Most of us, at one time or another, would like to help a friend, family member, or acquaintance through a challenging time. But do we really know how to give meaningful support and guidance? And why do our best efforts at helping others often come up short? Here is a practical guide that will be of special interest to helping professionals—and anyone who wants to make a positive difference in the lives of people they care about.
To be truly helpful to others, Karen Wegela explains, we must begin by focusing on ourselves. We must develop greater awareness, steadiness of mind, fearlessness, and self-compassion. Only then can we extend these qualities to the people we’d like to help. Drawing on her experiences as a psychotherapist and on her longtime study of Buddhist meditation, Wegela emphasizes the benefits of mindfulness, or learning to become fully present in our moment-to-moment experience. Through mindfulness we develop a fearless, compassionate presence in our daily lives—and we become better listeners, take wiser actions, and give more valuable, effective guidance to the people we’d like to help.
About the Author
Karen Kissel Wegela, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice and director of the M.A. program in Contemplative Psychotherapy at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
David Richo, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist who leads popular workshops at the Esalen Institute and around the country. He is the author of several books, including How to Be an Adult and Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side. He lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.
“A step-by-step handbook on becoming present to oneself so as to be able to offer meaningful help to friends, relatives, and clients in distress. Written in simple, direct language.”—Publishers Weekly