Active Listening

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jesster35
Words 692
Pages 3
Active listening is listening beyond the words spoken. Listening to a person in order to sense what they are thinking and feeling, beyond the words they say. (Hoppe, 2006) Active listening is an important part of the human service industry.

Active listening is used in the therapeutic setting to affectively understand the patient and helps bring solution to their problem. There may be things a patient is thinking or feeling that they are confused or embarrassed about, so they do not effectively communicate them.

I find this especially true in working with Children. I spend some of my free time mentoring foster children, specifically 3 girls between the ages of 8-11. When talking with them about “serious” issues, like friend problems or rejection things they face. I cannot be a passive listener while mentoring them. I have to listen to things they are not saying but they are fully communicating. Like shame or embarrassment; when they shift uncomfortably because they feel guilty. They could be talking about a problem with a friend at school and I would have to realize that they were talking about deeper issues, such as trust issues. These are things that they do not verbally communicate with me, but reading body language and voice inflection I can start to understand what they are really feeling, even if they don’t realize that’s how they feel.

A while ago I was “having ice cream” with one of the girls because she had just gotten ISS and her social worker asked for someone to spend some extra time with her. She was telling me about the fight her and a girl got in. She told me the story, I’m sure she had rehearsed, but as I watched her communicate with me I noticed certain things. She’d shift very uncomfortably when she was telling me half-truths, trying to hide her misdeeds. Because I had built a rapport and trust with her, when I “called her out”, she…...

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