Talking With Bereaved People: A Practical Guide to Sensitive Communication

It is often hard to know what to talk about with a bereaved person after you've offered your condolences, and many avoid talking about the deceased for fear of upsetting the bereaved relative. With good active listening, empathic exploration and a willingness to talk about the hard issues, you can embark on sensitive communication with the bereaved. This user-friendly book offers a practical framework for conversing with bereaved people, either with individuals or in a group setting. The author uses a table of six elements to give guidance to the listener about where they might be in the conversation, and how to move forward with the bereaved person. For each element, suggested techniques that include creative activities and possible open questions to help the bereaved person express and explore their grief, are offered. The approach is underpinned throughout by theory, with reflective exercises for the reader to do individually or in peer groups, plus anecdotes and case vignettes. Talking with Bereaved People is an essential toolkit for anyone working with bereaved people outside of the formal counselling room, such as social workers, voluntary bereavement agencies, church pastoral teams, hospice and hospital visitors and staff.

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