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Listening and Understanding

I enjoyed reading the Q+A with Director of Psychological Services David Ramirez “What Does David Ramirez Know About Failure?”, April Bulletin). I especially liked his comment about tolerating or “being with” students and what they are feeling—not to be put off by it when they share their pain.

After being in a therapeutic process, many children say to their parents “don’t try to fix it.” In other words, the well-meaning response to psychological distress is to do something. Yet often what the child or college student is looking for is active listening and the feeling of being understood. They are having trouble fathoming something, and the adult who can fathom it with them provides hope. Swarthmore’s Counseling and Psychological Services is very fortunate to have David at its helm.

Laurel Silber
Rosemont, Pa.

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