“This volume should not be required reading, but required study for everyone offering care in America. The biggest complaint about care in the USA is that “nobody listens.” Tom Balles’ book lays out, in simple detail, the basic human habits that we lost in our addiction to technology. Care is about individuals caring for other individuals.” ROBERT M. DUGGAN, MA, MAc (UK), Dipl Ac, (NCCAOM), author of Common Sense for the Healing Arts and Breaking the Iron Triangle: Reducing Health-Care Costs in Corporate America “Becoming a Healing Presence is simply elegant. Tom Balles calls all those who offer care to a high standard – to be present, with senses wide open. He offers uncomplicated practices for exploration; inviting us to sharpen our attention and deepen our awareness . . . . The book serves head and heart and will transform the caring experience for both giver and receiver.” BARBARA CATLIN, Founder and Director, Bigger Conversations, Columbia, Maryland Over the last thirty years the delivery of healthcare has gone through enormous changes. The insurance industry, managed-care, the use of pharmaceuticals, and high-tech medicine have all grown exponentially. In the midst of these changes have we developed a bit of amnesia? In offering our care, have we forgotten the capacity of human beings to help heal other human beings? Have we overlooked the need to cultivate ourselves as instruments of healing? Are we in danger of losing the healing power of the relationship between those giving and receiving care? The tribe of caregivers is in need of some potent medicine. Whether you’re at home caring for an aging or ailing family member, trained to be a volunteer, or working as a health-care professional, you’ll find powerful elixirs in these essays. They’ll remind you of the many healing capacities you possess as a caregiver, and of the great strength to be found in the healing relationship. Becoming a healing presence requires practice. Each essay is accompanied by practices that will transform your care and compassion into effective action and help you focus on what truly matters when offering care.