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Managing Endings during Counselling Conversations

Part of the Counselling Skills For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Many listening helpers struggle to end helping conversations. Try some of the following tactics to ensure that you begin and end you session in a timely manner:

  • Make sure you mention the time you have available at the beginning of the conversation or as soon as you can during it.

  • Keep a clock in view.

  • At least five minutes before the time runs out, mention that the session is coming to an end.

  • Stop asking any open questions that invite elaboration.

  • Don’t open up any ‘big’ issues. If the help-seeker seems to be launching on a big issue anyway, be firm and say, ‘I’m sorry we’re out of time because that sounds important. Perhaps we can pick up on that when we next meet, when we have time to do it justice.’ Bear in mind that the speaker may have raised the big issue at the last minute so that it can’t be discussed – the speaker may want to broach the subject and gauge your reaction.

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