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who needs a chaplain?

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

situations that benefit from active listening

at the beginning of my chaplaincy program, my classmates and i were incredibly daunted by one particular activity: chaplaining practice. (cue scary music and fears of inadequacy!) when we do chaplaining practice, we either separate into threes (chaplain, chaplainee, witness), or *gasp* have a chaplain and chaplainee with the entire class as witness (this is called "the fishbowl"). the chaplain invites the chaplainee to share whatever is on their mind, including things they might be processing, uncertain of, tender around, etc. the chaplainee shares until they reach a natural pause, and then the rest of the session is characterized by honest, open questions by the chaplain in an attempt to help the person draw out their ultimate truth, silent pauses for collecting and integrating thoughts, reflections and clarifications around what the chaplainee has shared, and ultimately, gratitude for sharing and a closing thought or two.

no fixing. no saving. no advising. no judging.

humans have a hard time with this list of "no's", in case you've never noticed.