Abstract graphic of human head with flowers, cloud and lightening bolt

I’m Listening

One of the reasons I was drawn to being a therapist is my passion for listening. I’ve been fortunate to be around some pretty good listeners in my life, but I also know what it’s like to have my words go unheard. ‘Did that person tune in to even one word of what I just said’, I’ve sometimes wondered?

Not being heard by another can cause us to doubt ourselves: We are more prone to dismiss or even disregard why we spoke in the first place.

A good listener has a way of letting us know—by their very presence– that our thoughts are both valued and vital. When you know someone is really listening, you know your words matter. You matter.

A good listener listens with a ‘third ear’, as psychologist Theodore Reik once put it: That means listening to what is said and left unsaid; to someone’s actual words and the spaces between them; to their outer wrapping and their unwrapped, deeper meaning.

As a therapist, I aim to listen to those words, not in silence, but in connection, so that the way I respond might stimulate, sooth and sustain a path to understanding and enhanced discovery.

I also listen knowing that talking freely without fear may be hard for some people—especially if you haven’t been heard in the past. You might also worry about being judged. Or maybe you think your truths are just too private or painful or won’t be grasped.

In my practice, then, I seek to create an atmosphere for good listening. The climate I cultivate involves trust and patience and a focus that sharpens both my ability to hear and your ability to be who you are and speak without inhibition. We build that trust together, at its own natural pace.

Real listening also means real caring. Therapy is a professional encounter, but it is so deeply personal, too.

You are the one inviting me into an important, ongoing conversation about your life. I try to honor that invitation. I believe my clients see someone who genuinely appreciates all that they are and seek to become: someone who can help them feel better, get better, be better. It’s a journey we take together. The destination matters to both of us.

True listening creates the setting for open and creative conversation. The power of candor, compassion, and collaboration can’t be overstated. When my clients visit, they can be certain: I’m listening.

Dedicated to Tom Gasparoli