The art of silence: learning to listen like a psychiatrist
A guidebook for doctors systematizes an often misunderstood subject
Most people, at one point or another in their careers, will read a book on communication. As a former management consultant, I certainly received my share of advice on how to talk, present, dialogue, and in general convey information and opinions to others. What's more, though I was often advised to "listen to the client," I was never explicitly told how to do this in a systematic way. Listening was one of those "soft skills" that one somehow either brought to business or learned along the way. In retrospect, it's interesting that while countless authors are ready to teach you how to communicate, no one seems prepared to teach you how to listen — at least until I came across a small book by Salman Akhtar, M.D. called Psychoanalytic Listening (Karnac, 2013).
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