All our Listeners and Supporters are required to undergo listener preparation. This ensures that all members are educated on the best way to help our callers.

Initial training for the Listeners is provided by a clinical psychologist. Units cover the following principal topics:

  • Introduction to basic listening skills
  • Questioning techniques
  • Self-awareness in interpersonal transactions
  • Reformulation
  • Helping perspectives, facilitating caller goals
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Distinguishing facts and feelings in communication
  • Looking at our own support networks

As well as being guided in how to become effective listeners, many of our listeners have found that they benefited personally from the preparation.

We conduct listener preparation sessions twice per year. Typically the training is as follows:

for listeners

  • Saturday all-day training session
  • Double listens (shifts alongside experienced listeners)
  • Four evening training sessions

for supporters

  • In-house session given by experienced listeners

If you think you might be interested in volunteering with SOS, visit our events page to find out about our next recruitment session dates.