Attentive listening is active and focused listening for the purpose of in-depth understanding.
The practitioner demonstrates genuine interest and curiosity about what the client is saying.
Responses are limited to requests for clarification and elaboration.
Attentive listening in the Narrative Therapy style is different from ‘reflective’ listening employed by other person-focused counselling approaches, in that the practitioner takes care not to move away from the client’s own language or impose any of their own interpretations.
An important intention of attentive listening is to understand the client’s own way of talking about their problems and experiences rather than trying to fit these experiences into preconceived categories.