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Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say [Paperback]

By Nance Guilmartin (Author)
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Item description for Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say by Nance Guilmartin...

We're often faced with uncomfortable situations where we're at a loss for words. A friend calls to tell you she's lost her job. A colleague's test results confirm it: he has cancer. The neighbors-who are like family-are moving. Your best friend's mother has Alzheimer's. Your spouse's father suddenly dies; she didn't get to say goodbye. Can you help? Should you help? What would be useful? What kinds of boundaries do we respect or lower? How do we pause to listen between the lines of silence to comfort someone who is afraid or in pain? Can we ask for what would comfort us when we are the one having a rough time? And are we able to receive it with grace? Healing Conversations enables us to provide or ask for a new level of support when facing life's inevitable challenges, transitions, and losses-at work, at home, and in our community. It is a practical guide to help you step into someone else's shoes so that you can offer, ask for, or receive comfort. Reflections at the end of each chapter help you think more deeply about how to incorporate the principles of healing conversations and intentional kindness into your life

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7" Width: 6.8" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 24, 2006
Publisher   John Wiley And Sons
ISBN  0787983365  
ISBN13  9780787983369  

Availability  0 units.

More About Nance Guilmartin

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Four-time Emmy Award winner Nance Guilmartin is an executive coach, consultant, educator, and author of Healing Conversations. As a Westinghouse Broadcasting executive, she launched the national designated driver program and the For Kids' Sake and Time to Care campaigns, sparking community problem solving in over 100 cities. She was press secretary to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas and a writer-editor for CBS NewsRadio. Guilmartin is a Fellow of Florida International University's Center for Leadership, where she teaches the executive education program Women on the Move, and is a clinical adjunct faculty member at the College of Business Administration. She lives in Massachusetts.

Nance Guilmartin was born in 1955 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Ipswich, Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Death & Grief > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Relationships > Interpersonal Relations
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > General
5Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Motivational
6Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > Spiritual
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Encouragement & Lay Counseling
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Self Help

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Reviews - What do customers think about Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say?

Helpful for anyone  Jul 29, 2006
As a therapist I've learned through long experience that often the most difficult but helpful thing I can offer others is the gift of listening with full attention. That's very difficult for us because our own emotions run away with us when we're with someone in pain. We get scared or angry and we want to make the problem go away--by offering advice or by changing the subject. Nance Guilmartin has put together a very useful guide for how to deal with our own fears and take "healing conversations" to a deeper level where we can actually help those in pain--by being there with them and, with their permission, doing what we can do to help. I especially like her very practical and down-to-earth advice: "Show up even if it's awkward." "Be there over the long haul." I highly recommend this book; everyone will need it more often than they realize, because the opportunities for healing conversations are there every day.
Thoughtful support for all of us  Jul 26, 2006
I gave Healing Conversations to a friend troubled that she didn't " know what to say" to her family about her grandchild's scary diagnosis. She graciously received it and was pleased she didn't need to read the entire book because her specific concern is covered in a few short sections. She makes a good point. Readers under stress can find examples of numerous topics handily addressed in brief chapters about ways to support others through tough times. Other readers, particularly clergy or family educators, who simply want to feel prepared for helping others through the vicissitudes of life, will find reading the whole book helpful. It is a teaching tool about attitude and attention that the author dedicates "to each of you who, in a moment of uncertainty, take the chance to offer or to ask for a healing conversation."

Because life is complicated, even we who are not therapists find ourelves serving hurting hearts occasionally. In our personal lives, or in the course of regular work, official job descriptions may not cover it, but stuff happens! Requesting or offering acknowledgment and support for rough, uncertain passages presents occasions when we or others ask, " Please help me find a new way to see things because right now I can't even think straight!"

Suitable ways to respond in person and in writing are the focus of Nance Guilmartin's easy-to-read compendium. She coaches lay readers about being present in caring, appropriate ways for those experiencing a range of major and minor hard challenges, transitions and altered identities.

Her "Getting started" introduction reviews, in cogent paragraphs principles (summarized here) for healing conversations:

* Listen - actively hearing with ears, eyes and heart, suspending internal conversations and the impulse to ask questions

* Pause - to reflect, tap into compassion, and tune in to the other person "like putting the clutch in when you are driving a car with a stick shift. It lets you slow down just enough to engage the gears before you speed up."

