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Who needs counsellors anyway!?

I have a theory!

If people were better listeners there would be a much lesser demand for counsellors. Often in life people just need to be properly heard, properly listened to, properly seen without others jumping in to give advice or waiting to jump in with a story about them.

In life we spend a a lot of time trying to give unsolicited advice, or try to let people know that we have experienced similar experiences.  Often this comes from a really good place of wanting to help, of wanting to make things better for others, to take their pain away. But often our actions are about us and us needing to help because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

Can we step outside of our frame of reference - the perspective from which an individual perceives, interprets, and evaluates information, experiences, and events. It encompasses a person's beliefs, attitudes, values, experiences, and cultural background, which shape their understanding and response to the world around them. Can we sit wholly in someone else’s frame of reference and allow them the space to express what is going on in their life and what they are experiencing?

It is maybe the first time in their life that they have experienced that kind of of listening. As a therapist we call this active listening. Active listening in psychology refers to a communication technique where the listener fully concentrates, understands, responds, and remembers what is being said. It involves giving verbal and nonverbal cues to show understanding and encourage the speaker to continue sharing. Active listening promotes empathy, rapport, and mutual understanding in interpersonal interactions.

Can you remember a time when you were actively listening to someone else?
Can you remember a time when someone else actively listened to you?
Can you set aside some time this week to give someone the gift of active listening?

Save them going by to a counsellor?!

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