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 the upcoming 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 topics of building community and friendships, reaching out to people in distress, and offering comfort to people living with grief and loss.

“It’s downright magical when people reach out to us on days we feel invisible. Suddenly we are seen and the whole world opens up to welcome us. Every day we have the power to create little sanctuaries of belonging with one another.

Let’s not shy away.”

400 Friends and No One to Call 


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 upcoming title is 400 Friends and No One to Call: Breaking Through Isolation and Building Community, set to release with Central Recovery Press in March, 2020. A former rehabilitation counselor, Val teaches and speaks throughout New England and contributes to the Health Story Collaborative in Boston. Her topics include comforting people in distress, breaking through isolation, and building social support after loss.


Recognition for The Art of Comforting

Nautilus Gold Book Award, Grief and Loss Category, 2011

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

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

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