Chapter 16

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					                                        Chapter 16
                              Consultation and Collaboration


Consultation and collaboration, as well as collaborative teamwork, are closely related processes
that give counselors opportunities to engage in cooperative relationships with other adults. All
these processes involve two or more persons working together to address a problem, share
resources, stimulate change or improvement, and use specialized information to achieve a
common goal. In schools, the common goal directly or indirectly involves student success. This
chapter presents different models, stages, and techniques to help counselors serve as productive
participants in these processes.


After completing this chapter, the student will be able to:

       1.   Define consultation.
       2.   Explain different models of consultation. .
       3.   Outline the process of consultation.
       4.   Describe interview skills for crisis and non-crisis consulting situations
       5.   Define collaboration and describe the process of collaboration.
       6.   Identify specific procedures and techniques that facilitate constructive consultation
            and collaboration.


Consultation is the process in which the consultant (counselor) works with the consultee (parent,
teacher, administrator) with the goal of bringing about a positive change in the client (child).
Consultation is generally considered a process of helping someone understand problems as part
of larger systems. Consultation has the twofold goals of enhancing services and improving

Dougherty suggested that consultant roles may include that of advocate, expert, trainer/educator,
collaborator, fact finder, process specialist, or other less common roles. Glosoff and Koporwicz
indicated that consultation by counselors who work with children typically involves activities
such as delivering professional development workshops and other types of assistance for
teachers, program development for children with special needs, parent education, interpretation
of student information such as standardized test results, and consultation with other specialists in
the school and in the community.

Models of consultation include mental health, process (organizational), and behavioral. Mental
health consultation focuses on primary prevention, with the consultant (considered to be an
expert) diagnosing a problem and providing a solution while having no responsibility for
carrying out the recommended changes. The four ways of approaching the consultation within
this model are client-centered case consultation, consultee-centered consultation, program-

centered administrative consultation and consultee-centered administrative consultation. Each of
those forms of consultation focuses on different ways to address the problem area such as
increasing knowledge, developing programs or providing remedial services

Process consultation focuses on the ways problems are solved as well as the system in which the
problems occur. The consultant and consultee examine communication patterns, group member
roles, group problem solving and decision making, group norms and growth, leadership and
authority, and intergroup cooperation and competition. The goals of process consultation include
having someone ask for help, having information emerge and building a team for problem-

Behavioral consultation is the application of systems theory and principles of learning to the
problem-solving process. The sequence of behavioral consultation is the following: (1) problem
identification, (2) problem analysis, (3) selection of a target behavior, (4) behavior objectives, (5)
plan design and implementation, and (6) evaluation of the behavior change program.

Interview guidelines for behavioral consultation in a non-crisis situation include establishing
general objectives, agreeing on more specific goals, generating and prioritizing performance
objectives, deciding on evaluation, and deciding on follow-up meetings. In a crisis or problem-
centered interview, guidelines suggest collecting data from several sources in order to identify
and define the problem, analyzing the conditions in which the behaviors occur, deciding on
intervention and assessment plans, and scheduling future meetings.

Factors that may enhance the cross-cultural consultative relationship are trust, acknowledgement
of diversity, avoidance of technical jargon, and consideration for the effects of interpreters.
Among the strategies suggested are cross-cultural learning; bridging; matching methods to the
consultee’s style; building confidence and self-efficacy; and working to increase knowledge,
skill and objectivity. The text includes some questions to ask before making decisions about the
consulting process in cross-cultural situations.

Kurpius, Fuqua, and Rozecki as well as Dougherty have suggested stages of the consulting
process. The text merges and summarizes their ideas in the following six stages: (1) preentry,
(2) entry, problem exploration, and contracting, (3) information gathering, problem confirmation,
and goal setting, (4) solution searching and intervention selection, (5) evaluation, and (6)

Myrick’s model of consultation can also serve as a framework for collaborating and teamwork.
He suggested the following steps: (1) Carefully discuss and clearly identify the problem; (2)
Continue to clarify the situation by determining emotional and value components, behaviors,
expectations of others, previous efforts, strengths of people and/or systems, and resources; (3)
Determine goals; (4) Gather necessary information; (5) Develop action play and determine
responsibilities; and (6) Evaluate, revise, and plan for next steps. Some questions to encourage
those discussions are listed.

