Trauma Informed Series Exercises: Week Five – Active Listening

Week Five: Active Listening
by Dr. Will Henson

Active listening is a super skill in terms of supporting kids with trauma, building relationships, and also getting kids to listen to YOU. This week we (i.e. you) are going to give it a try. Let’s make this simple…in three conversations this week, you are going to do the following:

  • Just listen – Don’t think about what you are going to say next, just listen. Even if you don’t agree, really listen to try to understand what the person is saying.
  • Show it – Show you are listening by making eye contact, nodding, and maybe occasionally giving a one-word verbal response (yes, I see etc…)

Remember a few more things: All this has to be natural. It’s not a technique or trick, you are really, actually, honestly, listening for real. After you listen, you don’t get to give a lengthy response and especially not a rebuttal. Do this in three conversations this week and see what happens.

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