Empathic Communication - A Communication Tool with a Focus on the Student

As part of the VIP Programme, we offer a course in Empathic Communication, a conversation tool developed by the psychologist Lisbeth Holter Brudal. The course targets teachers, counsellors, nurses, management, and other employees who work with people.

Professional conversations in the workplace promote learning, self-control, and positive human interaction. Empathic communication puts the one you talk to in the centre. You will be trained to be a professional conversation partner who can guide the recipient and strengthen his/her own beliefs. The ability to engage in professional conversations is an important tool for working with people in difficult situations or having motivational talks with students or employees.

Course participants learn to put the students or another person in the centre. You will learn to sit back and listen to what your conversation partner has to say. Through four steps, you will guide the student into the state of emotional awareness so they may reflect on their own situation. This method is based on the idea that the student already knows many of the answers. Empathic Communication is developed by Lisbeth Holter Brudal, PhD, and is based on positive psychology.

VIP offers the course to schools that are interested. Contact us for more information

Watch films about the use of Empathic Communication at empatisk.no/filmer — Please note that the website is in norwegian

There is a separate film on empatisk.no featuring a teacher and a student.

The course was previously called “Student Conversation”. Learn more in the description of the previous course and the news item below.

Read the Course Description PDF for the “Student Conversation” here — Please note that the PDF is in norwegian

You can see a film about sympathy and empathy on YouTube

Teachers are Offered Conversation Training (News Item)

This news item was published on Vestre Viken's website in September 2014.

A boy that is listening to a conversation.

Vestre Viken Coping and Learning Centre (LMS) aims to equip teachers to have better conversations with students who experience problems.

The VIP School Programme (Guidance and Information on Mental Health in School) is part of LMS. The VIP team travels around the country and trains teachers, counsellors, and health professionals at upper secondary schools on how they can talk about mental health with the students. Many schools are familiar with this programme, but what they might not know is that VIP also offers an extended in-depth study of the topic through the course called “Student Conversation — Education with a Focus on Practice.” This course is also offered to teachers of secondary schools.

— “When we train teachers in mental health, we quickly move to the topic of student conversation,” says the leader of the VIP Programme, Anne Gro Tvedt. “If you are worried about a student, invite them for a conversation. Many teachers say they lack the tools for holding such conversations in the most constructive way,” she continues.

It is Tvedt who, in cooperation with Lisbeth F. Brudal, PhD, has developed this tool for student conversations in schools.

The Student Conversation course offers more than just training on how to have the obligatory yearly conversations. It can also include topics like class management, student supervision, student facilitation, and, last but not least, staff cooperation. The course is based on the Empathic Communication method and corresponds to the Better Learning Environment initiative which is implemented by many schools.

— “Clear class management and communication between the teacher and the student are very important for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment,” says Mia Iversen.

She is a subject teacher herself, in addition to her education in psychiatric nursing, and she is one of the course instructors.

Free Offer

The VIP Programme is operated through Blakstad Hospital and is owned by Vestre Viken, but financed by the Norwegian Directorate of Health. This is why the course is offered free of charge for teachers and other school staff who might be interested. The course will take place in Asker. It will include four meetings held throughout the autumn, starting on the 13th of november 2014.

— “Schools that are interested can also contact us to see if we can arrange the course for them. We can create a tailor-made package for either the entire staff or selected personnel,” concludes Iversen.

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