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Compassionate Dialogue

Personal Grief Coaching employs compassionate dialogue to nurture conversations that lead to healing. The following skills, 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.
  • Suspending supports being open-minded and nonjudgmental about the person’s behavior, ideas, feelings, and beliefs. 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” (p. 283).
  • 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. (Rogers popularized the term unconditional positive regard to describe this point of view toward a client.)