Active listening is a skill that requires full attention to the speaker and consists of verbal and non-verbal cues displayed by the listener. In essence, it’s listening to understand, and not listening to respond.
The two of you meet up at the café the day of your vent session. You each purchase your own beverage. You get to venting!
The conversation usually begins with the listener asking you about yourself and what brought you to the vent session.
No, you are under no obligation to stay for a full hour and can leave at any time.
That is up to the listener. If they have extra time and are able to, they often will stay for longer than one hour. Some sessions do last longer than an hour.
If the cafe is closed, wait for the volunteer and the two of you will go to another one nearby. Our volunteers are prepared with a list of nearby cafes!
Absolutely. All volunteer listeners sign a confidentiality agreement upon being selected to be a Vent Over Tea volunteer. The only time the listener is required to break that confidentiality agreement is if you indicate that you pose a harm to yourself or others.
The listeners are volunteers that are carefully selected and given extensive training in active listening and mental health first aid. Most of them are pursuing careers in psychology, social work, medicine or community service.
Listeners undergo a rigorous screening process in order for us to evaluate if these are people we ourselves would feel comfortable opening up to.
We try to avoid this situation by having our volunteers notify us if they’ve been assigned a name they are familiar with. However, in the event that you arrive at your session and you do know your listener, you are under no obligation to proceed with the vent session. Our listeners will be more than understanding. You’ll simply have to rebook another session and we’ll ensure you don’t get the same listener.
We love our listeners and we expect you will as well! But if you find that you don’t like your listener, aren’t enjoying the process, or feel uncomfortable in any way, then we encourage you to end the session and let us know in the feedback form that you will receive shortly after the vent session.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, all vent sessions will be conducted over phone or video call until further notice. Take care of your mental and physical health!
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