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  • Writer's pictureJoe Griffiths-Barrasso

When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you...

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

“When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mould you, it feels damn good…” Carl Rogers





How often do you bare your soul to someone you hardly know? Welcome to counselling, of the Person-Centred variety.


First of all, speaking with a person who will not judge you, value your every emotion and feeling and genuinely listen to you is rare, unless you are in a counselling session. Most friends or family have your best interests at heart, but they also have their own opinions and views. Some of them are great listeners, but do they truly listen? Do they hold you while you get into the inner core of you? Would you actually trust them to believe you and maintain your relationship after you possibly shared something never shared before? Friends and fmaily are great support, but they are not, and cannot be your counsellor.


Never underestimate what counselling can do for you. The simplicity of listening, becoming emphatic to your way of being, and getting underneath your skin, non-obtrusively, because you let them in, and let them see your perspective on all things you. As you progress in therapy you realise you wanted the counsellor to be let in, and the counsellor gets to understand you. Often times a counsellor gets to know you in ways you were not consciously aware of. Not only that, a counsellor will also speak to you using your own style of language. Your language, which we see as a choice of words to express yourself, is unique to you. The words you use, and words unspoken both speak volumes about you.


One of the best aspects I most enjoy about counselling is getting to know the real person I am counselling. Believe it or not there are layers to what you know as you (or self) and these layers are revealed the more we work together, the more that is shared, the more discovery that is made the greater the healing potential, and the closer to yourself you become, consciously. The inner self is the collective of all of your sub-systems that make up your personality, and impact your thoughts, your evaluating processes, your hopes, your fears and much more. But although at first this is not important, as your presenting issues in therapy are the important aspects of the here and now, the therapeutic process will enable you to explore yourself. You could come away with the ability to hear your own needs and respond to them. In any given moment you could receive the clarity from deep within yourself that you might not have been aware of and this clarity will be the real, congruent you. Only then will your needs be met. Only then will you set real life goals that are all about you. Only then will your whole emotional content be geared towards what life can offer you in the way that you can truly perceive it.


And this whole process begins with listening.

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