As counselors, we are taught various ways to offer intentional, compassionate, and active listening to clients. When someone is actively listening, they’re intentionally focusing on the other person. The listener is expected to repeat what the client has said; in other words, we must understand what the client is saying.
We must get a clear picture of what the client is talking about by asking questions and staying attuned to the details of what they’re saying.
Next is an affirmation; a struggling person has probably sought counseling to have their problems acknowledged by a professional. We should reflect problems and feelings to the client and help them explore this difficulty in depth.
Intentional Active Listening
I find it beneficial when the counselor can offer this understanding to allow the client to hear back what they have just shared. The counselor benefits and understanding the content, and the client benefits from feeling affirmed and validated for their feelings. In this realm, it is also acceptable to challenge the client in a non-threatening way that will help them see a situation differently.
Another critical area of active listening focuses on facilitating the space and emotional regulation on the counselor’s part. The client should feel safe and understood during the sessions.
The tone of the counselor’s voice and the body language the counselor should match what the client is feeling to some degree. These forms of facilitation are imperative to building a solid working relationship.
If you are looking for a therapist who incorporates active listening in session check out our Wellness Based Therapies here.
With Intention, Sarafina