END-OF-LIFE DOULA TRAINING Learn how to support the dying and their loved ones.

Are you that person in your closest circles who naturally steps up, wants to help and finds ways to ease suffering, exhaustion, fear and grief? Perhaps you are already in the trenches as a hospice professional or volunteer? You are not alone. There are others just like you who feel honored to be present at the passing of a loved one, who have been profoundly moved by the experience. We understand how tough it is to navigate hard decisions at the end of life, in the face of overwhelming emotions, and how complex family dynamics can complicate the picture. We get it and we are not afraid. Somehow, we feel it is the place where we can most make a difference for others.

End-of-life doulas are the new frontier in end-of-life care. Their emergence is an outgrowth of recent cultural trends favoring more natural and holistic approaches for an aging generation of baby boomers. Our End-of-Life Doula Training covers how to provide non-medical comfort and support to the dying person and their loved ones in the final days, weeks and months of life. There are two paths you can take ...

1. Become a professional end-of-life doula

  • Take the End-of-Life Doula Online Training.
  • Become a Lifespan Doulas certified End-of-Life Doula.
  • Become a member of Lifespan Doulas (optional). Among other benefits, you will receive access to bi-monthly webinars, priority referrals, an enhanced directory listing and mentoring.
  • Take advantage of our doula business development supports (books, workshop and self-paced classes are available).

2. Personal enrichment or hospice volunteer

  • Take the End-of-Life Doula Online Training.
  • Join the discussion on our public Facebook page.

What is included in the training fee?

  • Access to 10 self-paced, online, interactive training modules (estimated 30 hours to complete)
  • Participation in a live, online training in community with others
  • Professional End-of-Life Doula Certification
  • Ongoing online support community
end of life doula training online


  • Learn at your own pace; break when you need to.
  • The most effective principles of adult learning and engagement are employed.
  • Enjoy time for personal reflection--go deep!
  • Engage with others as we process online lessons together in our live virtual sessions.
  • Become part of a passionate community focused on supporting families and improving quality of life at the end.


CURIOUS? Join our monthly live webinar:
"Top 5 questions about becoming an end-of-life doula"!

Our interactive FREE webinar will clarify the role of the doula and types of services offered, who can become an end-of-life doula, the differences between doulas and hospice volunteers, the meaning and value of certification, and how to get started on this path. This webinar offers an opportunity to spend an hour with trainer Patty Brennan, the creator of this program. Get your questions answered before making an investment.

end-of-life doula training




May 22 & 23 (Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am-3pm EST)

July 17 & 18 (Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am-3pm EST)

September 14, 21 & 28 (3 Tuesdays, 1-4:15pm EST)

October 23 & 24 (Saturday & Sunday, 9:30am-3pm EST)

December 1, 8 & 15 (3 Wednesdays, 1-4:15pm EST)

Read requirements for online training here.


$697 or

$397 deposit + 3 payments of $100

How payment plans work

There are no refunds for this class once you have been given access to the online classroom.

This program covers the core competencies for end-of-life doulas, as defined by the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, and prepares participants to earn the NEDA Proficiency Badge.

  • Dying in America ("death positive" movement; how we die; understanding hospice and palliative care)
  • The Doula Model of Care (doulas in historical context; scope of practice for end-of-life doulas; the doula's role)
  • Accompanying the Dying (the dying process; emotional and spiritual needs of the dying; life review and legacy projects; holding vigil and vigil planning; doula comfort measures; companion arts to comfort the dying)
  • Communication Skills for Doulas (the art of listening; facilitating advance care planning; reflective listening skills; mediation, advocacy and patient navigators)
  • Supporting the Family (family needs and functionality; family support strategies)
  • Case Studies (discerning needs and determining support strategies)
  • After Death Care & Informed Choice (immediate post-death support for the family; funeral industry considerations; green burial; home funerals)
  • Grief & Bereavement Support (understanding the grieving process; needs of the grieving person; support strategies for the bereaved)
  • Self-Care for Doulas (importance of self-care; the components of self-care; setting and maintaining boundaries with clients)
  • Establishing an End-of-Life Doula Practice (discerning your place in the doula world; five key questions for start-up doula businesses; the meaning of certification; risk management for doulas; doula contracts, forms and other tools)

