When In Doubt ? Just Listen
by Jill
Thursday, 27 January 2011

?Very early in my work, I discovered that simply listening to my client very attentively was an important way of being helpful. So when I was in doubt as to what I should do, in some active way, I listened. It seemed surprising to me that such a passive kind of interaction could be so useful?. ~ Carl Rogers
A thumbnail sketch of Carl Rogers: The impact Carl Rogers had on the therapeutic movement is profound. Some say there is a ?before Rogers? period and an ?after Rogers? period, such is the significance of his approach and methods.

The word ?humanistic? is associated with the work of Carl Rogers ? personally, I believe it?s a good thing to bring humans ?front and centre? into this kind of work. Carl Rogers believed in the philosophy of relationship. He believed that ?the client has within themselves the ability to move towards wholeness? ? a radical thought at the time when the therapist was definitely sitting in the I?m The Expert On You chair. Carl Rogers is credited with the ?listening for feelings? approach to therapy ? at a time when thought reigned supreme, to bring feelings to the fore was indeed very progressive.

The debt we owe to Carl Rogers in his understanding of human beings and the human condition is unpayable. In the context of listening, he manages to tell us something simple and profound.
Of course, listening can also be complex. There are skills to be mastered, spaceto be created, connection to be fostered and pitfalls to be avoided. But it doesn?t have to be complex.

As one master has said: When in doubt, just listen.