I'm listening to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and one of the habits is to seek first to understand, then to be understood. And it talks about empathic listening--not judging, not agreeing(sympathy) but feeling what they feel(empathy). And that this is powerful.
According to Covey, the first need that follows physical survival is psychological survival: You matter. Conveying to a person that they have value.
And what's more, Stephen Covey says, you can have "no confidence in a prescription unless you are sure of the diagnosis."
Which leads me to the three reasons for psychological counseling according to the Jay E. Adams book, The Christian Counselor's Manual, which admittedly I have not read yet, merely reading it vicariously through Angie, so I won't go into it here.
Point being: You can't prescribe a treatment without an accurate diagnosis and understanding of the issue at hand.
Scriptures on listening.
8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.
He who answers before listening, that is his folly and his shame.
16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,