All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Creating a Caring Presence Week 2 Discussion of Primer Chapters 2 – 3 & Listening & Caring Chapters 2/8 Reply To: Week 2 Discussion of Primer Chapters 2 – 3 & Listening & Caring Chapters 2/8


@Chaplain Brinker

Week Two:
I apologize to the class for not posting last week. Life and work were too demanding an complex for writing text and posting…
Listening Caring Skills
p. 29 in one form or another I have been using paraphrasing for over 40 years. I find that it is a skill I can always improve upon. In my early years of ministry I remember visiting a member of my church parish, were the bedside responses of the parishioner were confusing to me. I fell back on what I now all “crude parroting” repeating almost word for word what I had heard. It wasn’t very skillful, eventually the patient said, “ You’re repeating what I am saying.” It opened the door for me to admit I was confused by her responses and we were able to move into a space of clearer communication.

I can still feel anxious when conversations seem filled with mixed messages or incongruent information. Perhaps that is my I really liked the three categories of positive questions: free information, deletion, and distortion. I find these are helpful, practical ideas I can use to assess what I am hearing.

p. 52 By nature, I tend to approach people and relationships from an analytical/intellectual starting point. I can often be aware there is an emotion present in the moment, but finding the name for the feeling takes some efforts and work. I see this part of my journey as part of growing in emotional maturity and sets toward greater empathy. For these reasons I found the chart on page 52 a gold mine.

p. 57 Fogging! I never encountered this approach before. In the past I have reacted very defensively to criticism and I have seen the downward negative spiral my reaction has had of conversations and relationships. I have learned when I am defensive, I am often already not in good place, but feeling vulnerable with memory of past hurts forming the basis of my self-protective responses. I find this concept a very positive, and responsible approach to criticism. I can see how it can diffuse the negative power of criticism. It isn’t being a door mat inviting someone to walk all over me. But it does recognize what may well be true in the message coming toward me.

p. 27 This author is skillful in consistently carrying the theme of the one-room school forward through the book. It is a nice literary device, as seen in the GRAMMAR acrostic on page 27. These logical memory prompts spark my interest. But my struggle is that after I read the book, I fail to remember all the parts. The story about the night visitor was wonderfully successful in the end. In similar situations, I have been extremely aware of the importance of the person’s need, and the inward pressure I felt to guide the suicidal person to a life affirming choice. At those times I have never relied on a series of steps; but I remember desperately calling upon the Holy Spirit to save a life from suicide. Experience, learning, gaining skills have all added pastoral care tools to my toolbox. In the end I offer what I can to do God, then pray and trust.

Feedback is most welcome. David Brinker