Wait. Isn't it disingenuous to have trained psychologists acting as random strangers ? This reminds me of bizarre exercises I had to do for a psychology class in college. We had to go to a shopping mall and engage random persons on false pretenses, then record and analyze their responses.
Thinking from the perspective of capitalism, it would be cheaper to actually use untrained personnel? Not only would that be cheaper, but it would tend to skew the "stranger phenomenon" much less.
But if simply listening to a person in need is your goal, here are some phrases you can use:
"Wow! I don't how I'd handle that."
"Tell me more."
Then, while nodding your head in affirmation:
- remain silent
- or say the ever famous one: "How does that make you feel?"
- or say "I'll back you up on that one."
- or agree and simultaneously build rapport by saying "Those rat bastards!"
Note: you may repeat the phrase "Those rat bastards" several times if you make it more emphatic with each iteration.
Many of you know I am a nurse educator in a prison hospital. The above is exactly what I teach my nurses!
wink wink, nod nod