Active Listening Roleplay
Mary is an Active Listener. Samantha is a potentially suicidal student.
Mary: Hi Sam, can I help you? I'd be happy to listen to you, if you want.
Samantha: Ah— (silence)...
Mary: You seem quite upset. Can you tell me about it?
Samantha: I don't know. Nobody wants to listen to me. Why should you?
Mary: I do and I am here to listen.
Samantha: I really need to talk to someone, but I'm afraid.
Mary: So, you're feeling pretty scared.
Samantha: Yeah, scared and embarrassed
Mary: It must be difficult for you to come here to see me.
Samantha: You don't know how difficult this is.
Mary: Now that you're here, why don't you tell me what's bothering you.
Samantha: I ... I tried it last night
Mary: What did you try last night?
Samantha: It's too awful to say. (Silence)
Mary: I'll wait
Samantha: I.., I...ah, ah...I..., I tried to kill myself last night!
Mary: Why don't you tell me about what's got you so upset that you are thinking about killing yourself.
Samantha: I don't want to live anymore. John said he doesn't want to go out with me anymore. I can’t believe he doesn't care about me anymore.
Mary: You must really love him.
Samantha: Yeah, I do. How could he do that to me? How could he? We've been going out since 1st year.
Mary: Did you have any idea that John was going to break up with you?
Samantha: No, we had a great time this past weekend He never said anything. How could he do this to me?
Samantha: I really love him and I can't live without him.
Mary: Did you tell him that, Anne?
Samantha: Yeah, but it didn't make any difference. He said it wasn't another girl, he just wanted to be free.
Mary: What did that make you feel like?
Samantha: Scared and angry!
Mary: You must have felt pretty angry, huh?
Samantha: I was furious, I haven't been that angry since my parent's divorce. Dad just left. He said he loved me, but I never see him anymore. Everyone I love ends up leaving me. I must be an awful person that no one can possibly love.
Mary: First your father left and now John. Are you feeling like it's your fault?
Samantha: Yeah, nobody cares about me, why shouldn't I kill myself?
Mary: You said you tried to kill yourself last night. Tell me about it.
Samantha: I took a bunch of pills. Sleeping pills, I think. I got really scared and made myself throw up.
Mary: Do you really want to die?
Samantha: No, but I can't stand this pain anymore. Why does everyone leave me? I feel so all alone.
Mary: Have you talked to your mother about how you feel?
Samantha: No, I couldn't do that to her. She has her own problems.
Mary: What about your school counsellor, Mrs. Martel ? Or maybe Mr. Federicks?
Samantha: No, I can't just go walking up to Mr. Federicks and tell him I'm thinking of killing myself.
Mary: Everyone really likes Mr. Federicks, he really cares about his students. I think you could talk to him.
Samantha: Maybe after class tomorrow, after everyone is gone. I might be able to.
Mary: You might even be able to talk to him today, after school. He usually stays around for quite a while after the bell.
Samantha: Would you come with me? You don't have to say anything, just be there. Please?
Mary: O.K. I’ll meet you in front of the cafeteria at 2:00 and I'll go with you to see Mr. Federicks. I’m really glad that you came to see me today and shared with me how you're feeling.
Samantha: Thanks for agreeing to come with me. See you at the end of seventh period.