social icons graphic

Listening Skills

Listening Skills

I am often asked by practitioners and other non therapy bods what is required to be a good therapist. One of the key components for me is that a therapist needs to have astute listening skills. I outline these as:


Demonstrates attention and understanding

Lets the client know he/she has been heard

Aids clarity for counsellor and client

Keeps the encounter focused

Reassures by validation

Keeps the flow going

Gives the client a chance to correct, a feedback for accuracy

Allows insight and shift of perspective

Allows for greater self-awareness for the client

Aids awareness of client’s perspective for the counsellor

Gives space and pace

Allows counsellor to unburden self of client’s problems

Enables the client to adjust, expand and find what’s important

Reflecting Feelings

Brings hidden emotion to the surface

Gives client ‘permission’ to have and express feelings

Acceptance of feelings allows client to accept them too

Helps the client and counsellor explore what is really there

Takes the session to a deeper level

Aids the formation of the therapeutic relationship

Clarifies, checks and allows correction

Keeps flow going

Demonstrates empathy

NOT FOR passing comment

making judgment

adding in something of your own


Underlines the important points, (not all, so acts as a filter.)

Helps counsellor and client remember what has been said

Emphasises value of client, acts as further reassurance

Another chance for the client to correct

Puts the essence of the session into an acceptable form

Underlines and reinforces paraphrasing

Gives the session a structure

Gives the client a ‘package’ to take away

Acts as a transition, helping the client to recover

Takes the client from the emotional to the cognitive

Brings the client back into the world

Helps to end the session

A good hypnotherapist or psychotherapist will be able to embody these skills in order to help their clients to achieve their goals in the therapeutic session.

Recent Posts