Sometimes we just want someone to talk to who is not a therapist. In our culture if we don’t want to talk to family or friends then we usually go see some kind of mental health worker or therapist. But sometimes we are not really wanting advice or to be analyzed. We just want to be heard. In our modern age having someone listen to us deeply and with full attention is somewhat of a rare occurrence.
When is the last time you tried to talk to a friend or spouse and noticed them looking at their phone while you were talking? You can’t really blame them, though can you? We all do it. Phones have become so addictive. We won’t even mention the pointlessness of trying to talk to a young person who has a phone in their hands.
So, if you are not seeking therapy but would like to talk about a subject that is on your mind with someone who is really paying exquisite attention to you. What do you do?
Enter the Claire Samantha. We talked to Claire Samantha of Phone My Friend to learn about “listening services”. We first asked her what is a listening service and what is it for?
“A listening service is a confidential service where someone listens to what you have to say. This is typically done over the phone or via online chat and the caller typically pays a nominal fee far less than that of a therapist to just talk about whatever they want.”
Can you tell us how this type of service came about?
Claire “I notice that there was a need for it when I needed it myself. I just wanted someone to talk to who would listen without judgement or advice and there was not anyone around who fit that description. People try but they end up telling you their story that they think somehow upstages your story or they think they are an expert that should tell you what to do. But sometimes we just want to share something on our minds that we want someone to hear and maybe express curiosity about but not help or judge us. I am from the UK and in the UK there are services design for various members of society who need someone to talk to. I noticed that there was nothing like that here in the US and decided to provide the service myself with my own twist on it.”
Who is the service designed for?
Claire “Anyone over 18 who wants to talk about something that is not really appropriate for a conversation with a friend or family. Anyone who wants to just be heard and understood without feeling judged. Anyone who is not looking for advice but just someone who listens. I don’t listen to anything illegal and I am not a suicide counselor.”
What is the most common thing that people talk to you about?
Claire “It really varies quite a bit. But common themes are challenges at work. Things that are happening to them or feelings they are having that they feel no one understands in their life. Relationships or affairs are a common subject as well.
How is it different from therapy and how does someone decide if therapy is the right way to go or a listening service might be the right fit?
Claire “Therapy is for getting advice or working out a mental health issue. I do not do either of those things. I just listen. I listen like the bartender or the barber or other traditional listeners we have in our society but I do it privately on the phone or via online chat so we can talk about whatever you want without anyone listening in.”
How can someone find out more?
Claire “At my website Phonemyfriend.com is the best way. If you want to know more the best way is to just try it out. If it’s a fit for you do it more often. If not, then at least you tried something new.”
To learn more about Claire or Phone My Friend visit www.PhoneMyFriend.com