We often hear about active listening, which is not about only listening but also responding to develop a sense of mutual understanding. When we refer to Active Empathetic Listening, it is about listening quietly without engaging in problem solving. This signals that the speaker completely relates to the one who is listening. Listening empathetically also allows the listener to really hear and understand what is being said.
According to EatLuvNPray co-founders Sonia Arora Sood and Priyanka Wadhera, Active Empathetic Listening also makes it easier for the other person to feel that they can talk freely without being judged.
This venting out of the inner self resultantly calms ones down and gives a feeling of reassurance, thereby healing. It is all the more essential for anyone experiencing any mental health condition. There can be no better healer than Active Empathetic listening.
Here are excerpts of an interview with co-founders.
What role does EatLuvNPray play in mental health?
We are the largest virtual listening platform in the country, offering highly trained listeners and experienced doctors. The idea is to let people vent their innermost voice with the sure promise of anonymity and thereby prevent acute mental illnesses.
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The Emotional Process Outsourcing platform provides research-based emotional support over phone or video and through discussions and social media. We aim to elevate the overall wellbeing of at least 10 million youth in India through the power of listening.
How exactly this whole idea of EatLuvNPray came to your mind? Does COVID-19 pandemic has any role in it?
According to the NCRB data, as many as 10,159 students died by suicide in 2018, an increase from 9,905 in 2017, and 9,478 in 2016. This consistent upward trend is a sign of utmost worry and the need of the hour is to ensure mental wellbeing during the early phase of life. With an intention to cater to people between the age group of 15 and 29, which is also the most tech-savvy generation, we conceived the idea of Eat Luv N Pray. Based on our personal experiences, the need to have someone to talk to vis-à-vis the availability is what led us to the direction of creating this platform.
With regard to the pandemic, the idea was conceived prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. However, the truth remains that it’s now more essential than ever to ensure holistic mental wellness. And Eat Luv N Pray is all about mental wellness.
What kind of training or expertise is required for the team of EatLuvNPray?
There is no need for any prior training. We have our in-house mechanism to train the listeners under the supervision of our onboard clinical psychologists who would just listen and talk to you with only one aim in mind which is sorting one’s head out and creating a ‘Never Alone’ moment for all young and informed Indians.