Individual Learning

for Community Caregivers

The Wisdom of Compassion

Learning to communicate well with others is best learned by… communicating with others.

With all due respect to meditative approaches, we have found that the essence of compassion is not something you can practice solo. The true meaning of the word, compassion, comes from its Latin root, compati: com, meaning together or with, and pati meaning to feel intensely or to suffer. Put them together and you get the practice of being with someone who is suffering. Facing suffering together is the only antidote to the deep loneliness afflicting those who are critically or chronically ill. 

That said, much wisdom can be gained from the examples of others, especially when you see them demonstrating how it is done. This is ideal preparation for practice. You will find many jewels of wisdom in these materials. The beauty and satisfaction is then discovering these principles of love at work in your own life.

Volunteer Kimberlee recounts her first visit.

A handy little book that fits in your purse or back pocket. For family and volunteers to find the right words and actions that bring most comfort to those who are suffering.

Learn how to:

  • Avoid the most common mistakes made when visiting the sick.
  • Cope with the emotions of illness and healing.
  • Convery the four elements of compassion used by gifted healiers.
  • Find resources for healing and support
  • Transform somene’s darketst hour into a time of healing.

In this inspiring, best-selling video-based program, Karen Fox and her team show how to treat the sick, injured, and dying with compassion. They demonstrate the four things that must happen in conversation for a person who is suffering to experience compassion.

These are the fundamental skills needed to build a bridge to the other person’s world, to get compassion across in such a way that he or she now realizes that you care.

Karen and her team vividly demonstrate, with beauty and humor, and in real life situations, how anyone can learn to empower, encourage, bring hope, and lift the spirit.

This sequel to Communicating with Compassion shows how compassion is applied to resolve tough conversations.

You learn how to:

  • Turn a difficult conversation into a discovery conversation.
  • Identify three layers of a difficult conversation.
  • Recognize pivotal moments when conversations can turn around.
  • Build stronger healing partnerships despite the difficulties.
  • Ideal for volunteers and family caregivers. The program features a wide variety of caregivers interacting real patients in real life, in entirely candid unscripted scenes. The emotions are real!

An Ideal Resource for:

  • Family members and friends.
  • Caregivers
  • Caplains and clergy
  • Volunteers
  • Health care professionals.

Communicating with Compassion

How to Communicate in Ways that ease the Pain and list the Spirit

Founder of Adventures in Caring, Karen Fox explains a step-by-step method for communicating with people who are ill, injured, isolated, or in distress. Karen demonstrates, using real situations, four key communication skills that empower, encourage, bring hope, and lift the spirit.

“Teaching compassion is different than teaching how to change the oil in your car, or use a new computer. For this, and other reasons, it has often been discarded from medical training, and is today frequently thought of as a frill, a nice, but unessential element. Yet, throughout history compassion has been the universal solvent, the key ingredient to true healing”.

Simon Fox, Executive Producer
The Medicine of Compassion

This package includes:

  • 45-minute DVD or VHS-tape.48-page Leader Guide with instructions on how to use the video as the basis for a 60-minute or 90-minute class, or for a 3-hour workshop.
  • To custom-design your own class additional discussion questions, class exercises, and video index are included, plus resources for continued learning and suggestions for measuring progress.
  • Handouts – formatted for easy copying. Three pages summarize the essential points of the video and expand upon them.
  • Beautiful production, original musical score and real-life scenes.

Scene from Communicating with Compassion.

As I reflect on the widespread need in our frantic, fractured society for people with a healing touch, I cherish a fervent hope that this resource will become available to the countless people who could use it to learn how to enhance their caring attitudes and skills.

Howard Clinebell, Ph.D.

Emiritus Professor, Pastoral Psychology & Counseling, Claremont School of Theology

Communicating with Compassion is a quality program. I find it valuable in refining the skills of supportive presence needed by lay volunteer and clergy alike. It is a complete package, educationally sound and stimulating to use. This one is a keeper!

