Date of Award

12-15-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's Studies

First Advisor

Amira Jarmakani

Second Advisor

Megan Sinnott

Third Advisor

Kristina Passman Nielson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of former teen talking circle participant’s experience with the practice of compassionate listening in talking circles and to explore compassionate listening as a form of spiritual activism. This study explored the use and effect of compassionate listening within the facilitator training materials developed and used by the organization Teen Talking Circles as well as the use and experience of compassionate listening within the teen talking circles. For the purpose of this study, I interviewed seven former female teen talking circle participants. Open ended semi-structured interviews were the means of data collection. Data were analyzed thematically and after reviewing the transcripts from all seven interviews, the five strongest themes to come out of the interviews were: increased communication skills, increased awareness, less judgment of self and others, deeper relationships and an increased sense of empathy.

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