SCHOOL CONSULTATION PRACTICES IN THE EARLY CAREER: DOES TRAINING MATTER?

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Abstract

Consultation is considered a pivotal skill for professional psychologists, including those practicing in educational settings (i.e., school psychologists). It is generally assumed that the development of consulting competence occurs through effective consultation training. However, limited research supports this claim. Via a national survey of 262 early career school psychologists, this study investigated the link between school psychologists’ consultation training at the preservice level, and the enactment of the consultant role in schools during the early career. Participants’ reported experiences in consultation training were consistent with recent research in this area including omissions in the training and supervision they received, such as a lack of emphasis on process skills and multicultural competence. Regression analyses indicated participants’ consultation training, including supervision, and their direct service practices (i.e., assessment and counseling), may impact how they enact the consultant role, how confident they are in their consultation practice, and their perceived ability to achieve client, consultee, or systems-level change.

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