Listening is a powerful, compassionate skill but it is also complex and demanding and can quickly deplete your energy levels. It would not be unusual to complete a visit feeling exhausted. You will have spent an hour being attentive to someone else’s need. Devoid of your own self-interest, you will shift between tranquillity and composure to stress and anxiety, as you try to make sense of and understand someone else’s pain and misery without absorbing all the emotional turmoil. Hearing, understanding and then feeding back are the key elements to the skill of listening. Feeding back the thoughts and feelings in small sensitive chunks allows you to leave the parent with a solution focus and therefore sense of ownership of the problem. This should free you up to become more creative and enthusiastic to deal with the next challenge.