Rev. Faye Hogan

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Ventura

This video is one of the most outstanding training tools for staff and volunteers that I have ever seen. I know I’ll be using it often

Pat Wheatley

Director Senior Services, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

Anyone who wants to increase their ability to communicate with compassion, empathy and caring, will benefit from this video. Communicating with Compassion is a special blend of practical know-how and sensitivity to the unique needs of individuals who are ill. It is a “must see” for all health care providers

Judith G. Berg, R.N

Senior Vice President,, Cottage Health System

The best educational resource I have ever seen for teaching compassion. It’s inspiring, and shows exactly how to give the psychosocial support that patients need. Everyone in the health professions should see this video.

Paula Yurkanis Bruice, PhD

Senior Chemistry Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara

Communicating with Compassion is by far the best teaching tool I could use in the area of listening and communication skills. Thank you for your great effort to teach us all that compassion is the key element to a healing encounter.

Dana VanderMey, R.N

Supervisor of Parish Nurses, Saint Francis Medical Center

A genuinely touching piece of work – it goes right to the heart. I have all staff view it on a regular basis and prn in times of stress or despair. This video is a powerful reminder of the human component in patient care.

Liz Duffy, RN

Nurse Manager, Medical Intensive Care Unit, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center

Your video touches both the head and the heart. It flows and the teaching points are made so naturally. I cried at several places. Thank you for an effective and beautiful video.

Elizabeth Wu

Management Development, Kaiser Permanente

An artistic and uplifting video that gives us the tools to enhance the lives of those who are suffering, from whatever cause.

Robert A. Reid, M.D

President, California Medical Association

When I saw Communicating with Compassion it was love at first sight. I use it with new trainees and at monthly in-service meetings. This video is an education for the heart as well as the head.

Timothy Larson

Coordinator of Volunteers, Hospice of Santa Barbara

I was impressed by how the film spoke to such a wide variety of people. Students and nurses aids easily understand the material, yet medical doctors also find it valuable.

Dr. Richard Brand

Assistant Dean, Washington University School of Medicine

How do we teach compassion?

 According to Karen and Simon Fox, the best way to teach compassion is not to teach, but to inspire through real-life situations. Just as Adventures in Caring’s volunteers have learned their skills from personal experiences, the camera follows doctors, nurses and caregivers into their world of real situations, real challenges, real emotions.  Wisdom is shared, like bread between souls.  The perspective that Karen had found is reflected in the lens of our cameras.  We have no agenda only insights to offer.  Insights earned over many, many years of challenges and grace.

Our video starts by showing two very different worlds: the world of the busy health care professional and the anxious, uncertain world of the patient – and how compassion can form a bridge between the two worlds. It is odd to have to say it, but when compassion is present patients feel cared for.  They receive and treat health care staff better and they in return experience greater satisfaction. Everybody knows this, but most are caught up in seemingly unextricable situations.  This video and materials came from many real situations, even the few spoofs we made were not rehearsed. These moments now have something, not just to show, but to rekindle.

The course, including the video, offers your students the structure and time for reflection after viewing.  The entire production of all AiC productions including original music over the past 30 years is  the work of Bent Myggen and Simon and Karen Fox.  Each scene is gently filmed real life – not re-enactments for the camera.  Tender moments were graciously allowed to be filmed as wisdom was shared. Many, who have watched this video also discovered something important about themselves.

We hope this video will the beginning of many magical encounters.

Compassion in Action

Compassion when the going gets tough.

“Compassion comes naturally when people are suffering. But what about when those people are upset or difficult to be with? Is it possible or practical to extend compassion when the going gets tough?

