Finding the Words offers principles and practical suggestions for those moments in relationships when one wants to be kind but also must discuss a sensitive matter. In thoughtful prose, Susan Halpern explains how to communicate with care in order to strengthen and increase our loving connections. The principles provided in the book—speaking from the heart, stating intentions, and deep listening—enable readers to navigate difficult encounters.
Halpern draws on her years of experience as a psychotherapist, wife, and mother to suggest possible, scripted solutions and positive outcomes for a wide range of situations: a partner who needs to talk about the irritations of joint living, parents of an adult child who requires unexpected financial support, grandparents who don’t know how to intervene, siblings who disagree about politics or religion, and couples in times of crisis, illness, affairs, and divorce. An essential book for finding one’s way back to intimacy from conflict, nagging discomfort, and anger, Finding the Words teaches methods of responding, negotiating, and compromising. While there are numerous guides to relationships, no other book presents life situations—along with actual words that can be used to cope with them—with such vitality and wisdom.
"Simple and profound reflections on the difficult art of speaking the truth to those we love."
—Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly
"Susan Halpern reminds us that the difference between relationships that last and those that don’t is often not love but honesty. Reading Finding the Words is like taking out an insurance policy on the most precious of our relationships. It will carry you through times of crisis and enable you to rebuild the relationships that are the foundation of your life, often making them stronger and better than before."
—Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings
"It is a blessing to have such wise and considerate help for some of the most important conversations of your life."
—Jack Kornfield, Buddhist teacher and author of A Path with Heart
"Finding The Words is a one-of-a-kind treasure. It is a must-read for anyone navigating the often-tricky waters of effective and heartfelt conversations with loved ones. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Susan Halpern for bringing these inspiring stories and inspired principles into our lives. This book will save you countless hours of fear and frustration and maybe even a vital relationship or two."
—Charles A. Garfield, PhD, founder of Shanti and clinical professor of psychology, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF
"Challenging interactions and conversations are an inescapable part of life, but Susan Halpern’s words and wisdom help us navigate them."
—Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, University of California at Irvine and author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices
"This book is a gift for anyone wanting to heal and deepen relationships at any stage of life. Susan Halpern’s wisdom, experience, and the light of compassion shine through the words that show us how to release old patterns of behavior and open our hearts to more love in our lives."
—Frances Vaughn, PhD, psychologist and author of Shadows of the Sacred
"Susan Halpern's second book turns out to be as valuable as her first, The Etiquette of Illness. I found Finding the Words to be an honest, open, and truthful aid in assisting individuals, families, and community members to find the necessary words to move through difficult life moments. I will keep this book on my desk as a reminder and a guide for those important life conversations with loved ones."
—Patricia de Jong, senior minister, First Congregational Church of Berkeley
“[Finding the Words] is so important, and would be a fantastic addition to anyone’s library. The pre-teen, teen, young adult and even Grandma can learn subtle, soothing ways to talk through difficult times…I have learned so many lessons already!”