A Night to Remember: An Autoethnographic Window into Facilitating a Dinner and Stories Event for Healthcare Workers

  • Susan Breiddal
Keywords: self-care, palliative care, healthcare, creative writing, group work, culture of care, autoethnography


In this autoethnography, a counselor shares her story of facilitating a Dinner and Stories group for professional health care providers.  Arising from a research group intended to assess the value of sharing significant moments of awe or despair, while providing palliative care, authentic dialogues were used. The purpose of the piece is to show the skills needed by the facilitator which include but are not limited to: setting the tone; establishing rapport; building a safe container for emotion; providing physical comfort and nourishment; creating engagement; and modeling intimate conversation.  These skills create an atmosphere where participants can be intimate and vulnerable, and explore issues in a supportive way. This research will be of interest to those interested in promoting emotional health and support in the workplace.