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The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for People in Distress
     

The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for People in Distress

by Val Walker
 

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We live in an increasingly "virtual" world in which it can be tempting to skip making that true, human connection with someone in pain. Even though our thoughts might be with them, we lack the confidence to reach out, worrying that we will say or do the "wrong" thing.

In this practical, step-by-step guide to what she calls "the art of comforting," Val Walker

Overview

We live in an increasingly "virtual" world in which it can be tempting to skip making that true, human connection with someone in pain. Even though our thoughts might be with them, we lack the confidence to reach out, worrying that we will say or do the "wrong" thing.

In this practical, step-by-step guide to what she calls "the art of comforting," Val Walker draws on numerous interviews with "Master Comforters" to guide readers in gently and gracefully breaking through the walls that those who are suffering often erect around themselves. Interviewees include inspiring individuals such as Alicia Rasin, who, as a victim's advocate for the city of Richmond, Virginia, has devoted her life to comforting grieving families devastated by homicide, gang violence, and other traumatic experiences; or Patricia Ellen, who, as a grief counselor and outreach director at the Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Maine, appears on site to support and comfort children, staff, and parents when a school is facing a death, violence, or other crises.

All of us will, at one time or the other, be called upon to offer warmth and support to another human being who is suffering-this book will show you how to answer the call with an open heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Walker, a bereavement coordinator and former rehabilitation counselor, set out to write the book she could not find: an accessible guide for comforting people in distress. Fortunately, she succeeds: her effort is filled with clear examples and actionable steps that help readers effectively comfort those in need. Walker interviews a nurse practitioner, a victims' advocate, a minister, therapists, and others who use comforting skills in their daily work, providing a multifaceted and rich guide for caring. The "Words of Comforting" section explores what to say and what to avoid saying, both face to face and in writing. "The Comfort of Art" explains how the visual and performing arts can lend solace. "The Nature of Comforting" discusses the healing powers of animal therapy and connection with the outdoors. "A Little Guidebook to Comforting Things" lists movies, TV shows, books, music, and websites. A chapter on what do to when people resist comforting feels underdeveloped, but as a whole The Art of Comforting is a useful resource. Walker wisely emphasizes the importance of self-care and boundary-setting for comforters. Her voice is comforting, and some sections read like a memoir; her candid revelation of her own struggles reaffirms for the reader that a comforter does not always have to be strong. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"In The Art of Comforting, Val Walker points to a great irony in our society today: as hyper-'connected' as we are, deep down, many of us fear that we lack the ability to effectively comfort another human being. This wise and inspiring book provides a step-by-step guide to sitting down and establishing a human-to-human connection, even in the most difficult or chaotic situations."
—Greg Mortenson, New York Times bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea

"The Art of Comforting is must reading for everyone...The message is instantly applicable as well as enormously comforting."
—Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Mother- Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

"With clarity, compassion and wisdom, Walker teaches the art and the craft of comforting others and ourselves. In today's distressed and frenetic world, she does us all a great favor. This fine book is a resource for all those who want to be able to help friends, family members and other people who are in need of our kindness."
—Mary Pipher, New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, and The Shelter of Each Other

"In an effort to write the book she couldn't herself find, rehabilitation counselor Walker discusses the nature of comforting and illustrates how to restore this most important skill. Her message comes not only from experience, but from others in the grief/trauma counseling field, in this guidebook that rings true and pulls the reader in for more. Recommended for all interested adults."
--Library Journal

Library Journal
In an effort to write the book she couldn't herself find, rehabilitation counselor Walker discusses the nature of comforting and illustrates how to restore this most important skill. The whys of developing one's ability to comfort lie in helping others feel relieved, validated, calmer, connected, and valued in the throes of life's harsher moments. She offers suggestions for both verbal and nonverbal soothing, and even artistic ventures to explore with adults and children. Walker includes an extensive guide to comforting movies, TV, music, and websites in the final section of her book. Her message comes not only from experience, but from others in the grief/trauma counseling field, in this guidebook that rings true and pulls the reader in for more. Recommended for all interested adults.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101444696
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2010
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
906 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"In The Art of Comforting, Val Walker points to a great irony in our society today: as hyper-'connected' as we are, deep down, many of us fear that we lack the ability to effectively comfort another human being. This wise and inspiring book provides a step-by-step guide to sitting down and establishing a human-to-human connection, even in the most difficult or chaotic situations."
—Greg Mortenson, New York Times bestselling author of Three Cups of Tea

"The Art of Comforting is must reading for everyone...The message is instantly applicable as well as enormously comforting."
—Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Mother- Daughter Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

"With clarity, compassion and wisdom, Walker teaches the art and the craft of comforting others and ourselves. In today's distressed and frenetic world, she does us all a great favor. This fine book is a resource for all those who want to be able to help friends, family members and other people who are in need of our kindness."
—Mary Pipher, New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, and The Shelter of Each Other

"In an effort to write the book she couldn't herself find, rehabilitation counselor Walker discusses the nature of comforting and illustrates how to restore this most important skill. Her message comes not only from experience, but from others in the grief/trauma counseling field, in this guidebook that rings true and pulls the reader in for more. Recommended for all interested adults."
--Library Journal

Meet the Author

Val Walker has a master's of science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Formerly a bereavement coordinator at a hospice in Maine, Walker teaches and speaks widely at hospitals, schools, community centers, and businesses on the art of comforting. She lives in Maine.

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