Val Walker – Homepage


Val writes about the art of comforting, breaking through isolation, and building community after loss. She is the author of The Art of Comforting which won the Nautilus Book Award in 2011, and 400 Friends and No One to Call (Central Recovery Press, March, 2020.)


After 20 years as a rehabilitation counselor, Val provides consulting and coaching to nonprofit and government agencies serving people with disabilities and family caregivers. She is certified as a Human Rights Advocate by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, and provides staff training.


Val teaches at senior centers, community education centers and continuing education programs on the topic of building community networks and friendships with her course, Brave New Friendships. She also provides a course called The Gift of Comforting to build our confidence as comforters for people in distress.

Val is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today, exploring the topics of loneliness, breaking out of isolation, and building community. Her new book, 400 Friends and No One to Call,  was released on March 26th with Central Recovery Press. A former rehabilitation counselor, Val teaches and speaks throughout New England and contributes to the Health Story Collaborative in Boston.


Val’s latest blog posts for Psychology Today


How Sensitive Are You to Social Media? A Self-test. 



The Fear of Not Measuring Up (in Times of Social Distancing)



Are You Judgmental of Lonely People? A Self-Test


Recognition for The Art of Comforting: What to Say and Do for People in Distress (Penguin/Random House, 2010)

Nautilus Book Award, Gold Medalist, Grief and Loss Category, 2011

Coalition of Visionary Resources Book Award, First Runner Up, 2011

Recommended by the Boston Public Health Commission in their Guide for Survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing

Penguin Random House featured title, There’s A Book for That: Hope, Healing and Doing Good