Dr Eugene Heimler developed an innovative and unique form of psychotherapy, the Heimler Method of Social Functioning, which has enabled countless individuals to find meaning and new direction in their lives and turn frustration and disengagement into creativity and involvement. Peter Hudson provides a very personal review of Dr Heimler’s account of some of the experiences that helped mould his now widely used counselling techniques.
No understanding of the power of listening is complete without appreciating the work of Eugene – John – Heimler, a truly great listener and founder of a counselling method known as Human Social Functioning. Carl Rogers was perhaps one of the best known ‘listeners’ of the 20th Century. John Heimler is less well known, similar and yet different. It is the work of John Heimler which forms the basis of the Listening Skills Training for teachers that is taught by Consilium Education and the Motivated Learning Trust.
I was privileged to have known John and to have had him as my therapist whilst in training.
Andy Homden first met Nicky Quekett in 2007 when, at the age of 88, she flew from Perth in Western Australia to Bangkok, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Bangkok Patana School, where she had been principal in the 1960s. Nicky belongs to what has been described as the Greatest Generation: the people who grew up during the great depression, joined the armed forces during the second world war and raised their families in the tough, yet hopeful period of post-war reconstruction.
A chance conversation
I had just finished having breakfast at what used to be called a country house party in the UK. Having listened to several guests for several minutes, asking them about their work and families, I was asked what I did. ‘I teach teachers how to listen’, I replied. One of the guests, herself a retired teacher, said ‘Oh that’s the top skill in teaching!’ When I asked her what she thought the reason for that was, she said ‘It builds respect with the students and when you have that you can achieve so much more with them’.
Bryan Massingham’s account of his pursuit of “a long-held desire” to establish a first-class outdoor centre and the difficulties encountered on his journey, serve to reaffirm the wisdom of following one’s dream. The centre he and his wife Rose established 12 years ago has also been recently developed to accommodate individual travellers looking for somewhere to chill out in this beautiful hill country.
Peter Hudson looks at how the listening skills of a teacher who had been trained in active listening skills helped support a student to find their own way to access new aspects of the school curriculum and ultimately achieve success.
Listening Quote of the Month:
As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves. Carl Rogers, 1902 – 1987
For teachers, the old Socratic idea has always been important – you’ve got to be yourself to be successful in the classroom. But how do you get to know yourself? One answer is to know where the boundaries to your own comfort zones are and then think about crossing them and see how you feel. If you need inspiration, perhaps find it in people who are rather more daring than yourself.
Whilst hugely rewarding, the role of international teacher can also be demanding and tiring. Finding opportunities to unwind and revitalize are essential if you are to get the most out of your role and provide the best for your students. Brian Ambrosio discovers an ideal and unheralded place to relax and recharge.
Empathy: a handbook for revolution, published in the US as Empathy, why it matters and how to get it.
Roman Krznaric, Rider Books, 2014
The importance of empathy
For philosopher Roman Krznaric, western society has painted itself into something of a corner. The prevailing political and social orthodoxy of our time is rooted in competition, the needs of the individual and introspective obsessions.
As part of a regular series of articles about listening, Peter Hudson, of Consilium Education considers the links between listening and success, and asks is the right kind of listening really happening in schools and businesses?