Listening Training can help alleviate stress related to a difficult start in life. Example situations could be one of a traumatic birth, frequent medical intervention, the loss of a parent, or any other situation that so easily can uproot a young child’s still fragile sense of belonging.

Listening Training will help parents and children to relate to each other with greater ease. And problematic behaviour could disappear without an excess of explaining, justification and conflict. This is specifically beneficial for those situations where ‘talking’ isn’t the answer, either because the child is young or the situation is too complex, controversial or painful.

Listening Training Versus Counselling

Listening Training appeals to the intuitive part of the brain, where fight, flight and other  primal responses are instigated. As long as a person is any one of these phases the overall higher functions of the brain are undermined. No ‘reasoning’ is ever enough or can leave a lasting impression as long as a person is upset.

Possible indicators:

  • Sleeping and eating disorders.
  • Developmental delays.
  • Lack of engagement.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Refusal to co-operate.
  • Random tantrums.
  • Accident-prone; risk-taking behaviour.
  • Insecurity; lack of self-worth.

In such situations talking, either with each other or with a counsellor, might not be the best approach, especially when a child is young, defensive or moody. It is of vital importance to first feel safe and accepted, even if there still may be a lot to learn and boundaries to be set.

Mother and child

Doing Listening Training can be a first and perhaps necessary step before ‘talk therapy’. It can move a conflict from an intuitive ‘black and white’ to a more nuanced phase without much discussion.

With very young children, we generally recommend to do an ‘audio re-birth’. Even in case of an adoption. Using the adoptive mother’s voice might just be the very bridge that’s needed, from a disrupted past to this crucial sense of belonging on a non-verbal, existential level. For more information on this see the page about the Parents’ Programme.

We have a good working relationship with schools in the Nelson-Tasman region. This means that, in many cases, we can do Listening during school hours. With older children, schools may suggest and provide extra homework that can be done during the sessions so, they don’t get behind.

We also work together with other health practitioners, especially with those with a body-oriented approach such as massage, cranio-sacral therapy and chiropractic interventions. If a child is happy to work in groups, we also offer small and short assertiveness courses.