Listening to the Other – A New Approach to Counselling and Listening Skills by Caroline Brazier http://buddhistpsychology.typepad.com/buddhist_psychology/
Published by O Books, 270 pages, Paperback £12.99
This is a worthy subject. Though being a good listener sounds like an easy task, 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, with greater hope and trust. Recommended!
The author, 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. I was particularly impressed with the Japanese Buddhist influence, called Nei Quan, which has an unusual perspective for Westerners, but is, no doubt, a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual development. Nei Quan focuses on creating autonomy and achievement and is fairly confrontational towards those who feel disillusioned or dissatisfied with their lot in life. For instance, it asks readers to examine the first three years of life: What did your mother do for you? What have you done for her in return? What trouble did you cause? Powerful stuff, eh? Many useful exercises are provided. Other titles by Caroline Brazier, ‘Buddhist Psychology’ , ‘Acorns Amongst the Grass – Adventures in Eco-therapy’, ‘The Other Buddhism – Amida Comes West’, ‘Other Centred Therapy’, ‘Guilt – An Exploration’, and, written with her husband, David, ‘The New Buddhism’ and ‘Beyond Carl Rogers’. Reviewer: Wendy Stokes
Wendy Stokes is a London based tutor, counsellor, coach and workshop facilitator. Her interests are very varied and include planetary welfare and animal protection, healing, dream interpretation, the goddess, tarot and oracle cards. Contact Wendy on