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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ellis

It's as easy as A B C ...

As a hypnotherapist I receive a lot of enquiries from people wanting to help their Mums, Dads, Sons, Daughters and Partners. It is of course sad to hear people are struggling with things like anxiety but touching to know that their loved ones want to help!

So I thought it might help to tap into my experience as a Mental Health First Aider (and trainer) and share 3 tips to show your support, and its as easy to remember as A, B, C.

A is for Active Listening.

This might require a slightly different approach to a normal chat or conversation. Try to be really attentive and engaged in what your loved one is saying. Avoid judgement or giving advice focus instead on listening to what they are saying. You might want to reflect back or summarize what they've said to ensure you have fully understood. This can be powerful and can help the person really feel heard.

B is Be Curious.

By this I mean be curious, be inquisitive, asking a few questions is a great way to start a conversation. This might start with something like "you seem a little upset today. Would you like to talk about it?"

Try using open questions - those that don't generate a single word or yes, no answer. So for example "I know you've been having a tough time lately. How have you been holding up?"

C is for Communicate, Communicate Communicate.

The key thing is to communicate, and to keep that communication going on the good days and the bad. That could take the form of talking in person, exchanging texts, voice notes or emails. Experiment and see what works best - some people may find it easier to text on days they are struggling for example, or if they simply don't want to talk but want to let you know their ok.

I often walk and talk with friends. Its a win win, we get the benefits of being physically active and being in nature. As well as talking through what's going on in our lives. Sometimes the focus of the walk makes the conversations a little easier.

So there you have it your new A B C. Give it a try and feel free to reach out and let me know how you get on.


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