The Gift of Listening
Find a partner who has read this chapter or understands how vital it is for people to fully feel all of their feelings.
- Create a container by choosing a safe and private place, and setting a timer.
- Make sure you've got plenty of Kleenex on hand.
- For the person in need of the session, commit yourself to allowing all feelings to be expressed. The listener commits to accepting those feelings without defensiveness, fixing or responding.
- As the listener, you can begin the session by asking simple questions such as, "What are you feeling?" Remember, the best gift you can give someone who is having a session is to encourage them to fully empty their emotional balloon.
- A powerful tool to get an anger session rolling is to evoke emotion by having the sessioner match your volume and energy by completing the sentence, "I'm angry that…!" This tool can be used as needed throughout the session.
- Ask "What else?" if the sessioner seems complete, gets stuck or needs reassurance that you are still there and willing to continue listening.
- After the timer goes off, pause, breathe, and allow the emotions to settle. Then validate your partner for his or her courage. Remember, do not respond to anything that has been said.
- If necessary, "attention-out" with questions that move the sessioner from the heart to the head. You want to prepare the other person to either leave the session or switch to your turn, knowing their feelings are simply feelings, and that they can go back to school, work or life without their emotions running the show.
- If your partner has sessioned about someone else and that relationship is not complete, make sure the sessioner goes directly to the person to clear up anything that is between them. Then have your partner come back to you and let you know when that has been completed.
- What's said in the session stays in the session. It is crucial to keep all shares confidential. The only exception is if someone is in danger of physically hurting himself, hurting others or being hurt by another. In any of these situations, seek professional help and get your partner the support he or she deserves.