(intonations, gestures, etc). I must tune in on her emotionally, and respond back with facial expressions, body language as well as with words.
Meercat and I are co creating a space where she might feel that: •
‘I’m heard, my voice is worth listening to, even when it doesn’t make sense. In this space, were all my voices are worth listening to, there also exists a space for voices to evolve, be uttered and heard. When all my voices are of value I’m someone worth listening to. I’m someone who can think, talk, reflect and be loved’.
This requires a benevolent partner, a listener who welcomes Meercat’s voices, who: •
takes a responsive stance, is interested, curious and acknowledges her voices, is sensitive and emotionally tuned in on the uniqueness of her being, and thereby creates a space for a reflexive process where she can explore and express herself.
This might be useful as a listening stance reminder. A glance at the Research Questions11 During my work with the research dialogues and the reflections I experience a connection between how I listen and how Meercat feels heard. I also believe that I have got a deeper understanding of the qualities of this listening stance. I think this will be useful in my further collaboration with Meercat. But at the same time there is obviously also an ambivalence here that it is necessary for Meercat and me to talk about. I’ll take with me to clinical work elsewhere this reminder about the importance of continually negotiating the context.
I had not planned to elaborate on the third research question in this first part of the inquiry. However, Meercat’s feeling that ”there is always something extra that comes along unexpected” precisely describes the notion of new voices. These bear the signs of richer, less rigid thoughts about the relationships around her.
It will be interesting to see if the knowledge about how to listen will make me a better listener and if this will invite more of Meercat’s voices to be expressed. A little later in the process I 11
1. What is the relationship between the Meercat’s feeling of being heard and the therapist taking a listening stance? 2. What is the quality of the listening? 3. What is the relationship between the Meercat’s feeling of being heard and her emerging voices? The 4th research question will be reflected on in Chapter 8.