We believe that everyone carries inside themselves the potential for problem-solving that leads to personal growth. As supportive listeners, our job is not to figure out “What can I do to solve this person’s problem?” but to instead help our clients find their own answers and insights.
This style of listening involves four components, once identified by psychologist Carl Rogers as empathy, acceptance, congruence, and concreteness.
Empathy is the effort to understand your internal frame of reference. We try to understand your thoughts and feelings as they are, not as someone else thinks they should be. We want to hear you without judging you, so you can explore your problems — and yourself — according to your own lights.
Acceptance means having respect for a person for simply being a person. Unconditional acceptance encourages you to be less defensive and to explore aspects of your situation that you might have otherwise kept hidden.
Congruence requires openness, frankness and genuineness on the part of the listener. As congruent listeners, we are in touch with our feelings and communicate them honestly. This allows you to come out from behind your own façade and begin your journey to true self-knowledge.
Concreteness focuses on specifics rather than generalities. When talking about painful feelings, it might seem easier to be vague, but you can’t solve personal problems with impersonal language. Our listeners encourage concreteness by asking you to talk about actual incidents connected to your important life issues so you can explore them fully.
Our listeners know that the most important part of being heard is feeling that you have been completely understood. We are happy to hold up our end of meaningful conversations that help you along the way to personal discovery.
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