What are the qualifications of the Listeners?
Many people have listening skills, developed through a range of different experiential and more formal learning means. Beyond counsellors and therapists, there are many, many different jobs and experiences where listening is key. ALL have been invited to participate as Listeners.
The criteria for being a Listener with The Listening Project is that individuals are invited to apply, outlining their relevant listening experience and training, and letting us know very clearly WHY they are volunteering to be a Listener. They agree to use Heart Centred Listening, as outlined in our Heart Centred Listening Guide. That agreement has been documented.
I have something I need to say, what do I have to do?
If you would like to be heard, if you have something that you need to have listened to and understood, then please let us know. Simply click on “I need to talk”, and we will find a Listener for you.
You will be contacted with names and contact details for two Listeners. If you would like to choose one, however both will have been prepared to expect your call, email, text. Arrange a time and way to talk that works for you, and we begin.
What is your actual offering?
The Listening Project is for those who do not qualify for any underwritten psychological support – but who could really do with having someone listen to them.
Listening can be:
- By phone/skype/zoom call
- A text via Facebook or Whatsapp
- A listening circle provided in your workplace for staff who have been distracted or impacted and need a small group check in.
- A group of listeners who set up chairs in the mall and just pay attention for a couple of yours.
- A pathway conversation towards structured services and ongoing self-care frameworks.
What was the motivation behind this project?
It started with some personal impact. Lyndall’s sister, who lives in Bermagui with her family of 12 (and a baby on the way), spent New Year’s Even morning with thousands of others huddled on the beach in Bermagui ready to shield themselves from the fire in the water. The immediate threat passed, but there was more to come and, without electricity, telephone, water or sewerage they were evacuated. Their three carloads joined a slow-moving snake of cars that travelled over Brown Mountain through thick smoke, trusting Canberra was a good place to go. Over the days that have unfolded since, while there was no actual fire damage to their property (thankfully), what has become clear is that the psychological damage of having been so close to something so terrifying, without reliable information, has been done.
This sent us to thinking about the many thousands of people who will be in similar situations. Frightened, confused, evacuated, displaced – but ultimately able to return to their homes ‘as if nothing has happened’. But the drive home tells them just how much has changed. And how close it came. And the tears fall again. And we thought about just how complex trauma of this type actually is – when ‘nothing happens’.
We also became aware of the fact that those without actual fire damage, were not eligible for any government or insurance underwritten psychological support in relation to their experience. All funds were being understandably directed towards those who had experienced fire damage.
And then we realised that every Australian existed somewhere between completely devastated to actually impacted but not on our backsides, to not directly impacted but feeling anxious, helpless and trying to make sense, on the broad spectrum of impact.
Those who were tucked away in metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide – experienced some of the smoke, and had the significant impact of visuals on television and social media, listening to radio commentary for fire updates, worry about affected family and friends, reading posts arguing about what caused the fires and what science is valid and what leadership should look like.
The response from many was an outpouring of support, from all over the country and across the world. Others struggled to know what to do. Many felt highly anxious. Like many others, we wondered where we could best contribute our help, support and care.