* Be a Friend Not a Hero - Helping others through a rough time is not the same as rescuing them or rushing them.

* Offer Comfort - People can care without agreeing, disagreeing, fixing or prescribing how others should feel. Comfort allows room to be who we are at the present time.

* Be In Touch with Your Own Feelings - "Helping others feel comforted in our presence has a lot to do with what's going on inside us. . . we are able to sit with our own discomfort long enough to be with theirs. We are able to offer compassion to them because we can also give it to ourselves."

* Be There Over the Long Haul - Adjustment takes time. Sometimes a friend, family member, a colleague or a neighbor needs us to be nothing more than a sounding board--over and over again.

* Show Up Even When It's Awkward - It's okay to feel uncomfortable and helpful to be honest about it. Being a caring presence, letting the person feel safe, is the important thing.

* Be a Helpful Resource - Sometimes the sensible thing to do is refer someone to a resource that might answer needs better than we can.

* Take the Initiative - Taking the time to put ourselves in others' shoes is a helpful first step in knowing what is needed.

* Be Compassionate - Even if we have similar experience, we can't really know how someone else feels, what causes them pain, or what will help them. We need to be patient. Remember to listen to others' stories before asking whether it would help to share yours.

Through brief, interesting anecdotes, she helps readers see how the "getting started" guidelines play out in real situations. She helps readers understand and appreciate healing communication (especially conscious listening, shared silence, rephrasing and reframing) that can lift spirits about such life changing situations as caregiving, end of life, trauma, divorce, embarrassment, attempted suicide, anger, frustration, job loss, physical and mental health changes, retirement, bankruptcy, relocating, and a variety of other personal and work-related matters.

With a useful table of contents and index, the messy, irrational emotional whirlpool of topics is arranged in simple, understandable short sections of true life experiences with helpful insights drawn from them. Comments and approaches are suggested. Being correct is not Guilmartin's point. Being receptive and connecting with others in useful ways is what she is teaching here. Example after example of practical application of personal, attentive empathy show ways to help individuals heal. She discusses spoken and unspoken, judgment-free communication to help individuals gain strength and perspective.

Some of the anecdotes and commentary give additional practical examples of how others have worked through bewilderment or healing or have conceptualized a situation in a beneficial way. A letter from a leader of a nonprofit notifying her group of her cancer and asking for needed help, a list of helpful suggestions and requests from the wife of a hospice resident to his visitors, and some near death experiences are some examples. A few of the stories are a little on the sappy side, but illustrate her subjects well and are all worth reading.

The general contents may be basic and obvious to those who read lots of books like this, but the memorable examples are enriching. Healing Conversations is both a motivational refresher and a handy resource to recommend for others dealing with all manner of personal discomfort. It is a valuable reminder that we all are more than our roles, we're fellow humans first.
What better time for "Healing Conversations?"  Sep 12, 2005
At this time when thousands of people are responding to Hurricane
Katrina, "HEALING CONVERSATIONS" offers us invaluable suggestions and guidelines for how to
ask for, offer and, yes, especially, accept help during difficult, sometimes mind-numbing, circumstances. These
stories enable any one--whether you are a volunteer, teacher, doctor,
student, government leader, lay counselor, or even just a friend, family member or confidant--to be more at ease when
dealing with the unimaginably difficult situations BOTH survivors and
responders are encountering during this massive recovery effort. If there ever was a time when this book can speak volumes to all of us, this is it.

David W. Oberdorfer, M.D., F.A.C.S., M.F.A.
Emergency Room Physician & Immediate Past President, "Society for Humanism in Medicine"
If you feel compassion for others - read this book!  Nov 4, 2003
This book is a must read for anyone whose work centers around pastoral care and pastoral concerns. Often the most asked question is "what do I say when...." and this book gives you the answers through the telling of a story in such a way that one remembers what to say when. Not matter what faith community you are a part, this book belongs in your library and in your own home whether you do pastoral work or not. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
To comfort or to be comforted  Nov 2, 2002
A wonderful book.
Written in an easy, anecdotal fashion, it provides warmth and insight to a wide variety of situations for which a reader might wish to comfort or be comforted. This is a must-read book for anyone wishing to find or be a true friend.



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