Know someone struggling with depression or anxiety? Or maybe they just have too much life stress and they are not handling it to the best of their ability. If you want to help, I have a great tip for you.
I was frustrated when I first learned this, and I feel like it deflates some of what professional counselors do, but none the less its true. I have seen the power of this one technique over and over in my career and I am always amazed by its ability to turn people around, to encourage, to ignite motivation, and to help feel loved.
After six years of college and two years of internship I was frustrated that the single most powerful thing I would ever do with someone was listen to them. I entered my education with the idea that I could uncover powerful Freudian techniques that were so useful they were dangerous and I was going to save the world one person at a time.
Well I am still on my quest to try and save the world one person at a time, but now I do it with a bit more humility.
The most powerful therapeutic intervention is a tool called “active listening”. If you want someone to feel better, regardless of their diagnoses, or the reason they are unhappy, chances are that active listening is the best tool you have to offer.
Below are steps to active listening:
Written by Brad Messenger, LMSW.