"This training was AMAZING and I am SO glad I did it. Thank you for your brilliance, skillful content curating, presence, wisdom and modeling of such respectful honoring of what is right and true for others as a doula way of being. I can't wait to keep moving forward on my doula work!" —Annie Girresch, St. Louis, MO

"You have done such a wonderful service with your training program. I am so impressed by the quality curriculum content and well-organized structure. The platform is also clean and easy to navigate." —Juliana Balistreri, Rohnert Park, CA

Patty Brennan

What makes us different? Why train with Lifespan Doulas?

Top value at an affordable price! We understand you are searching for the best fit. When the time is right for an idea or a movement, it manifests. Consequently, the number of end-of-life doula training programs is growing dramatically, both nationally and internationally. This is a good thing for all of us! It is how we will achieve critical mass over time, until doulas are mainstreamed into the end-of-life care continuum. The rapid growth of available training options, however, can present a challenge for the consumer (you?) who is thoughtfully comparing programs. Here is what we believe to be unique about our program and what we think sets us apart.


Benefit from the best of both worlds! Get grounded in the basics with our self-paced online learning modules. And experience the inspiration and sense of community engendered by participating in a live online workshop.

After registering, you will receive access to ten self-paced online training modules and can begin your doula journey right away!


Lifespan Doulas offers professional and accessible End-of-Life Doula certification. The certification can be completed shortly after training, has no expiration date, and is included in the cost of your training. No additional (or hidden) costs! Learn more.

In addition, you will be prepared to earn the NEDA Proficiency Badge from the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance.


After training, we provide ongoing mentoring, continuing education, priority referrals and a forum for community support for those who become members of Lifespan Doulas. Create a doula practice of your own and take it out to families in your community.


Our curriculum is solidly grounded in the doula model of care rather than simply adapting the doula role to fit the hospice model of care. We think this matters. A doula is a doula, first and foremost. Limiting the doula’s role to hospice or the active dying phase is a missed opportunity for education and support that may increase quality of life further upstream.


Your instructor, Patty Brennan, has been supporting families to become their own best advocates and successfully navigate healthcare systems for the past 38 years as a doula, midwife, educator, nonprofit executive, author and entrepreneur. She has trained over 2,000 people to become doulas and has been training end-of-life doulas since 2016. Patty has earned the NEDA Proficiency Badge from the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance. Learn more about Patty Brennan.

NEDA Proficiency Badge


Patty Brennan is the author of The Doula Business Guide: How to Succeed as a Birth, Postpartum or End-of-Life Doula, 3rd Edition, and is an expert at helping folks embrace the creative process of launching a doula practice. We integrate an overview of small business basics and tips for getting started into our core doula training. And then we offer post-training support and business development training.

See our Directory Listings for doulas. Free basic listings and enhanced listings are available to help create a referral stream to your business once you are ready.

More feedback from participants ...

"Thank you so much for the opportunity to study and learn from the wonderful program you have established. The information is so rich that I saved it to review over time as I slowly and carefully develop my practice. I appreciate your sensitivity and depth of knowledge." — Susan Anglada Bartley, Portland, OR

“Wow! Amazing training. Thank you so very much for giving so completely of your knowledge and yourself. I felt the training was very comprehensive, well-presented, and flowed nicely. I appreciate how attentive you were to staying on schedule. Honestly, the time simply flew by on both days. I will definitely be taking more trainings from you.” —Reverend Dr. Kathaleen (Kate) Martin, 1000 CYT, Sparks, NV

Who will benefit from end-of-life doula training?

  • Anyone who wants to become a professional end-of-life doula
  • Hospice volunteers and others wanting to serve
  • Family members and friends of the dying
  • Hospice and palliative care providers
  • Midwives and doulas
  • Nurses, doctors, and social workers
  • Clergy, chaplains, celebrants
  • Healers and therapists
  • Those who provide home care and companion care
  • Life coaches
EOLD Roles high


End-of-life doulas provide non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care, from initial diagnosis through bereavement.