Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Help by Listening

After a 45 minute session with a client she thanked me for my insight.

She said I’d given her advice she could use to help resolve her emotional issues. She felt much better and was looking forward to our next appointment.

As she left the office I scratched my head. Because during the 45 minutes or so I’d said not more than 20 or 30 words. All I’d done was listen as she poured out her troubles

But the lesson for me is that a lot of times all people need is someone to listen. Often they know the answers. But when they share with another person sometimes things become clear. Plus they're in the nonjudgmental environment of a therapy session.

Our front line managers tell me that listening to clients seems to defuse so-called problems. Sometimes just the idea that someone cares enough to listen helps newcomers get back on track.

Simply by listening we can all be helpful.

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