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Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships 2ed

by Michael P Nichols Guilford Publications
Pub Date:
Pbk 314 pages
AU$36.99 NZ$38.25
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This perennial bestseller has already helped many thousands of readers resolve conflicts and transform their relationships with family members, romantic partners, colleagues, and friends. Experienced therapist Michael P Nichols explains why we often feel cut off from those we care about and provides easy-to-learn techniques for really hearing and being heard. Thoughtful, witty, and empathic, the book is filled with vivid examples that readers of all ages and walks of life can relate to. The revised second edition features practical exercises for building key skills, plus a new chapter on listening to kids and teens.

- A terrific, steady seller—100,000 in print—now with new vignettes.
- Prior edition received enthusiastic reviews and was translated into more than a dozen languages.
- Broad appeal: beyond general readers, it is also a favorite among counselors and other professional listeners.
- New features include exercises and tip boxes, plus a new chapter on listening to kids and teens.
- Readable and witty, the book explains the five steps of responsive listening and offers many practical dos and don'ts.

AUDIENCE: All readers interested in improving their personal and professional relationships by building stronger listening and communication skills.

COURSE USE: Widely adopted as a text in undergraduate and graduate courses in interpersonal relationships, communication, and counseling.

''What is true listening and why, the author asks, has it become a near-rarity in modern life? Nichols shows how to utilize this [art] to improve and repair relationships with spouses, lovers, relatives, children, friends, and colleagues, and even how to boost one's own 'listenability.' He also explains what listening isn't, explaining why people don't listen and listing obstacles to listening (especially defensiveness owing to emotional overreaction). Humor, true life examples and simple exercises make this a practical and even entertaining self-help guide.''—Publishers Weekly

''Powerful and informative.''—Contemporary Psychology

''[i]The Lost Art of Listening[/i] is a valuable resource, both for my students who are learning counseling skills and for many of my patients, especially couples who have come to marriage with a 'listening impairment.' Nichols blends enough of the 'whys' with the 'how-tos' to serve both counselors in training and clients. The concepts are accompanied by rich illustrations that enable readers to put them into practice immediately. My graduate students report many 'aha' moments while reading this encouraging book.''/m-/Jeffrey S. Black, PhD, Professor and Chair, Master's Program in Christian Counseling, Philadelphia Biblical University

''I use this book in teaching first-semester graduate students counseling micro-skills. The students endorse it as the best of the texts I use. [i]The Lost Art of Listening[/i] uses pragmatic examples from real life to illustrate active listening. This approach makes the material come alive for students who are just learning active listening, and is a great refresher for those who are already familiar with it. In addition, I often recommend the book to couples I see in my private practice.''/m-/Iverson M. Eicken, PhD, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton


I. The Yearning to Be Understood

1. ”Did You Hear What I Said?”: Why Listening Is So Important

2. “Thanks for Listening“: How Listening Shapes Us and Connects Us to Each Other

3. “Why Don't People Listen?“: How Communication Breaks Down

II. The Real Reasons People Don't Listen

4. “When Is It My Turn?”?The Heart of Listening: The Struggle to Suspend Our Own Needs

5. “You Hear Only What You Want to Hear“: How Hidden Assumptions Prejudice Listening

6. “Why Do You Always Overreact?!“: How Emotionality Makes Us Defensive

III. Getting Through to Each Other

7. “Take Your Time?I'm Listening“: How to Let Go of Your Own Needs and Listen

8. “I Never Knew You Felt That Way“: Empathy Begins with Openness

9. “I Can See This Is Really Upsetting You“: How to Defuse Emotional Reactivity

IV. Listening in Context

10. “We Never Talk Anymore“: Listening Between Intimate Partners

11. “Nobody around Here Ever Listens to Me!“: How to Listen and Be Heard within the Family

12. From “Do I Have To?“ to “That's Not Fair!“: Listening to Children and Teenagers

13. “I Knew You'd Understand“: Being Able to Hear Friends and Colleagues


"I think readers from every walk of lifelay readers and mental health professionals alikewill find something to like here, something that really will turn on a lightbulb or two, something that can help us all get along a bit better and listen a bit more artfully."
Michael P. Nichols, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, is the author of Stop Arguing with Your Kids, among numerous other books. He is a well-known therapist and a popular speaker.