partners in healing


When one partner in a relationship becomes seriously ill, the other often feels a sense of helplessness and wonders how they can make a difference. Partners in Healing: Simple Ways to Offer Support, Comfort and Care to a Loved One Facing Illness (Shambhala Publications, 2008) offers a new sense of empowerment for the intimate partners of people living with serious health problems. Based on the latest research in health behavior and complementary therapies, it includes forty-three short chapters, each explaining why and when to use a given strategy, and concrete step-by-step guidance in how to do it. William Collinge shares his reflections and insights from two decades of study and work with couples who are going through the challenges of serious illness together.

Partners in Healing is divided into seven subject areas:

  • Strategies of self-care for the caring partner
  • Ways of involving family and friends in a network of support
  • Simple massage and touch techniques to bring comfort and reduce symptoms
  • Simple energy healing techniques
  • Distant healing using transpersonal imagery, mediation, and prayer
  • Forms of "affirmative communication" that provide reassurance
  • Simple rituals of caring and nourishment

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“A bible for caregivers. Honest, straightforward, and very practical. I recommend it to everyone who is caring for a partner or spouse.”—Christiane Northrup, MD

“Dr. Collinge has written a book that touches upon the true essence of caregiving. This is an important book for caregivers on enhancing their own well-being as well as learning how to better become partners in healing.”—Gary E. Barg, editor-in-chief,

“Anyone wanting a practical guide to supporting health and wholeness in a loved one will be delighted by this book. We are currently in something of a golden age in healing research, of which Dr. William Collinge is an excellent guide.”—Larry Dossey, MD

"William Collinge brings a breadth of knowledge and a depth of wisdom to helping us deal with the challenges that sickness brings to those we love and to ourselves. In Partners in Healing he shows us clearly, simply, convincingly, how we can use words and touch, loving intention and prayer to bring help and healing to those who are ill, even as we find intimacy, wholeness, and fulfillment for ourselves."— James S. Gordon, M.D., author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression



5 out of 5 stars.
Don't wait until a loved one is ill to discover this book, April 6, 2009
By D. Irwin (MD, USA)

"Partners in Healing" is William Collinge's fourth book. His insights flow from his experiences as a researcher and consultant in behavioral medicine and caregiving. His research receives prestigious funding from three of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health. The book is arranged in seven Parts: each part divided into minichapters. I found the book to be a wonderful handbook on how to provide comfort to a loved one using, for the most part, rationale strategies, and at the same time, making sure that you, as the caregiver, stay healthy and strong - physically and emotionally. Parts One and Two ("Putting Yourself First" and "Building a Network of Support") contain critical advice and strategy for sustaining yourself and your network of resources. I particularly liked Part Three which deals with massage - "conveying presence and compassionate intention through touch". The explanations and guidance, here, are outstanding. I confess to some difficulties with Parts Four and Five which deal with energy and healing. I am trained as a cell and molecular biologist and can not understand the flow of intangible energies between people, sometimes over great distances. But then skeptics must have said the same thing about radio waves, years ago. Parts Six and Seven ("Affirmative Communication" and "Simple Gifts") contain gems that we can all use, every day. Indeed, this book provides "Simple ways to offer support, comfort, and care to a loved one..." period - whether your loved one is facing an illness, or not. Collinge makes continual references to the heart: first as a vital physiological organ, but also as our metaphorical source of devotion, love, and emotional strength. While "Hands are extensions of your heart", so too are our lips extensions in expressing our (heart-felt) thoughts. You don't need to wait until a loved one is ill to discover this book.

5 out of 5 stars.
Something no friend or family member of a person in pain should be without, March 9, 2009
By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

A loved one in pain puts you in pain. "Partners in Healing: Simple Ways to Offer Support, Comfort, and Care to a Loved One Facing Illness" is a reference and inspirational guide to those who are faced with supporting a loved one who is not well and needs all the help they can get. Highlighting the importance of taking care of oneself even when your loved one has it worse, getting other family members to assist, and many techniques to make life happier all around, "Partners in Healing" is something no friend or family member of a person in pain should be without.

5 out of 5 stars.
In love with healing, January 12, 2012, Jessie B

After learning about the Touch, Caring and Cancer I knew I wanted and needed to read this book. I have so many pages bookmarked of inspiration, guidance, and of love that I use this book consistently in my massage practice with my clients directly as well as when teaching caregivers how to re-connect with their loved ones. After spending a weekend using the messages, and instructions from this book I learned how much of a blessing Partners In Healing is in restoring relationships, and reconnecting the power of touch. I tell everyone they need this book and to spread the word.

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About the Book Partners in Healing

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Instructional Video Program

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