Therapeutic Conversations with Seriously Ill People and Their Families

Main Article Content

Cory Ingram
Ellen Wild


Seriously ill people and those they love encounter health care professionals regularly. Published studies, representing how seriously ill people prefer to be communicated with suggest they would like open, honest and thoughtful communication. Additionally, these studies emphasize that seriously ill people prefer to talk about their illness when they are ready. Medical professionals are often on the frontline of communication with these people. There is a paucity of education on communicating with seriously ill people in professional education spanning many health care professions.

Our workshop will empower participants in all capacities to better communicate with seriously ill people. We will teach not how to communicate information but rather how to have a therapeutic interaction that is consistent with what we know to be true about what seriously ill people value in their communication with their health care team.

We will use patient narratives both oral and video, role play and reflection to convey an easy to implement framework to therapeutic communication.

Session attendees will be able to

1. Understand foundational communication desires of seriously ill people and their families.

2. Describe a framework to approach difficult conversations with a therapeutic intention.

3. Implement practical approaches to enhance their communication with seriously ill patients and families they encounter daily.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ingram, C., & Wild, E. (2014). Therapeutic Conversations with Seriously Ill People and Their Families. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 1(1).
Congress 2013
Author Biographies

Cory Ingram, Mayo Clinic

Ellen Wild, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mankato