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Compassionate Dialogue

Personal Grief Coaching employs compassionate dialogue to nurture conversations that lead to healing. The following approaches, derived from the work of William Isaacs,* are among the tools used to help the bereaved:
  • Listening involves hearing the bereaved person completely and whole-heartedly.
  • Respecting requires accepting the person’s story of his or her experience as entirely valid and authentic. (In Carl Rogers' words, it “involves an acceptance of and a caring for the client as a person, with permission for him to have his own feelings and experiences, and to find his own meanings in them.")**
  • Suspending supports being open-minded and nonjudgmental about the person’s behavior, ideas, feelings, and beliefs. 
  • Voicing comes from the bereaved person being affirmed for speaking authentically, based on his or her own experiences

*Isaacs, W. (1999). Dialogue and the art of thinking together. New York, NY: Doubleday. 

**Rogers, C. (1961). On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, p. 283. (Rogers popularized the term unconditional positive regard to describe this point of view toward a client.)