Every human interaction has a beginning, middle and end. During
the counseling process, the exchange between a provider and
a client also follows these three stages. In addition to knowing
the technical information and having the communication skills
needed for good family planning counseling, providers also need
to follow a certain process. Thinking in terms of the beginning,
middle and end can help a provider and client work together,
in a realistic time period, toward helping a client make an
informed choice and achieve satisfaction. Good communication
skills and appropriate technical information are important during
each of the stages.
The beginning stage involves greeting the client and doing
the initial assessment. In the middle stage, the client decides
on a method or reaffirms a choice previously made. The end stage
occurs after the client has chosen a method, providing a chance
to summarize and clarify questions about that method.
Often the provider has a limited amount of time. However, these
stages do not necessarily have to take a long time. When the
information is tailored as much as possible to the clients
particular needs, time is saved by not discussing information
that is not relevant to the client.