Supportive listening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Listening is a multidimensional construct that consists of complex (a) cognitive processes, such as attending to, understanding, receiving, and interpreting messages; (b) affective processes, such as being motivated and stimulated to attend to another person's messages; and (c) behavioral processes, such as responding with verbal and nonverbal feedback (e.g., backchanneling, paraphrasing). In addition, active listening consists of verbal strategies (e.g., asking clarifying questions), whereas passive listening is nonverbal in nature (e.g., providing backchanneling cues). The purpose of this article is to show that supportive listening is a central dyadic mechanism of providing, perceiving, and receiving beneficial emotional support. Supportive listening differs from other types of listening (e.g., listening during chit-chat or a conflict, informational listening) because it requires that the support listener demonstrate emotional involvement and attunement while attending to, interpreting, and responding to the emotions of the support seeker-a complex and challenging task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Listening
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Supportive listening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this