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Counselling Skills for Paralegals

Sometimes people just want to talk to you about their problems and it may not be necessary for you to take any further action. It might be enough for you to counsel someone about ways to deal with a problem. For example, your client might have a problem with noisy neighbours who party through the night and keep her awake. You can suggest different ways to deal with the problem such as asking for a meeting with the neighbour to discuss the problem or getting a mediator in to help mediate between them.

Counselling is a skill used mainly by professional psychologists and social welfare employees. Where the issues raised by an advice seeker can have serious psychological consequences (for example, in the case of a child who has been abused, a person raped, etc) they will need deeper counselling. Paralegals are not trained to provide this service so they should refer the person to a professional.