Every human is a relational person – who seeks to be know and be known by others. Asking and listening connects one person to another – a gesture of accepting another person’s story as significant to you – the listen and the asker. Childhood mistreatment is often ‘buried’ and is often the person bears the guilt and shame, and anger, and projects it on another – from a victim to a victimizer. Asking and Listening to the ‘victim’ allows him/her to ‘re-tell’ the trauma and interact with the incidents… it probing it allows the adult person to interact with as a parent to himself as a child.
The key challenge is in ‘opening the can of worms,’ – the counselor bared the wounds of person and any intense emotions may take place – from self-harm to harming others. A counselor ought to process patiently not ‘wedge’ open the can when the person is not ready to bare it all. There’s also the ‘close relationship’ with the person as he/she puts himself in a very vulnerable position with the counselor. The counselor should be mindful not to create a ‘dependent relationship’ that he/she is not prepared for.