Thanks for the chat Dave and Matthew.
One of the real learnings for me during my time with Lifeline Australia is reflecting on the three key attributes (and of course there are more than three…) that we look for in our Crisis Supporters, that is; Empathy, Self-awareness and Compassion.
Empathy is about being open to the feelings of others, at Lifeline we aim to validate feelings in a way that is non-judgemental.
Self-awareness is about being open to who we are in the conversation and what we bring into it – how do we suspend our own agenda?
Compassion, which as I mentioned in our chat, has at its (Latin) roots, a meaning that is about ‘suffering together’. That is, to resist the temptation to fix or end the suffering of others and instead, accept it, sit with it, and hold space with the person.
It can feel counter-intuitive in a world where we often struggle with the idea of ‘suffering’, yet at the same time, it’s so important for our ‘being’.
The paradox of helping?
If we can get our head around these three things, perhaps that would lead to better helping?
I’d welcome a further chat.