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NED126 Listening groups

projectdescription

Many people experience loneliness and disap­pointment in social relati­onships. ‘Hoop voor Noord’ (Hope for North), a multi­cul­tural church in Amsterdam Noord (Nether­lands), brings neighbors together in a 'Listening Group' to share daily experiences with each other, listen to each other and learn from each other.

why this project?

There are a lot of people who stumble over things they don't know what to do with. They often keep them to themselves. It can be a relief to hear that another person is strug­gling with the same problems. You can talk about this in a Listening Group. People listen without prejudice and you can hear from others how they have handled things. During such a meeting, we sometimes do something different than talking and listening for a change: listening to music, playing a game, reading a poem  out loud.

impact

Listening groups under the name De Gulden Middenweg (the golden mean) were offered since 2014. Many parti­ci­pants from the very beginning are still part of the social network around the Church ‘Hoop voor Noord’. Parti­ci­pants experience that they gain more confi­dence in human relati­onships, build a network and parti­cipate more in society. One hopes that through a piece of personal recovery, parti­ci­pants will also get started with the deeper questions of life and thus find their way (back) to God and the Church.

 

what can we learn?

Integra­tieve Buurt­the­rapie (IBT)’ (Integrative Neigh­borhood Therapy) is a preventive, community-based mental health inter­vention. IBT is used worldwide among the elderly, addicts, students, migrants and aid workers. With the help of IBT trainers, the Listening Groups were started in Amsterdam Noord. Volun­teers are trained as conver­sation super­visors. A listening group is a community with equal relati­onships where a mutual sense of recog­nition and validation arises and where you discover that you can learn a lot from each other.

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