In 2010, The Church of Scotland in Carluke initiated an audit within the town to investigate ways of reaching out to the local community. As a result of this audit, it was decided to investigate the possibility of developing a listening service.
A programme of listening training followed, and when the Rev Elizabeth Clelland from Braehead House, herself a very experienced listener, agreed to act as our supervisor, a Listening Ministry was offered. Currently in Carluke, we have 10 fully trained, supervised listeners working for the mission of the Church of Scotland in Carluke.
What is listening?
Sometimes, we have a need to talk over what is on our mind, tell our story or tell someone how we are feeling. At those times, we need to know that the person, who listens to us, will not judge us, interrupt us or hijack the conversation as their own. But instead, will value and respect us, treat everything we say in strict confidence and empower us to reach our own decisions.
Listening allows the speaker to explore and express their feelings so the listener must ensure that the speaker knows the space is safe and non-judgemental. As the listener reflects back to the speaker the feelings and thoughts expressed, this helps the speaker hear what they are saying and brings together their emotions and their thinking.
Through the use of set questions, listening empowers the speaker to reach their own conclusions, make decisions and hopefully move forward.
Listening is not counselling - no advice is given, interpretations and assumptions are not made. The speaker sets the agenda.
Of course, all that is shared during the listening session is strictly confidential unless it is outwith the law or the listener is concerned for someone's safety. Even after a period of time, all that is heard remains confidential.
So, why listen? What are the benefits of listening?
Good listening can contribute to the health and well-being of individuals and society. Consequently, listening initiatives have been set up nationally within organisations such as churches, GP practices, hospitals, prisons, universities and schools.
Good listening shows you value the person and care about what they are experiencing, feeling and thinking. Here in Carluke, one to one confidential listening sessions are available:
- each Monday in Kirkton Church at Crossroads Café between 12:00 noon and 1:30pm.
- each Thursday in St John's Church at Kettle's On between 10.00am and 12 noon.
- A listening in homes service is also offered in exceptional circumstances where the client is unable to attend one of the usual venues because they have become housebound.
Listening sessions are available on a drop-in basis or by appointment. If you would like to find out more or make an appointment, please call , or click the link, below: