What are Speaking and Listening Therapies?

Kamakshi Nanda
Kamakshi Nanda
  • Updated


Speaking & Listening Therapies initially sets out to make you feel comfortable in the therapy space to express your emotional needs. Starting therapy is a big step itself in living a healthier and best life possible. Here you’ll emerge to find your voice and the apt words to express your bottled up feelings.

Remember how during your school days you would sometimes tense up and feel confused…especially when you have an argument with someone or a friend said something hurtful or when you unintentionally made someone sad?

Do you recall how talking to your parents or siblings or your best friend about the troubling incident untied the knots in your tiny stomach? How your little self felt comforted and reassured by their kind words.

As you grow older there are a myriad of situations where the stress and the pressure get the better of us. On several of these occasions, don’t you wish you could relive those care-free childhood days when troubles could be forgotten in the arms of your family or besties?

In adult life, as much as we would like this our loved ones and friends cannot always provide the emotional and mental support that we need. It is difficult to talk or even hear out their point of view. Some of us may even try to hide what’s gnawing at us from them. Our bottled up emotions leach out from us through periodic anger episodes, or unintended nastiness to other, or self-harm. You may feel as though you have become a ball of negative energy where everything in life, looks dark, ugly and undesirable.

The Giant Leap Forward – Going for Therapy

Yet, all is not lost. You can proactively change that by seeking assistance from professionals to help you navigate the constant stream of negativity.

Still, you are not sure if therapy is the answer…

Ask anyone who has ever seen a therapist, and they’ll tell you that half the battle is won when you take the decision to see a therapist.

Once your mind is made up for therapy, you have automatically taken a giant leap forward. To a future where your mind and body will not have to house so many of your inner doubts, questions, frustrations, disappointments, etc, and the consequent positive impact of the release of those emotions.

As there are several different types of Speaking and Listening Therapies available, you might be lost in knowing which one is best suited to you. It may be useful in discussing with your health care provider or General Physician to point you towards the right direction.

No matter the type, all Speaking and Listening Therapies do exactly what the title suggests. They hear you out…in whichever way you talk about your thoughts, in whatever tone you adopt and however you express your accompanied feelings. There are no hard and fast rule about how you go about venting to your therapist. It will be a non-judgemental space where you would be encouraged to not hold back or limit your words. To express yourself freely and openly.

In a session, whether online, via telephone or on site, typically you start with being seated in a comfortable position but may walk around while in therapy. You could either be alone with the therapist, or seated in a circle with a group of participants headed by a trained practitioner. Group settings themselves can be therapeutical because it helps knowing that you not the only one with those problems. If you want, you can also choose to be accompanied by family, partner or friend to therapy.

What follows initially is like any other social interaction you’ve had before where introductions are made. The Therapist would then ask you to elaborate on your reasons for coming to see them.

Learning how to talk

You may find answering their first question difficult. Emotions will surge within you, like a wave taking on tsunami level proportions. You might falter as you try to wrap your head around all the things not going right for you. As this is not an exam. Simply saying that, “There is a lot going on” is good enough.

You might get cold feet because suddenly when there is someone in front of you wanting you to talk about your issues you find yourself tongue tied. The problems that you are encountering are so humungous in your head, you don’t know how to put words on them. Your emotions are indescribable. “Uh oh…what have I gotten myself into” might be your first worry. The second being “will this really help me”.

No sweat…it is not yours but thankfully the professional’s job to assist you in finding words to articulate your distraught confused mental state. They need to discover the key to your locked up emotions. To do this the therapist might talk about your possible symptoms, like suffering from insomnia, your alcohol habits, your deteriorating relationship with loved ones, etc. And no…this is not an exercise in fault-finding. On the contrary, your therapist is just trying to get a bigger picture of where you are at in your professional and personal life, and about you, so as to tailor their treatment to meet your needs.


Speaking Up

Now that you would have learned how to talk…you will do a lot more of that. The therapy will provide you with a welcoming open space to speak your mind and to take in what’s currently happening in your life. Your therapist meanwhile will keep a tab about what’s been going on in your life from one session to the next. They will try to map out regular patterns in your behaviour. They will educate you with tools to deal with your negativity and ask you to use them in your daily life. You’ll gradually develop a healthy rapport with your therapist. A relationship of trust.

Therapy will enable you to gain access to the emotional core of your troubling experiences. Meaning you will be able to reckon with the identified life situations that challenge you and their accompanied feelings. Dealing with all this initially might make you feel overwhelmed and drained of energy. Still the knowledge of your vulnerability and soft points will make you feel less insecure and more sure-footed about various elements in your life such as where you stand in your relationship vis-a-vis your lover, your professional job, substance use, etc.

Therapy will also glean insights into the conflict zones of the issues that adversely affect you. This would help in widening your outlook and making your more receptive to the range of options available for handling those contentious topics. Encouraged by your therapist you shall begin to chalk out and realise achievable goals in your desired objective. With every single task accomplished your confidence will grow, and further cement the foundation of positive thoughts in you.

Unburdened from your strains and pressure, you will emerge more in tune with your emotions and mood swings, and thus more grounded.


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