Techniques that counselors may teach adults to try with children include the following: role shift,
listing of behaviors, logical consequences, and isolation techniques. Some of the assessment
tools used in consulting intervention are the interview, case histories, behavioral observations,

and psychological and educational tests. Explanations of these interventions and assessment
instruments are provided in this chapter.

The second section of the chapter deals with collaboration, which is a partnership of two or more
equals who share in decision-making responsibilities and work toward a common goal. The
components of a collaborative interaction include voluntary participation, equality or parity
among all participants, agreed-on mutual goals, shared responsibility, shared resources and
shared accountability. The steps for this process are coming together, defining a shared vision,
developing a strategic plan, taking action on the plan, and evaluating progress. Bemak called for
counselors to collaborate with school personnel, communities, and families. Within the school,
counselors can collaborate with administrators to collect and share school performance data, to
develop programs for overcoming barriers, to design strategies for school problems, and to
emphasize a healthy school climate. They can collaborate with teachers to improve student
performance, to understand cultural learning styles, to develop group skills and to develop
conflict resolution strategies. With community agencies, collaborators can help with coordination
of services and with outreach. With families, counselors as collaborators can enhance the school-
home links and strengthen relationships.

Included are Dougherty’s guidelines for determining whether consultation or collaboration
should be chosen. Also, three sample activities for advancing collaborative discussions and for
building interactive formats are provided.

Collaboration can also take place in specialized groups called teams that have a particular work
purpose. Teams share one or more common goals. Effective teams are committed to their
constructive cooperation; have goals and identified roles; and are composed of members who are
aware of the focus of the team, the responsibilities of the members, and the strategies of goal
attainment. It has also been reported that teams are productive when team members trust, rely on
and respect each other; have problem-solving, conflict-resolution, and relationship-building
skills; feel accountable; and encourage and help every other person’s efforts.

Assessment is a consulting and counseling intervention aimed at attempts to understand
children’s developmental and other problems. Counselors use a variety of tools such as self-
report surveys, interviews, tests, case histories and behavioral observations in assessment. One
common interview is the Mental Status Examination (MSE), an inventory of the person’s
behavior that includes general appearance, speech and thought characteristics, emotional status,
thought content, orientation and awareness, memory, general intellectual functioning and insight.
Formal assessment instruments include intelligence tests, projective techniques, achievement
tests, aptitude tests and other scales and surveys.


1.     Models of consultation include mental health, process, and behavioral consultation.
2.     The mental health model includes four ways of approaching the relationship: client-
       centered case consultation, consultee-centered consultation, program-centered
       administrative consultation, and consultee-centered administrative consultation.
3.     Process consultation emphasizes the ways things happen.

4.     Behavioral consultation, a more structured model of consultation, applies principles of
       learning to a problem-solving process.
5.     Awareness, sensitivity, and the ability to consider and to incorporate various perspectives
       in the process are among the characteristics of effective cross-cultural consultants.
6.     Counselors can be more effective and efficient in their work if they include collaboration
       with school personnel, communities, and families.
7.     Consultation may be used to teach adults to help children by employing many counseling
       interventions and assessment tools.
8.     Counselors use assessment tools to help in understanding children.


Behavioral consultation – A model of consultation that applies systems theory and principles of
learning to the problem-solving process.

Client-centered case consultation – A consultation approach in which the consultant helps the
consultee by diagnosing a problem and recommending a remediation plan to be used with a third
party, the client.

Collaboration – A consultative situation in which all individuals are involved as equal
participants and experts in solving a specific problem.

Consultation – The one-to-one interaction between the counselor and a significant adult in a
child’s life, or a counselor-led group of significant adults, with the purpose of finding ways to
assist children to function more effectively.

