To understand another person's feelings and experiences you need to attempt to enter his or her personal frame of reference. However, since it is impossible for you to be the other person, the best you can do is approximate an understanding. Consequently, most Active Listening responses should be tentative, leaving confirmation up to the sender.
It is also helpful to use a variety of expressions when you Active Listen. Repetition of one phrase such as "Sounds like you're..." rapidly becomes irritating to the other and communicates the use of a mechanical technique rather than a genuine and empathic response.
Phrases that are useful when you trust that your perceptions are accurate and the sender is receptive to your Active Listening are:
Phrases that are useful when you are having some difficulty perceiving clearly, or when it seems that the sender might not be receptive to your Active Listening: