Compassionate Coaching & Support

for people facing grief, loss, loneliness, and end of life

My calling is to serve as your compassionate witness, to open up a safe and sacred space for grief. I partner with people who are suffering a difficult loss, whether of a beloved or of a dream. I partner with people who are navigating loneliness and the suffering that it generates – including its manifestation in numbing or harmful habits. I also partner with people who are facing end of life, whether their own or that of someone they love. I will companion you as you rediscover meaning and learn to walk through your life differently.

We are all just walking each other home.

Ram Dass

Ilse Thompson, MA

My Story

I found my way to Buddhist Studies through addiction — specifically, through the work I had been doing in the addiction field. I was a writer, focused on exploring approaches to overcoming addiction, and I developed a persistent interest in the exciting success of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), which was proving to be an effective treatment tool. After co-authoring a book with a renowned addiction specialist, I enrolled in an intro class at Maitripa College, a Buddhist graduate school in Portland, Oregon, just to develop a better personal understanding of the origins of mindfulness practice.

This introduction to Buddhism became a portal to a passion and sense of purpose in my life. I enrolled in the Master of Divinity program and devoted myself to studying Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and pastoral counseling, with a view toward professional chaplaincy. I volunteered at the prison, sharing Dharma and meditation. I also volunteered at hospice, keeping company with people at the end of life.

I had to cut my education short, however, because life circumstances came calling. I had to scale back my education and move across the country to Maine. I completed my Masters, and began searching for ways to continue on my path. I discovered the Mindfulness Coaching School, where I completed 125 class hours, plus mentor coaching. I also earned a Professional Certificate as an End of Life Doula, through the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine. I am currently pursuing certification in Motivational Interviewing, through HETI Maine. Motivational Interviewing is a powerfully effective, deeply compassionate practice of helping people make positive changes in their life by using conversation to help them tap into their own deeply held values.

While I continue to explore and learn, I am hanging out my shingle, hoping to offer space, comfort, and guidance to people who are suffering with life’s heartbreaking challenges, challenges we all share but which make us feel isolated. Grief, loneliness, fear, and life-diminishing behaviors and habits have been an exploding shadow pandemic in recent years. You do not have to do this alone.


Free Consultation

Let’s see if we’re a good fit for each other! Schedule a free initial meeting with me, where we may talk about your needs and how I may be of service.

“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being!”

— Hafez