Val is the author of The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for People in Distress (Penguin/Random House, 2010) which won the Nautilus Book Award in 2011. Her new title is 400 Friends and No One to Call: Breaking Through Isolation and Building Community, released with Central Recovery Press in March, 2020.
She is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today and the Health Story Collaborative. Her topics include comforting people in distress, breaking through isolation, and building social support after loss. Val received her MS in rehabilitation counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a rehabilitation consultant, speaker and educator. Her articles and Q&As have appeared in AARP, Caregiver Space, Babyboomer.com, Caregiver Solutions, Time, Good Housekeeping, Coping with Cancer, Boston Globe Magazine, Marie Claire and Whole Living.
Keep up with Val at www.valwalkerauthor.com
4oo Friends and No One to Call: Breaking Through Isolation and Building Community
400 Friends and No One to Call spells out the how-tos for befriending our wider community, building a social safety net, and fostering our sense of belonging. On a deeper level, we are invited to befriend our loneliness, rather than feel ashamed of it, and open our hearts and minds to others trapped in isolation.
The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for People in Distress2010
Awards and Recognition
- Nautilus Book Award Gold Medalist, Grief and Loss Category, 2011
- Coalition of Visionary Resources Book Award, First Runner Up, Self-help Category, 2011
- Recommended by the Boston Public Health Commission in their Guide for Survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing
Press and Media Mentions
- Penguin/Random House Recommended Books List---There's a Book for That: Hope, Healing, and Doing Good
- TV interview with Global TV Canada, The Morning Show, about the stigma of loneliness and the impact of COVID-19 on social isolation
- Blog post for Psychology Today: Are You Judgmental of Lonely People? A Self-test
- Interviewed as guest on the Jefferson Exchange (NPR-affiliated Jefferson Public Radio) about my new book, 400 Friends and No One to Call. Podcast about breaking through isolation and building community.