Counselling Resource

Psychology, Philosophy & Real Life

Sarah Luczaj

Listening: A Whole Body Process

We might find that when we have time and space, or when we meditate, or go for walks, or write down what we are feeling, or whatever it is that we do, we end up just listening to our thoughts, which behave like the loudest guests at the party. We might never hear from that quiet girl in the corner who looks really interesting…

Listening to a client could be seen as the basic skill needed for therapists/counsellors. But listening to yourself has to come first. How to do it? Making time and space might not necessarily be enough. We might find that when we have time and space, or when we meditate, or go for walks, or write down what we are feeling, or whatever it is that we do, we end up just listening to our thoughts, which behave like the loudest guests at the party. We might never hear from that quiet girl in the corner who looks really interesting.

The way I see/feel/perceive it is that listening is a whole body process. If we are listening in to the fluctuations of our energy levels, anxiety levels, muscle tension, to the speed and intensity of our breathing, the tone of our voice, any aches and pains we have, as living and changing processes (not just “today I have a headache, it’s a bad day”), then our thoughts will not get a chance to dominate the whole proceedings. They will take their own specific place, along with all the other feelings and intuitions which make up our experience of the world.

Listening to ourselves is not just listening to our thoughts! When we tune in to everything we are aware of, not only do new understandings come, but often there is a sense of relief, or gratefulness, and physical relaxation. When we are in this state it is so much easier to find creative solutions to whatever discomforts we are feeling.

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