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from the Latin root compati: ‘suffer with.’
[com—together or with; pati—to suffer or feel intensely] The art of being with those who are suffering.
It is this art that we are cultivating—the skillful, active use of compassion to transform human suffering. This is the practical alchemy of compassion as the universal solvent to solve, dissolve, and resolve the hard feelings, harsh thoughts, and bitter experiences of sickness and trauma.
The grief, anxiety, and despair that people so often experience when faced with a serious illness or injury—when facing their mortality—is not a medical problem, and it has no medical solution. There is no pill or medical treatment for this deep-seated loneliness and emotional distress. It is a human problem and the only solution is human contact, with someone who cares, listens, and connects at a deeply heartfelt level.
There is always a point in human experience when all plans, tools, and tactics fail. At this point, the only thing that makes sense is kindness and compassion. This pivotal moment is the place where Adventures in Caring is making a difference in the quality of life.
Watch the Story of Adventures in Caring (10:00)
Adventures in Caring is a nonprofit, 501(c)3, health and human services organization, based in Santa Barbara, California.
Our programs receive no government funding, they are supported entirely by private donations and private grants,
plus sales of our publications.
One hundred percent of all donations goes directly into supporting the programs that teach and deliver compassion.
Giving the medicine of compassion.
Adventures in Caring (AiC) offers a one-year service-learning exploration of the human element in health care, for undergraduate students who are pursuing careers in the health professions.
In-depth training, personal interactions with the sick and injured, regular reflection, and year-round coaching develop the advanced listening skills, emotional intelligence, and authentic compassion so vital to healing. Such competencies in the art of connecting with those in pain, reduce distress, relieve social isolation, and restore well-being—in hundreds of frail elderly patients in local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
Thirty years of pioneering work in the human side of health care by the AiC team has produced a reliable methodology for teaching the art and practice of compassion.
Making compassion visible, teachable, and practical.
The experience of compassion is the wow factor in health care—yet how to teach staff to deliver this experience remains a mystery to most health care providers. Adventures in Caring has solved this problem by making the nebulous topic of compassion a visible, definable, practical skill that everyone can improve upon. Unlike scripted statements which may create courtesy, AiC programs cultivate the authentic compassion that inspires healing partnerships.
We also address compassion fatigue, because bitter, burned out caregivers are not a source of comfort to their patients. Our Cultivating Compassion three-volume series teaches 1) the four fundamental principles of creating the experience of compassion, 2) how to create that experience under difficult circumstances, and 3) how to guard against burnout, build resilience, and sustain compassion over a long, healthy and satisfying career.