Exploring possible solutions
Would you like to go back to the previous chapter and have another look at Figure 6.1? If you do, you will notice that in that figure we identified three positions A, B, and C, where it can be appropriate to finish a conversation without proceeding any further. We think that it is far more important to finish a conversation at a point which is comfortable for the other person rather than to continue with the aim of finding a solution. For example a person will often feel valued and helped if a conversation ends at point A, because at this stage they will have had an opportunity to tell their story and will feel understood. That may be all they need at that point in time. Similarly, if a conversation finishes at point B, the person is likely to feel better as they will have had a chance to get in touch with, and possibly release, emotions. Sometimes it is clear that a person would like to continue beyond that point, in which case it is useful to help them to identify their central problem more clearly as described in Chapter 6. Once again, it may be appropriate to finish the conversation at that point. Many people feel relieved when they clearly understand what is troubling them. Once they have done this, they may be satisfied for the time being, so it is not necessary to continue the conversation unless they wish to do that. Even so, there are other times when a person will be searching for a solution to their problem. In this case it is appropriate to continue the conversation so that they have the opportunity to explore possible solutions and decide what action to take.
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