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Addressing Unspoken Concerns to Promote Forward Movement

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Listening and Responding: Addressing Unspoken Concerns to Promote Forward Movement


Consumer surveys suggest that patients do not always recognize audiologists’ sensitivity to the psychosocial impact of their patients’ hearing loss.  At the same time, surveys of professional behavior suggest that audiologists are not always comfortable addressing patient emotions; often fail to address unstated concerns; and frequently fail to actively explore patient concerns that may impede progress.  A variety of ingrained listening habits and clinical practices will be explored that work counter to audiologists’ desire to build a positive rapport with patients.  Following a review of counseling theories that audiologists can tap into when working beyond the limitations of content counseling, we will look at patient or parent statements within six separate clinical scenarios. Through a series of brief breakout discussions we will explore response alternatives to these scenarios across the lifespan as we seek responses that 1) reveal a clinician’s heightened empathy, 2) serve to build greater trust, and 3) challenge patients to make decisions that forward movement in the rehabilitation process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, participants will be able to rank their listening abilities and describe at least three barriers to empathic listening.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to describe communication mismatch and how to respond better to the emotions underlying patient statements.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to outline several counseling approaches that can be infused within patient interactions to increase trust and to challenge patients to move beyond their own comfort zone.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to describe motivational engagement principles including importance, elf-efficacy and comfort rankings to help move patients forward toward improved communication.

Dr. John Greer Clark, PhD

John Greer Clark, PhD Headshot

John Greer Clark, PhD, is a professor of audiology at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Clark is a past Chair of the American Board of Audiology and past president of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology. Co-author of Counseling-Infused Audiologic Care, he is a frequent national and international presenter on hearing loss and hearing help.

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