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Jennifer W. Mack

and Stephen Liben

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date: 22 February 2020

Communication is the framework that supports the clinician–child/family relationship, and this relationship is itself therapeutic, as has been expressed by the many bereaved parents who have said ‘I don’t know how I would have got through this without you/your team.’ Through communication, clinicians learn who the child and family members are as unique human beings, and have the opportunity to develop relationships that form the context of care and decision making over time. Although the words that are used in conversations are important, the connections that are developed with patients and their families constitute the true significance of this work. It is in building solid and often profound relationships that both clinicians and families can find meaning in even the most difficult circumstances. Indeed, for many who work with these children and their families, such relationships are one of the main reasons why they continue to choose to do this work.

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