Hearing the specific word choice, the ordering of ideas, and the tone of voice, the listening poses the question: “Why does he chose to say what he is saying in this manner?” Watching the patient is equally important: “based the hands, the posture, and the facial expression, what is the confidence level contained within his own words? Does he believe his own words or does he seeks attention?” Attention can even be paid to those thoughts and ideas that are skipped, omitted, or briefly touched on by the speaker: “Why did he not say…? Was a thought glanced over for the sake subtly or embarrassment, or maybe because of some unknown fear?” Over time the good listener can begin to uncover the idiosyncratic use of the patient’s language, emotion and movement. It is only at this point where the listener can speak; speak in order to first break down the collapsing building in a safe way and uprooting the unstable foundation.
Seeing, hearing, and detecting the inner unconscious conflicts, the hidden distortions, and the faulty association, is a difficult task that was laid upon us. It is a slow process requiring much time and persistence. Fortunately, along with being the “True Physician,” He is also the perfect teacher-listener.