Awareness and listening
If you recall any times in your life where you’ve been deeply heard and accepted by another, I imagine these moments of quiet connection were special ones.
There are many wonderful counselling traditions. Phil Mollon, a highly experienced clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, reminds us that whatever approach is used, the ability of the therapist to listen deeply and empathically is probably the most important part of the therapeutic mix:
'I feel it is best for us all – in our diverse fields – to lower the hype about ‘psychological therapies’. They are all helpful to some extent with some clients – but none have all the answers. The most important skill of the therapist is to listen – to listen deeply and with his or her whole being.' Phil Mollon
I see listening, awareness and mindfulness as very similar. We can listen to others with acceptance and openness to what they're experiencing. Awareness involves doing the same thing with ourselves. As your ability to listen well to yourself grows through counselling, mindfulness and/or other practices, you’re choosing to put the vital quality of here and now awareness in the driving seat of your life.
For me, therapy, like meditation, is mainly about developing awareness. It’s a healing light that can show us what's going on and help us make wiser choices. Here's a three minute breathing space that may help you slow down, relax and connect to yourself more fully.