The Helper's Journey

Empathy, Compassion, and the Challenge of Caring
Second Edition
Pages: 390
ISBN: 9780878227266
Item Number: 4669

$30.68You save $2.31 (7%)

The power of empathy and compassion is revolutionizing our approach to person-centered counseling and caregiving. The new second edition of The Helper’s Journey builds on themes of altruism and purpose in life, which were presented in Larson’s bestselling first edition.

Drawing from the field of positive psychology, it explores the brighter side of human nature and helping. Real-world caregiver experience in hospice and palliative care, oncology, and counseling bring to light fresh perspectives. New research on empathy, altruism, resilience, the helping relationship, and empathetic counseling skills are illuminated through clinical vignettes and verbatim helper disclosures. This book charts a clear path to clinical effectiveness and personal growth for providers of compassionate, person-centered care.

The American Journal of Nursing (AJN) for 2020 has awarded 3rd Place to The Helper’s Journey, Second Edition in the category of Palliative Care and Hospice. This prestigious book award is given annually.

Shown below is episode three of Prosocially Yours, a podcast produced by Research Press. In episode three, host Elizabeth Hess interviews psychologist and author Dale G. Larson, PhD about the second edition of his best seller The Helper’s Journey. Learn more about today’s concerns and developments for the many helpers serving people in a variety of challenging situations.


“Dale Larson has been a consistent force for decades shedding light on the essential issues in health care of compassion, empathy, and resilience. This new edition of The Helper’s Journey is a deeper dive into these concepts that have become even more critical as we struggle to sustain a workforce to provide care in serious illness. This book is essential reading for any clinician providing compassionate care.”

—Betty Ferrell, PhD, FAAN, FPCN, Professor and Director of Nursing Research, City of Hope Medical Center

“A wonderful combination of the profound, the clinically helpful, the existentially meaningful, all flavored with experience-near case examples and consistent thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and wisdom on the part of Dale Larson – truly a great case of making a classic work even better. What strikes me in particular in reading over this edition of The Helper’s Journey is just how relevant this book is to clinical and counseling psychologists – students as well as experienced professionals – who inevitably struggle to remain resilient and compassionate while helping those who face the daily challenges of coping with loss and trauma. You will likely identify with the histories of those helpers featured in this book, tear up as many of the examples of how and with whom they work, and learn much about the ways that you can care for yourself while giving so much to others.”

—Barry A. Farber, PhD, Professor, Clinical Psychology Program, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Rooted in science and infused with soul, this latest edition of The Helper’s Journey is a gift to a new generation of caring professionals. Dale Larson shines a bright light on a path to professional integration, personal growth, and well-being.”

—Ira Byock, MD, author of Dying Well and The Best Care Possible, active emeritus professor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

“Dale Larson writes clearly about loss, empathy, compassion, personal distress, burnout, compassion fatigue, moral distress, and how to keep going when the going gets tough. Drawing on the latest research and his personal wisdom, he shows us how caring is good for us . . . but only if we practice self-compassion and are not drawing from empty wells. The Helper’s Journey is a masterpiece for our time and the coming decades in the field.”

—Mary L.S. Vachon, RN, RP, PhD, Registered Psychotherapist in Private Practice, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Clinical Consultant, Wellspring

The Helper’s Journey offers the best of our current wisdom on caring. Larson expertly synthesizes the research and real life experiences of the challenges and rewards helping persons face. This book guides and encourages us on the caring path and is a treasury of help and hope.”

— Marcia Lattanzi Licht, LHD, RN, LPC

Part One: Exploring the Inner World of Helping
1. The Helper in Us All
2. The Challenge of Caring: Emotional Involvement in Helping
3. Beyond Burnout: Finding Balance and Enhancing Resilience
4. Secrets: Concealment and Confiding in Helping and Healing
Part Two The Interpersonal Challenge
5. The Person-Centered Helper and Helping Relationship
6. Healing Words: Compassion in Action
Part Three Creating Caring Systems
7. The Caring Team
8. Toward a Caring Society and World
Appendix A: A Self-Diagnosis Instrument for Burnout
Appendix B: Self-Concealment Scale
About the Author

Interview with Dale Larson on the Nurse Keith Show podcast.


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