Healing Conversations: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say, Revised Edition
May 2010, Jossey-Bass
An Invitation to Healing Conversations.
Supporting others without fixing, rescuing, or judging.
1 When You Need a Friend.
Please, Don’t Ask Me How I Am, Unless . . .
Beginning a healing conversation
Using the Rule of Six.
Asking for help.
After a sudden loss.
What comforts you may not comfort someone else.
It'll Be OK, Sugarplum.
Being a light at the end of the tunnel.
Mommy, Will He Be OK?
Helping children face their fears and yours.
Asking One Friend to Help Another.
When you don't have answers.
Before and After the Move.
Emotional attics and new road maps.
It’s Not What You Think.
The hidden hurts of bankruptcy.
Who Am I If I'm Not Who I Was?
After a life-changing event.
A relationship ends.
Anniversaries of Loss.
Special dates to remember.
Reflection: Tuning out of your head, tuning in to your heart.
2 Health Matters.
Getting the news or waiting to hear.
When you want to help deal with a diagnosis.
Before, during, and after.
Recovering from depression.
Is the Doctor In?
Making the most of your time as a patient or as a doctor.
What's the Difference Between a Cure and Healing?
Living with chronic pain.
What About Me?
Supporting the caregiver.
When a disability becomes an ability.
After the Accident.
A Cry for Help.
Responding to attempted suicide.
Reflection: How to be with someone who's in pain.
3 Transitions: Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul.
“We're Getting Divorced”.
Appreciating what you may not understand.
Be a Friend, Not a Hero.
Helping someone deal with verbal abuse.
I Don't Want to Be a Burden.
Supporting the widowed spouse.
Splinters, Mice, and Little Things.
Learning to live alone.
Broken Hearts and Burnt Offerings.
When a gift offers a reservoir of care.
Plant Closings and Pink Slips.
Taking away their jobs but not their dignity.
When someone is laid off, fired, or acquired.
What Is Enough?
Retirement as a way of life.
I Know Her Name.
Living with Alzheimer’s.
The Long Goodbye.
When death takes its time.
He Knows He's About to Die.
Visiting a friend in hospice.
Reflection: Being with their silence—and yours.
4 Lost Loves and Special Friends.
Leo the Cat.
Putting a “four-footed angel” to sleep.
When You Don't Get the Chance to Say Goodbye.
When last wishes clash with the needs of the living.
It's a Blessing, Really.
When death brings relief.
Take a Friend to Lunch.
Writing the obituary.
Oh, Damn! Did Anybody Bring a Knife?
When Mom Leaves.
A gift of poetry.
Honoring Paul Tsongas.
Writing a eulogy.
Notes to Keep a Memory Alive.
A letter to the children.
When a Young Child Dies.
A parent's bewilderment lingers.
When someone chooses suicide.
When Tragedy Inspires Action.
Responding to a sudden death.
Sorrow returns in waves.
Reflection: Sometimes there are no words.
Epilogue: In the End.
Healing Takes Time.
Nance Guilmartin is a four-time regional Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, speaker, business advisor, executive coach, and community service advocate. As a Westinghouse Broadcasting executive, she helped launch national initiatives, including the Designated Driver Program and the For Kids' Sake and Time to Care campaigns. Prior to her television career, she was press secretary to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. Her listening skills developed as a young news writer at CBS radio in Boston. Today she challenges organizations and executives to achieve breakthroughs and unlock hidden opportunities.
Whether it's the loss of a job, a marriage, or a life, we've all faced uncomfortable situations where we don’t know what to say. We may fumble, avoid contact, or simply walk away perplexed, thinking we have done a bad job of responding to our friends, family, neighbors, clients, and co-workers. How do we pause, listen, and offer comfort in those hard moments?
In today’s relentless world, HEALING CONVERSATIONS: What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say, Revised Edition by Nance Guilmartin helps readers provide on-the-spot support for anyone faced with uncomfortable challenge, transition, or loss. Filled with touching stories, this practical, spiritual guide helps us step into someone else's shoes so that we can empathetically learn how to respond in times of need. The revised edition includes a new introduction and reflections at the end of each chapter to help readers think more deeply about how to incorporate the principles of healing conversations into their lives.