Communication–Part 1

May 9, 2012

Our professions focus on the reasons and repairs in communication breakdowns.  Speech Language Pathologists are trained in the physical aspects while Mental Health Professionals are trained in the social and emotional dynamics of Communication. 

For Speech Language Pathologists the messages can only be sent and received if all physical systems are working as they should be.  Communication is the ability to understand, create and produce language.    Language has two components :  verbal (vocabulary, grammar, and where the words are in a sentence) and non-verbal (facial expressions, body postures, and  the sounds of your voice).    The speaker sends a message assuming the listener will receive it.  The listener may or may not receive the same message.  For example, an excited high school senior tells her neighbor about her college acceptance.   The elderly neighbor has a hearing loss and saw the excitement on her face but didn’t hear all that she said.

For Mental Health professionals communication is about location and relationship. The speaker shares intention through words and behaviors expecting the listener to recognize, understand and respond.    However, the listener is a different person with another perspective.    Communication takes shape through several filters:  Who and where you are; how, what and why the message is relayed; and how you are related.   The high school senior  waits to share her excitement until her best friend is accepted to the same college.

Our professions focus on sending and receiving messages from separate reference points.    Whichever professional opinion you request, it is important to know the framework and distinctive understanding they bring to your situation.

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