Friday, December 3, 2010

The Art of Comforting - Book Review

THE ART OF COMFORTING: What to Say and Do for People in Distress
By Val Walker
October 28, 2010
Tarcher / Penguin paperback, $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-58542-828-1

In THE ART OF COMFORTING, Val Walker reminds us of the importance of making real connections and helps us best support the people we love. An experienced rehabilitation counselor, Walker consulted 13 top professionals from a variety of fields who use comforting skills professionally every day. Her advice will help readers in a variety of situations, and is especially helpful to parents - answering questions like...
• How can we get our children to communicate about their feelings offline?
• How can we best explain hardship and death to our children?
• Which creative activities can we do when kids need comfort and stress relief?
• How do our American cultural norms prevent us from being good comforters?
• What should we say - and not say - to upset family members?

Val Walker has a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. She guided veterans with service-related disabilities in their transition from the military to civilian life while working with Veterans Affairs. She has facilitated bereavement support groups at the Massey Cancer Center, Medical College of Virginia, where she interviewed subjects for a national study on grief and depression. With Jewish Vocational Service in Minnesota, she designed and implemented a community-based rehabilitation program which was accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Later, she developed support groups, guided grieving families, and trained bereavement volunteers as a bereavement coordinator at a hospice in Maine. She has devoted the past three years to speaking and writing about comforting and working to revive what she believes is a lost art in our society. She lives in Maine.

Find her online at

“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

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My thoughts:
There are many times in our life that we just don't know the right thing to say or do. Awkward moments that can be made worse by innocent mistakes. I really liked how this book gives guidance on how to comfort someone in an easy to understand way. This is a great book for people who guide others such as a counselor, preacher...and also for those of us who don't want to hurt others with careless mistakes.

*Disclaimer: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Tarcher/Penguin for this review. The opinion is my own.*

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