheveland of Confident Grief Coach School here in Minneapolis. So just before the break, Pat, you were starting to tell us about the coaching school and who it's for and some of the things that, you know, some of the reasons why people would want to become certified as a group coach and the things that they'll learn. But you also mentioned that you teach them what you call the B.R.E.A.T.H.E method. And so why don't we talk about that a little bit? What is the B.R.E.A.T.H.E, method?

[00:36:33.810] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
B.R.E.A.T.H.E is an acronym. And it's the B.R.E.A.T.H.E Coaching Model for Grief. And what it is, is you could say Seven steps. It actually started. I wrote a book. How do I survive? Seven Steps to Living After Child Loss. And it actually was going through all these various steps. So it's kind of each part of the program. So every part of the acronym, the B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Really is focused on something that we're doing. So, you know, understanding who we are. We're going to use some positive psychology tools, and understanding your human design, who you are that really makes you tick, and your strengths and maybe what some of your challenges are just by personality or values and that type of thing. So we do some assessments, which I think is really important before we start out anything, and then we just start doing a lot of different activities. So I'm a nurse, so physical health is really important. So there are some creating health and wellness that works for the individual. Really, everything is kind of tailor made in coaching. So we work on some health and wellness things. We work on some I'm a Chigong teacher trained in Qigong.

[00:37:51.820] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
So I teach some ancient Chinese medicine and how emotions play within our physical bodies. We do a little bit of guided imagery to really figure out what are the goals, that type of thing. We take a look at how do we create we talked in the beginning, people may just shy away if you're grieving. How do you create a good support system? Who might those people be? So we're going through all of those things in great detail and doing some reframing. My mom, she had some stories that she had in her head for 60 years. But when we really broke it down into more objective looking at it, it changed some of her stories in her head and for the better, like, oh, I always thought this, but now I understand why maybe people behaved or didn't behave in the way that I wanted them to. It makes sense now, looking in the rearview mirror and having some of that. And then we take a look at how do you move forward, how do you step into this part of life where it has changed completely. And that's what coaching is all about, is to really help support and co create changes that people are looking for in their lives.

[00:39:08.370] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And I know that grief, deep sadness, can coexist with joy. And that really is the goal of the whole program. So that's the model.

[00:39:17.770] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, that is so fantastic. I love that you do the assessments and that you really have them take a look at themselves. And I assume that a lot of that some of that is also in the program that they would be using with their clients as well, which, you know, as a coach, I use a lot of assessments as well with people, and especially I work more with corporate clients or with business coaching. And I always tell people, the most important thing you ever need to know is yourself. You need to know why you act the way you do, why you react the way you do. Why when somebody says something, it just makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, because it isn't about the other person. It's about you and your perception of it. And how incredibly important is that when you're thinking about grief? We kind of assume other people know what we need, but if we don't know ourselves well enough, even, how do we advocate for ourselves or let people in or have them be able to help support us in a way that's going to be beneficial to us?

[00:40:27.280] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And how do we push people away? Yes, that happens. And it's like, okay, so that's kind of your mo here with your design or your style, with what your assessments. So what can we do to help change that up a little bit? How might you be able to shift that and create change? And we know that it takes time to create change.

[00:40:49.050] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In that program. When you're talking about human design and that, do you talk about the other types of design as well, the other types of personalities, so that they understand what it might be like for other people in that?

[00:41:02.260] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Yes, we can go through and talking about what the various designs are, but really, I actually hire out for each one of the students. I have a human design reading done by a certified expert in human design because I think it's really important for the coach to understand themselves and really get clear with that on how their design really is going to support them, to be that confident coach and to be that support for others. So, like I said, it's a twofer. You learn a little bit about human design, but you're really learning about yourself.

[00:41:39.040] - Candi Broeffle, Host
How important for people who work, even if you're working in corporate America, to be able to understand that the different personalities not so much even from the human design concept, but from a grieving concept of what people do. The different types of ways that people show up in their grief so that you can know this is just one way that people show up, and this is how I might be able to support that person as well.

