Practical Book Review Why Don't We Listen Better by James Petersen

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Practical Book Review One:
James Petersen

Presented to
Dr. Marcus Tanner
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
Lynchburg, VA

In Partial fulfillment
Of the requirements for the course
PACO 500 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

Margaret Tlusty
February, 2012
My Summary
Petersen, James C.2007. Why don’t we listen better? Communicating and connecting in relationships. Tigard, OR: Petersen Publications. James Petersen (2007) uses five parts to describe the talking and listening to help us process a better way of communicating and understanding each other. They are provided to help us connect in our relationships with others. According to Petersen, most of us think we listen well, but we don’t. Not
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She lives with my family and I, and she has diabetes and manic depression/bipolar syndrome. When she is in her depressive state, she tends to be an aggressive communicator. She will tell me everything that I do wrong and what a bad daughter I am. My communication back to her would be a screaming match and my children are seeing and hearing all of this. My husband doesn’t defend me; he tells me to ignore her. The only thing I could do would be to walk away and go to my room in order to avoid more conflict. After reading Petersen’s book, I now try to listen as to why she became so angry and defensive in the first place. Nine times out of ten, it would be that she just doesn’t feel good about her health and that sets off emotions to everything else. Then I usually respond with “I am sorry you are not feeling well and what can I do to help you?” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It is still a work in progress and so I just keep praying to God hoping that every day is a good day. Petersen’s view on spacing helped me with my mother as well. Petersen states “spacing allows space for talkers’ thoughts to emerge and be valued. When you suspend your views to make space for other people’s concerns, it’s like temporarily locking yours in a safe. This frees you to engage in their thinking processes with them” (151). It helps me to figure out where her mind set is

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