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Posted October 27, 2010
Compassion and comfort - these are difficult to find these days. We hope to find them in ourselves, our friends, churches, and medical professionals, but quite often there is little information or training for those entrusted with this responsibility.
The Art of Comforting is an interesting and informative book that gives instruction on what to say, and also how to say it. Not just a few suggestions, but several pages of comparing platitudes with more helpful comments and even the body language that portrays comfort.
A large portion of the book introduces us to several individuals involved in professions in which they have developed skills in comforting and encouragement. There are suggestions from a Victim's Advocate, a Nurse Practitioner, a Patient education Specialist and a Minister, each with their unique skills and perspectives. There was a wonderful section on the comfort and love that animals bring into our lives.
There were a couple of things I didn't like in the book. The section on Art as a Source of Comfort was not something I found interesting. There are some odd political comments complaining about cuts in government social services (thanks, but I would rather not get my comfort or compassion from the government!), and there was a much-too-long list of the author's list of life's comforts.
All in all, this is a nice book with good information for those who want a more compassionate personality.