The Power of Active Listening

Course excerpt from Active Listening: Techniques that Work for Children and Parents

What Is Active Listening?

Active Listening: Techniques that Work for Children and ParentsActive listening is a communication technique that is used in counseling, conflict resolution and training, as well as in many other everyday situations. The listener is required to repeat what they hear the speaker say by re-stating directly or paraphrasing. This way, both the speaker and the listener know that their words have been heard and understood by the other, confirming understanding by both parties.

According to McNaughton & Thistle (2015), the skill of active listening is frequently identified as a key component in developing a collaborative relationship with parents and other team members. Active listening typically includes at least three major elements:

  1. The listener conveys nonverbal involvement immediacy through the provision of unconditional attention.
  2. The listener paraphrases both the content and the feelings in the speaker’s message in an effort to demonstrate awareness of the speaker’s intent.
  3. The listener asks questions to encourage the speaker to provide additional information on his or her feelings or beliefs.

Using this technique can:

  • Help in counseling parents and clients effectively
  • Promote positive relationships between clinicians and clients
  • Promote self-growth and learning in our clients
  • Help clients overcome their difficulties

Additionally, active listening helps clients open up, avoid misunderstandings, resolve conflicts, build trust, increase satisfaction, improve cross-cultural communication, and deal with the negative feelings brought about by their communication disorders.

Click here to learn more.

Active Listening: Techniques that Work for Children and ParentsActive Listening: Techniques that Work for Children and Parents is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a valuable compilation of practical and ready-to-use strategies and techniques for achieving more effective communication through active listening. One of the fundamental tools of clinicians who work effectively with children and adolescents is the art of listening. Without this set of skills, clinicians are likely to miss essential pieces of information their clients are trying to communicate to them, whether with words or with behavior. When the word “active” is added to “listening” it alters and amplifies the communication process to include a dynamic feedback loop in which the speaker and the listener validate that each party has been accurately heard. Appropriate use of listening skills by a clinician can increase self-esteem in young clients and motivate them to learn. Using active listening skills, clinicians become more confident and manage their therapy and counseling sessions with a broader and mutually respectful dialogue. This course will teach clinicians how to employ innovative and practical communication and conversational skills in their individual and group therapy sessions with clients and their families, as well as in their working relationships with other professionals. These techniques can be applied to a wide variety of clinical, classroom and home situations, and case examples are included. Also included are sections on positive thinking and resilience, problem-solving skills, and the communication of emotion. Course #30-90 | 2017 | 70 pages | 20 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).