Why Conversation Therapy?
There is a magic number when it comes to hearing aids.
According to the Better Hearing Institute, the average person waits seven years before pursuing hearing aids.
In the meantime, communication can be difficult, especially in more challenging listening environments, or with certain people who mumble, or who speak really fast.
When communication is difficult, we lose confidence.
Here’s an example. Before I got my cochlear implant, I had great difficulty hearing people’s names when we were introduced. Names are tough, because there are no clues (or very few) as to what the person’s name could be. So I’d give up. I’d ask someone else later, or try to find out another way; but most of the time, during the first conversation, I didn’t know the name of the person that I was speaking to.
Now that I can hear much better, I still think of myself as someone who has trouble hearing names.
Unless I consciously tell myself—you’d better pay attention and get this person’s name—my focus is not there. I am not there, for that part of the conversation. They say that you have literally seconds to form a first impression. I can’t imagine how I come across to others when I do that!
There are strategies for remembering names, if you don’t get them on the first try. There are also strategies for repairing conversations, if you are not hearing a question or a comment on the first try.
So, in a nutshell, conversation therapy can give you confidence, and skills for navigating conversations. You might notice that I also recommend auditory training as a way to boost confidence. The difference between the two is that auditory training builds confidence by improving listening skills. Conversation therapy builds confidence by addressing conversation dynamics.
Click here to find out about conversation therapy classes and instruction.
Previous post in this series: What is Conversation Therapy?
I've created a conversation therapy toolbox. It has strategies you can try your own, and some food for thought.
Photo credit: © Scott Griessel
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Hearing Strategies 4-week program: January 29-February 19, 2014. Email Sandra@heara.ca for details