"Hear" and "validate" first before you rush to offer a solution.
When someone comes to you with a problem, they want something in return, and it's not always what you imagine. How often do you rush to "solve the problem" or "give advice" when a friend or partner has an issue? According to Dr. Haim Ginott, “Understanding must precede advice.” The seeker likely hopes to be "heard" and "understood" by you first. Practical advice or a solution to their problem can follow a compassionate initial response. Validate emotions. They are all valid!
NYC Therapist Kimberly Seelbrede, LCSW is a skilled Psychotherapist, Relationship and Stress Reduction Expert in New York City. She provides therapy, EMDR & Coaching to individuals and couples. Her expertise includes: anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, self-esteem, trauma, addictions, self-esteem, loss, transitions, crisis therapy, stress management and goal attainment. Kim Seelbrede's post-graduate training includes psychoanalytic psychotherapy, CBT, DBT Skills, EMDR, life coaching, mind-body integrative therapy with the Urban Zen Foundation and couples training with The Gottman Institute. Her private practice is located in New York City or thera-coaching and remotes sessions online via Skype.