The Conversation Guide
Joelle Prevost

I never set out to write a book, yet somehow, in the last eight months, that is what I’ve managed to do. In life outside of Southridge (where I am a Senior School Counsellor), I have a private counselling practice. I see people for depression, anxiety, couples, trauma, chronic illness, and general life issues.

While working in private practice, I started to notice a theme in clients: they were avoiding difficult conversations. They were worried they’d “say the wrong thing”, accidentally hurt someone, get flustered, or “just end up in another argument”. Seeing this need for tangible skills to not only use in conversations but to give people the confidence to start them, I created a set of 10 skills that people can use to communicate effectively. I found that these skills were helpful to so many people that I decided to write them down, and before I knew it, I have a fleshed-out book.

The first part of the book goes into each skill in detail: why it’s important, how to do it, and examples of exactly what to say. The skills are ingredients to be modified and used as each individual needs. The second part of the book shows examples of how to use the 10 skills. The big topic I have a lot of clients ask about is setting boundaries. How do I do this? Where do I start? What do I say? How do I end the conversation? The examples in Part 2 of the book illustrate how to use the 10 communication skills to have difficult conversations, such as setting boundaries and saying “no”.

My hope is that, with this book, people will be able to feel confident having difficult conversations and will then be able to communicate openly, rather than avoiding conflict, which can result in more distress later!

For more information on the book, as well as links to Amazon and Kindle, please visit:

Contributed by Ms. Prevost, Senior School Counsellor