Sat, 28 January 2023





Through listening and empathy the art of the helping relationship

'' Counseling '', an Anglo-Saxon expression which, however, derives its origin from the Latin verb '' consulo ''. '' Consulo '' with the meaning of consoling, and also counselor, those who practice it should be nothing more than the expression of giving comfort but also help and understanding. Understanding obtained through listening, received through a human, open approach, free as much as possible from preconceptions and prejudices and essentially based on empathy (from ancient Greek "????????") en (?? - inside ) - phatos (????? - to suffer / feel), therefore with the ability not to judge but to identify with the problem and understand through a profound sensitivity the moods of the person in front of you, analyzing their gestures and every nuance of the story, carefully evaluating every single word as well as every single moment of indecision or silence.

Listening, but also the ability to dialogue to obtain through verbal exchange both the understanding of the problem and the analysis of the same through multiple angles, to orient, to search in the depths of the soul the energies necessary to face the changes that can be brought about come. Word but also silence, because not only through the use of dialectics but also in the absence of the melody of the word, or through non-verbal communication, the one that does not allow you to wear masks, but rather reveals more easily and more than any other the true profound self, the true feelings of the other and through which it is often easier to offer him reassurance or allow him to reach that conclusion with his own strength than perhaps through an elaborate but totally impersonal discourse.
The gift of knowing how to listen, of knowing how to understand identifying oneself with those in front of us, of approaching them empathetically, but also of knowing how to take them by the hand, not through the use of science as a doctor must necessarily do, but by being close to them. , taking care of it, helping that someone to draw from himself from the depths of his depths, those energies, those resources that he already has, and that he must only be able to find in his heart.

The gift of patience. Knowing how to listen also means knowing how to follow the rhythms of the other, respect his times, and the conflicting emotions that can accelerate or slow down his words. Sensitivity, which goes hand in hand with empathy, knowing how to perceive feelings, even unexpressed ones, which, more than visible reactions, behind the smallest gestures, or in the depths of the eyes, know how to reveal the secrets of the human soul. Understanding, dialectics, sensitivity, patience, open-mindedness, but above all the gift of knowing how to listen, and knowing how to understand the pain and feelings of others through empathy, the golden key to reach the heart of those who ask a counselor for help, while the knowing how to give courage, help to regain awareness, the light within us, the main purpose that the latter must ask himself in front of those who help him. Those who help seek from a counselor, unlike those who turn to a doctor, (Counseling in fact is not a medical practice, therefore it is aimed at a different type of people, that is, not manifestly affected by disorders that require only and exclusively operated by a doctor), does not seek a solution from above, but above all offers understanding and listening, that is, not a cure but the necessary means that allow those who support requests, to recover that inner light, i.e. awareness in themselves, in order to recover confidence in their abilities, to recognize even the most intimate and perhaps unexpected resources contained in the depths of the soul, and to rediscover those energies that perhaps seemed lost or even believed not to possess.

A path, a journey, undertaken together, but which only the person seeking help will be able to, courageously opening the door to his deepest depths, finding the answers, overcoming obstacles through the inner energy he already possesses and which during the path will be able to recover, up to the goal, to find the solution, which will have obtained, with the support, the support of the counselor, but above all with his strength, and with the shining light of his spirit, which will not abandon him, while the counselor, will have the merit of having favored this awareness, this reconquest of the '' I ''. Being able to find one's energies, to regain self-confidence, or to discover hidden talents, already present in the intimacy of a person, but dormant or even unknown is perhaps the most difficult task, but certainly the most important and rewarding for a counselor. In a society like ours, cold, which admits with difficulty, if at all, indecision as error, indeed, which does not allow us to make mistakes, or to make choices that in the long run will prove difficult to sustain. , for those who often by circumstances have been forced to do them, without taking into account all the possible implications, even the noble motivations that lie upstream, to recover self-esteem, and personal appreciation in their abilities or merits , therefore knowing how to find once again the light of the soul: the awareness of one's own individuality and of everything that belongs to our innermost, to our deepest sphere, is of fundamental importance.
Too often, due to a small mistake, or an unsuccessful choice, we begin to believe that we do not count for anything, that we are devoid of any capacity, that we do not deserve to be happy, and that we waste our existence, dragging himself day after day, in a gray and empty routine, devoid of prospects, where every hour every minute is consumed in a myriad of '' I didn't do '' '' I had to do '' '' I could '', and so on . Without however glimpsing in all that forest of 'no' how many 'yes' are hiding behind it.
Not everything we intend to achieve will be successful, it would be absurd to believe that every single project can be completed and be a success, not only in the case of the great moments of life, where it is necessary to make choices that will be decisive for the future, such as starting university, for example, or starting a business, or starting a family.
Important, fundamental and above all decisions that do not only involve our will and our desires, so before talking about any failures with a single subject as guilty (where by subject we mean whoever blames himself for it), in the case of situations of this magnitude it would be necessary to reflect, also on the part that other people have had in the bad performance of a life project. Therefore, alongside the great choices, the great steps that every human being takes during his entire journey on this earth, there are the small moments, the small decisions, the daily life, certainly no less important for the well-being of the self, nor for the self-esteem of a subject, which normally is created, increases or unfortunately decreases a little at a time every day, then causing damage beyond what one could not imagine could depend on a single grain of sand.

Sabrina Gatti
sociologist, writer, counselor, digital artist


Date: 2 July 2022Author: Sabrina Gatti


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