Our Palliative Presence: Inspirational Wisdom from Henri Nouwen

Our palliative presence refers to our way of being with a person receiving care. Henri Nouwen’s spiritual writings have been helpful for many (myself included) in developing their palliative presence, providing insight into ways of offering compassion, empathy, and a deep listening presence in order to allow those being cared for to express any fears, beliefs, and concerns related to their ‘total’ pain.

This webinar with palliative care nurse and author, Michelle O’Rourke, explored what it truly means for us to be ‘present’ when providing care, and offered invaluable insights and practical strategies for those involved in palliative care or seeking to develop a deeper understanding of these essential attributes. Be inspired by the wisdom of spiritual writer Henri Nouwen and others!

In this webinar, participants will:

1. Discuss the attributes of the ‘art’ of palliative care, and how it affects practice.
2. Explore how an active, listening presence can affect each of the domains of care.
3. Learn about the life and work of Henri J.M. Nouwen, and how his writings in the areas of care, compassion, presence, and being a wounded healer can help to inspire the difficult work of palliative care.
4. Reflect on one’s own experience of ‘presence’ in palliative care.

2 Responses

  1. Very inspiring. Thank you for this thoughtful conversation. It evoked many layers- listening, reflecting and remembering my own journey and those of my patients and now my father who is in this sacred time.

    1. Elspeth,
      it is a special experience to care not only for individuals in the community who are dying, but to care for our parents – adds a new dimension.
      All the best to you in your journey with him.

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Courtney Murrell is a PSW who works in hospice palliative care.

When she is not at work, she is spending time with her family, going on hikes or writing. Courtney is a lifelong learner and loves to share her passion for writing as a wellness practice.

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