11.1.1  Listening with interest

An ear
Your ears are two of your most important tools.

For a good understanding of your clients’ problems it is necessary to listen to them with interest and patience. People like to relate their own personal feelings and ideas. It is important to provide adequate privacy and give the clients ample time to tell their story. Active listening involves careful attention not just to what is being said but also to how it is said and to the feelings expressed by your client. Based on what you hear and observe you can then adjust your response to the client. To show your client that you are an active listener it can also be helpful to refer to earlier conversations and discussions. Active listening requires respect for the client’s view even if you do not agree with them.

11.1  General approaches to people with mental health problems

11.1.2  Acceptance people’s beliefs