Consultee-centered administrative consultation – A consultation approach which focuses on
remedying difficulties among consultees that interfere with their abilities to perform their work.

Consultee-centered case consultation – A consultation approach in which the consultant helps the
consultee gain the knowledge, skills, self-confidence and/or objectivity needed to work with a

Mental health consultation – A model of consultation that focuses on primary prevention, with
the consultant in the role of an expert who diagnoses a problem and provides a solution, but does
not assume responsibility for carrying out the changes.

Program-centered administrative consultation – A consultation approach in which the consultant
addresses mental health or organizational factors by working through the organization.

Process consultation – Consultation that focuses not only on how problems are solved, but also
on the system in which the problems occur.

Team – Specialized type of work group with shared goals

Test reliability – The consistency with which the test measures.

Test validity – The extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure.


1. A consultant who helps her consultee to gain the level of confidence and expertise needed to
   be able to work with a client is working from the ______________ consultation approach.
       A. client-centered case
       B. consultee-centered case
       C. program-centered administrative
       D. consultee-centered administrative
2. Which of the following was not listed by Glosoff and Koprowicz (1990) as a common task or
   activity carried out by a consultant?
       A. Conducting professional development workshops.
       B. Helping to identify and develop programs for students with special needs.
       C. Designing and conducting parent education classes.
       D. Directly implementing proposed interventions with the children.
3. Behavioral consultation frequently includes all of the following except:
      A. collecting information about the organizational structure.
      B. emphasizing operant conditioning.
      C. conducting a functional analysis of the problem.
      D. selecting a target behavior.
4. The first stage of consultation involves:
      A. the consultant examining his/her approach to and qualifications for the consultative
      B. the assessment of the client’s situation.
      C. evaluation of the consultation process.
      D. setting goals for the consultation relationship.
5. A primary difference between collaboration and the mental health model of consultation is
   that collaboration requires ____________ among participants.
       A. adoption of a common goal
       B. interaction
       C. parity
       D. the sharing of resources

6. Bemak (2000) suggested that collaborators work with teachers to
      A. show them how to raise student scores on standardized tests.
      B. develop conflict resolution strategies.
      C. increase expertise in fund-raising for purchase of additional classroom materials.
      D. develop expertise in student advocacy.
7. Which of the following was not identified in the text as a characteristic of an effective team?
     A. Effective teams have goals and identified roles.
     B. Members are aware of the focus of the team.
     C. Members are committed to building and maintaining constructive relationships
         among themselves.
     D. Effective teams select a competent leader within the first stage of the process.
8. Melinda’s parents discussed the results of an educational assessment with her school
   psychologist. Since the test measured the level of her accomplishment of learning, this
   would have been a(n) ___________.
      A. intelligence test.
      B. aptitude test.
      C. achievement test.
      D. projective technique.
9. The term                    refers to the consistency with which a test measures.

10. The term                   refers to the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to

11. The processes of collaboration and consultation have these characteristics in common
       A. sharing resources
       B. clients
       C. fees
       D. contracts
12. Mr. Jones asked a teacher to write down the times a student leaves his seat. This is a
    consultation intervention called which of the following?
           A. role shift
           B. listing of behaviors
           C. isolation technique
           D. logical consequences


1. List and describe the six stages of consultation and give examples of questions or information
   that would be necessary for each of the stages. Which stage(s) is(are) the most important in
   your opinion? Why?

2. Give at least four different scenarios in which consulting would be more helpful for
   more children than counseling would be. Explain your reasons.


1. As the school counselor in an elementary school, you are concerned with the alarmingly low
   end-of-grade test scores in your school. Your principal has asked you to help the school to
   change this pattern of low test scores. Develop a consultation unit, based upon the model you
   deem most appropriate, for some population in the school (parents, teachers, students,
   administrators, etc.) that addresses this issue. Be prepared to justify your choice of model and

2. Discuss with a school counselor the various assessment instruments he/she uses. How, when,
   and to whom are they administered? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the individual
   instruments? What is the school counselor’s role in the administration of these tests?