Social workers talk and listen to a wide variety of service users, colleagues and others. You may, for example, be gathering sensitive information from a service user with complicated needs one moment and liaising with a health or housing professional the next. One or more of the people involved may be anxious, upset or angry. Some of these conversations, meetings and interviews go well, but in others the participants thought that the outcome could have been better in some way and felt baffled or frustrated by the lack of communication. This chapter reviews some of the skills and personal qualities involved in interviewing and counselling more effectively. For an in-depth discussion of the use of counselling and counselling skills by social workers see Seddon (2005).
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