The Wisdom In Deep Listening

Colorful Tree

Psychotherapy is about finding those parts of us which have been lost from awareness. What has been lost from consciousness leaves a hole , a place which feels empty –  an inner sense of deep deficiency or unworthiness.   When we turn our attention to exploring these empty places within,  we can find memories of hurt feelings and conflicts that block our natural ability to connect to others.

Our most habitual and compelling feelings and thoughts define the core of who we think we are.  When we are caught up in a sense of being unworthy, the universal sense that ‘something is wrong’ turns into the feeling that ‘something is wrong with me’.  This felt sense keeps us on the run, driven by desperate efforts to get away from ourselves.

In psychotherapy we pay attention to what someone is doing to ‘fill’  the holes they feel within:  addictive attachments to substances, activities, and people.  Ironically, our improvised ‘solutions’ to pain most often result in new, worse problems!  By exploring the strategies used to block the feeling of what is painful,  and by bringing awareness to the underlying feelings,  we find the path to healing.

Our empty places, our ‘holes’, can ultimately only be filled by connection: by being listened to and by learning to listen deeply to ourselves.   In psychotherapy, this involves bringing attention to what is being said and what is not being said.  This quality of deep listening connects us heart-to-heart and cultivates the capacity for self-compassion.