Listening to the Other

Listening to the Other

A new approach to counselling and listening skills

A practical, reader-friendly guide,this book will be welcomed by practitioners and students in a wide range of professions and voluntary groups. explores the role of the listener when away from the usual counselling scenario.


This practical book offers a new perspective on listening skills. Intended as a support to anyone whose professional or voluntary roles involve listening to others, it will have wide appeal to groups such as counsellors, advice workers, nurses, educators, clergy, complementary therapists or voluntary sector workers. The book provides a systematic approach to developing skills. It also explores the role of the listener in different contexts and the particular issues associated with working in situations where the usual boundaries of counselling are not in place. It suggests ways of offering a caring response to others and helping them to move towards healthier ways of relating and functioning in the world. Written in an easy style which avoids jargon, the book contains exercises which the reader may use to integrate the subject matter. Activities are framed in ways which make them accessible to the reader, who is studying alone, but the book is also suitable for groups to follow, and to this purpose, some guidance is given on ways of learning and practising skills in a group. Caroline Brazier has many years of involvement in inter-personal work in a variety of educational and community based settings. She is a founder member of Amida Order.


This book is an accessible, reflective introduction to listening skills in an almost infinitely wide range of settings. It will be of use to anyone whose role involves listening — counsellors, clergy, nurses, social workers and volunteers — and of use not only to the beginners at whom the book is primarily aimed, but also to the experienced, offering them a chance to deepen and widen their practice. The overall feel of the book is practical and inclusive. There is a refreshing lack of jargon and Brazier does not dig deeply into theory or abstraction. ~ Sarah Luczaj,

This is a worthy subject. Though being a good listener sounds easy, the art requires considerable training. Listening is a powerful method of caring and supporting someone who is in need of quality time and attention. When a person feels that another person has understood their pain, loss or unhappiness, they are often able to let go of the past and move on. Many useful exercises are provided. Caroline Brazier comes from a Methodist Christian background and holds a Masters degree in counselling. She is an ordained Buddhist minister and lectures worldwide. She works with the Amida Trust and Training Institute based in Leicestershire and North London and has written a number of books with her husband, David. I was particularly impressed with the Japanese Buddhist influence, called Nei Quan, which has an unusual perspective for us Westerners, but is, no doubt, a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual development. Nei Quan focuses on creating autonomy and achievement and it also confronts those who feel disillusioned or dissatisfied with their lot in life. For instance, it is asked of those examining their first three years of life: What did your mother do for you? What did you do for her in return? What trouble did you cause? Powerful stuff, eh? ~ Wendy Stokes, Eternal Spirit

Do you listen? Do you really listen? If listening is part of your profession, or if you want to develop your communication skills for personal reasons, this book will be of great assistance to you. Coming from a Buddhist background, Caroline Brazier has produced a fascinating book to guide students and the thoughtful reader. It is not just a good read, Listening to the Other offers a programme which will actively help develop skills, whether you are on your own, or learning within a group. The writing is eminently accessible and free from jargon and psychobabble. Topics covered include how we react to the world, how we are conditioned by it, how we support each other, how we form relationships and connections, and what can go wrong with these. Loss and grief are explored in detail and with great warmth. Within the text are many well thought-out and productive exercises for readers to undertake to support the learning. These will give the reader space to explore and develop their communication skills and provide insight. Driven by strong compassionate principles, but never preaching, the reader should be warned; this is a book which can change your life! Pass the stone! ~ Dr Peter Norrie PhD, MSc, RGN, MIBiol, HND,, Principal Lecturer in Nursing, De Montfort University, Leicester

An excellent book for all people in the helping professions who have to `listen’ professionally. As a teacher of social work at degree and M.A. levels, I will recommend that we use this book. It is practical and approachable and at the same time it develops reflection in the reader which, in my opinion, is an important part of social work training. This book also addresses issues of spirituality, a subject which I am involved in researching in relation to social work training, so I found the book really interesting on that level also. ~ Cordelia Grimwood, Senior lecturer in Social Work at the University of East London

This well written and accessible book introduces the reader to listening... to listening deeply to the other and listening to one's inner self. Refreshingly clear in its style , and free of jargon, it offers the reader an opportunity to gain invaluable insights into the world of others. This is as much a book for those seeking personal development as an introduction to listening and communication skills, it will prove invaluable for a wide range of people. A beautifully written book, it uniquely invites the reader to reflect on and develop their own inner wisdom and awareness. Caroline Brazier invites the reader to utilise their own inner wisdom in their interactions with others. Highly recommended to all who seek to develop their capacity to work effectively with others. ~ Stephen Paul, Co-Editor, The Therapeutic Relationship: Perspectives and Themes (2008) PCCS, Director The Centre for Psychological Therapies

Like Caroline Brazier`s previous books, "Listening to the Other" exemplifies her long experience as a teacher, and is an example of her ability to present complex subjects in a systematic, well-organized, admirably simple and clear way. "Listening to the Other" is a practical textbook about one of the most fundamental, but sadly ignored aspects of help: listening. Mainly intended for beginners in the helping professions this multi-layered and complex aspect is presented as a step-by-step guide. However, even experienced professionals should be able to gain new insights, into the role of listening, when done carefully, mind and heart engaged synchronically and wholeheartedly. The student/ practitioner/teacher reading this book will feel they in trustworthy hands, led by a teacher/ writer with a sharp and sensitive ability to predict questions and confusions which might arise in each phase of the reading process. As a teacher and a clinical supervisor, I have been using Caroline Brazier`s other books and look forward to using this rich source too. ~ Yaakov Maitri MA, Israel based clinical psychologist, supervisor and author of Psyche`s Home. Formerly teacher of psychoanalytic psychotherapy Haifa University, Bar- Ilan University, Tel- Aviv University.

‘Listening to the Other’ is a very practical and helpful tool for those engaged in a listening ministry. It provides a unique learning experience for the individual or for a group training exercise. The meditations and reflective exercises offer a valuable and inspirational spiritual resource for the Chaplain or Chaplaincy volunteer. ~ Revd Sally Martin – Healthcare Chaplain

Caroline Brazier
Caroline Brazier Caroline Brazier is a Buddhist and a psychotherapist with a passion for the natural world. Leader of the Tariki Psychotherapy Training Progr...
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