Supportive Listening

Each person takes half the time available, to be listened to and simply paid attention to even if not talking. The other half of the time you are the listener.

The listener may offer supportive words, but should not interrupt or bring in their own experience. It is enough just to be listening attentively and non-judgementally. It is OK for there to be pauses; the listener does not have to "interview" you, or otherwise keep the conversation going.

Being listened to in this way helps you move through what is distracting you from being clear. It is a way of moving you on to being able to take initiative in new ways.

From experience, just having someone listen to you with no strings attached can bring up strong feelings. This is especially true when you stop talking a lot and really notice that someone is listening to you supportively. Although this can be scary, it's a positive experience. Try not to be embarrassed.

This is done in absolute confidentiality. Afterwards, the listener must not refer to what is said to anyone, not even to the person who said it.

Updated: 6-17-02