Compassion in Action shows the art of communicating with patients when difficult emotions arise. Using real-life footage from authentic situations, the video gives a fresh look at an age old problem: How to keep caring when patients are difficult. Viewers learn new approaches and gain confidence, encouragement and motivation for being effective in difficult interactions”

Simon Fox, Executive Producer
The Medicine of Compassion

Scene from Compassion in Action

Being Effective in Emotionally Difficult Conversations

This course gives teams the tools to discuss, debrief, and deal with the more challenging side of caregiving. A seminar for new caregivers, a refresher for those with experience, and a valuable tool for everyone who champions the cause of compassion in health care. Beautiful production, original musical score and real-life scenes.

The sense of revelation that I and my colleagues had while watching this video – what a learning experience! I was moved to tears by one particular scene. I hope all new caregivers see this video, to see the ideal applied to the real. I wish all experienced caregivers could see it to be reminded of why we do what we do – to give LOVE where it is needed most.

Charlotte Dullea, RN

Subacute Unit, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

This package includes:

  • 43-minute DVD with 12 chapters, each illustrating different communication challenges in caregiving.
  • An optional introduction from the Executive Producer to give your audience a powerful context for your session.
  • 128-page Leader Guide shows how to use the video as a starting point for a discussion or seminar. It includes a proven Five-Step Training Program to cultivate compassion using group dialogue, group exercises, individual practice and self-evaluation.
  • Also included are seven discussions, a video time index, and elements to custom-design your own seminars with suggestions for a single one-hour class, a 2-4 hour seminar, or a series of seminars.
  • 3 Handouts formatted for easy copying. Five pages summarize the essential points of the video and expand upon them for in-depth discussion and training.
  • Access to website resources for continued learning, updates and new materials such as: additional handouts, visual aids, key links, discussion groups, and recommended reading.
  • Handouts – formatted for easy copying. Three pages summarize the essential points of the video and expand upon them.
  • Beautiful production, original musical score and real-life scenes.

A Wonderful follow up to the The Medicine of Compassion. It stimulates a discussion on more complex situations where demostrating compassion can be difficult.

Craig Luzinski, RN, MSN, CHE

Compassion is often forgotten in the skill driven curriculums of nursing schools. This program brings some much-neede attention to the core of nursing. The scenarios were informative and genuine. Thank you for providing quality programs for nurses from every generation”

Joleen Marrufo, RN

Clinical Educator, Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, CO

An insightful look at experts delivering emotionally supportive care to very difficult patients. A clear demonstration of the need for, and value of, compassion in health care.

Anthony Allina, M.D.

Internal Medicine and Family Practice

What is so special and valuable about this video is seeing actual spontaneous reactions in real-time. They demonstrate and inspire the art of being present and observant

Louise Sipos, RN,

Patient Representative, Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles

I love this video! It’s a wonderful, candid example of compassion at work in a variety of health care settings. It shows the humanity and joy we can find – even in the tougher situations – if we approach them in the right way.

Abbey Gaske, MD.

Urology Group, of Southern California

Compassion in Action is a beautiful, practical demonstration of how to infuse difficult conversations with love.

Candace Pert, Ph.D.

Neuroscience Research, Author of Molecules of Emotion and Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d.

An opportunity to see what a profound difference human caring makes in the lives of others! Real life situations show how to engage with others in a way that cares for their spirit, their emotions, their humanness. I will be using Compassion in Action as a teaching tool for professional and volunteer caregivers

Peggy Matteson, Ph.D., RN, FCN,

Commissioned Minister of Health, United Congregational Church Chair, Department of Nursing, Salve Regina University, Newport, RI

Caregivers Learn Crucial New Skills

How to:

  • Turn a difficult conversation into a discovery conversation.
  • Identify the three layers of a difficult conversation and find clues to the solution.
  • Recognize the pivotal moments when conversations can turn around.
  • Build strong caregiving partnerships despite the difficulties

How to respond to people in pain who are:

  • Uncooperative
  • Afraid of losing their autonomy
  • Confused
  • Grieving
  • Having unrealistic expectations
  • Forgetful
  • Unable to speak
  • Argumentative
  • Frustrated
  • Angry
  • Feeling sorry for themselves
  • In a coma
  • Dying Young