[00:42:07.110] - Pat Sheveland, Guest

[00:42:07.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And be able to do it in a way that's beneficial to everybody.

[00:42:11.950] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
And you talk about corporate. Can I just say this really quick? I wrote an article on LinkedIn One through something, and it's like I believe every corporation should have a grief coach on staff because as an executive, you don't know who's grieving. You don't know who had a miscarriage last week. You don't know someone who you know their child is abusing drugs and has not been home for five days. You don't necessarily know all the grief that your team members, your colleagues, your employees know what they're going through.

[00:42:45.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That is like big grief, right? All grief is big. But there could be a loss of a friendship that you don't know anything about, that that person is grieving and is going through the same exact grieving steps as somebody who has lost their mother yes. Or their spouse has lost their job or whatever kind of significant loss it might be. It can be good things too. It can be the kids leaving home. And now we have the empty nest syndrome. So there's so many different aspects of this. I think it's so important. And as we move into 2023 and beyond, we are getting to, I believe, a new point in our history where it's going to be more and more important for us to really know how we can support other people on their journeys.

[00:43:36.370] - Pat Sheveland, Guest

[00:43:37.150] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And how we can show up in a more significant way. And you're doing that. So tell us about it. So tell us about the program. I know that the certification program starts in early January. So there's an application process that people have to go through in order to be accepted into the program.

[00:43:58.330] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Yup. They can just go to They can check on Learn More, they can take a look at the webinar, sign up for the recorded webinar that's on there, which really goes through an overview of the program. And then if they are interested and they want to register, we have them register. They will get on a call with me because I'm kind of particular about that. I want to make sure that the program is a great fit for the person who is entering in and that I'm a great fit for them because I am who I am and I teach the way that I teach. And I just want to make sure that it really is a good fit or that people are ready to do this. Some people come to me and they're fairly early in their own kind of lived experiences and it's like, you know, I think maybe going through the B.R.E.A.T.H.E program yourself might be really good. Give yourself a little bit of time and then we would come back and revisit it. So I just want to make sure that it really is the right fit for everybody so that they come into the program.

[00:45:03.180] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
We're ready to just rock and roll and make a difference in this world.

[00:45:06.720] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah, that is exciting. And then the program starts early January. You have two different days of the week that they can do this. So this is a twelve week, is it every week for twelve weeks?

[00:45:19.170] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Yes, we have Tuesdays, so I do a Tuesday cohort which starts it's at noon Central time and goes for about 90 minutes. And so we do that every Tuesday. But I also have another cohort that is on Wednesdays which start at 05:00 p.m. Central time so that people are working or they have other responsibilities during the day, they can come in during that time. And then if people like, what if I have to miss it? Well, then you can maybe go into the other one. I'll allow that to just make up a session, but pretty flexible about that. As long as we get all of the curriculum taken care of. And I feel really strongly that you're ready to go out there and take this model into the world. We want to make sure that you're confident and really secure and being able to take this in any way that you want to.

[00:46:12.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Cohort programs are always so beneficial because you build that sense of community within your cohort as well. Well great. So again, for people who want to learn more about the work that Pat does and to apply to become a competent grief coach, visit Again, that's If you would like to learn more about how you can become a part of the Reclaiming Joy: Healing Grief Together Retreat on December 4, go to Pat, thank you so much for being with us today. It has been a pleasure getting to know you better and sharing what you are doing to change the world.

[00:47:01.610] - Pat Sheveland, Guest
Thank you Candi. It's been just a great pleasure and I can't wait to see you in early December.

[00:47:08.310] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, very good. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine or to go to our complete online calendar of events, visit Thank you for joining our conversation today as we awaken to natural health, you've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 the Progressive Voice of Minnesota and I am wishing for you a lovely day.