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Linus Geisler: Doctor and patient - a partnership through dialogue   © Pharma Verlag Frankfurt
Active listening: Readiness to listen persistently.

Anxiety: A feeling of being threatened by something that cannot be defined. It is this intense dread with feelings of helplessness which prevents any targeted countermeasures.

Appeal: A cry, call or warning to act or not to act. An appeal can be open or hidden.

Attending behaviour: Readiness to be present; the ability to focus attention exclusively (such as in active listening).

Bagatellization: An unnecessary trivialization of problems. 

Blocking: A pause in conversation caused by emotion.

Catalogue questions: Questions which offer a choice of ideas for the answer.

Code: Vocal expressions of attitudes, determined by a certain group of people. This can be divided into a cultivated pattern (elaborated code = EC) or limited pattern (Restricted code = RC).

Communication: In the widest sense, an event in which a sender and receiver exchange signals with the aim of understanding one another. In the more narrow sense, communication means the exchange of signals between living beings which serve to pass on meaning and understanding. Communication between people means the attempt to construct social contact, to deepen or to maintain it.

Compassion: To suffer with the other by putting oneself in the spiritual or physical situation of the other. This should not be confused with empathy, fellow-feeling or sympathy.

Compensation: One defense mechanism by which a substitute goal is striven towards, in order to prevent anxiety in the face of frustration, since one's own goals cannot or should not be attained, as they are not appropriate.

Compliance: The willingness to follow a medical recommendation.

Comprehension, projective: The one who is listening projects his wishes, interests, needs, anxieties and fears into that which he hears.

Comprehension, selective: The listener only picks up that which fits his view of the world.

Conflict: Irreconcilability of motives, ways of behaving and dealing with others; conflict can be either intra- or interpersonal.

Coping: The process of working though a problem in order to overcome it.

Defense mechanisms: Processes to overcome threats and anxiety which are usually unconscious and distort reality (repression, regression, identification, projection, compensation, rationalization or creation of reactions).

Distancing: Maintaining control of one's own reactions to what is expressed by the other partner in discussion or conflict.

Dread: The feeling of not being able to deflect (certainly not without effort) a certain identifiable threat.

Empathy: To experience the experiences of the other so intimately as if they were one's own, but never to lose the "as if" status.

Expression: The physical replaying of feelings. Psychological conditions or processes are made visible in appearances, ways of behaving, acting or the results of action. It is possible to differentiate between physical, emotional and vocal expression.

Feeling of self-worth: The conscious appreciation of one's own worth. This depends on the recognition, affection and praise of others or on the personal opinion that one has of one's own worth.

Fellow-feeling: To experience the feelings of another, sharing them completely i.e. see with his eyes, hear with his ears.

Identification: A defense mechanism during which other desired personality traits or characteristics are taken on in order to stifle anxiety about personal weakness.

Interaction: A two-way exchange of information between two people, with interplay of thoughts and feelings, attitudes and opinions.

Interpretation Questions: Questions which contain conclusions which have been drawn from what the discussion partner has said or done.

Language: Expression and presentation of thoughts, feelings and desires by meaningful characters. Depending on the carrier, it may be by mimicry, sign language, phonetic language, or speech.

Mirroring: This is an important supplementary technique for active listening. The person leading the discussion shows that he has understood or is trying to understand by repeating (paraphrasing) what he has heard the other say using his own words. This verbalization means grasping the emotional content of the experience of the other in words.

Motivation: To move people to a certain way of action or behaviour by convincing them.

Non-verbal communication: Passing on information with the help of sketches, gestures, stances, expressive movements and physical contact.

Pause in discussion: A brief break in the discussion. A voluntary pause can be for decision or communication, an involuntary pause can be due to blocking or interruption.

Prejudice: Emotionally charged content which appears to be based on knowledge.

Problem: Tension (experience of discrepancy) between an undesired present position and a desired "should be" position. Problems are undesirable conditions that one would like to change.

Projection: A defense mechanism by which one's own undesirable feelings are attributed to others, in order to reduce one's own anxiety when confronted with these feelings.

Question: The verbalized request for certain information; closed questions (decisive, structured) can be differentiated from open (non-structured) questions.

Reflection questions: A question which repeats part of what the other has said.

Regression: A defense mechanism by which primitive forms of satisfaction replace one, several and in certain circumstances all motives for more complex forms of satisfaction. Regression is the retreat of a person into a primitive (earlier) level of motivational development.

Repression: The most important form of defense mechanism, by which unsupportable motives, moods and suppositions are not taken into consciousness by a mostly unconscious process, or are split off.

Resonance: The total reaction of somebody leading an interview to the contents of the statements of his client.

Self-revelation: An active process which imparts more to the listener about the speaker than is actually said in words. Elements in the process of self-revelation include vocal expressions (phonetic), way of speech (style, formulation, choice of words) and somatic expressions (mimic, gesticulation).

Sounding questions: Targeted questions, aimed at obtaining specific information.

Sympathy: An agreement of the worth of the feelings, ideas and tastes of the other.

Understanding: The ability to use thoughts to help to come to conclusions and diagnoses and a rational insight into the motives for thought and behaviour of the other.

Verbal communication: Communication in the form of words and sentences.

Word: Simplest carrier for meaning in speech.

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Linus Geisler: Doctor and patient - a partnership through dialogue
© Pharma Verlag Frankfurt/Germany, 1991
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