Theories May Guide, but Reality Teaches

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1994, Vol 39(1), 66–67. Reviews the book, Organizational Consultation: A Casebook edited by Robert K. Conyne and James M. O'Neil (1992). Conyne and O'Neil present a good argument for this text, to provide examples of real consulting situations so trainees can observe the development of a consultation over time. Gallessich's (1985) human development, scientific-technological, and sociopolitical perspectives provided an organizing framework that is used retrospectively to analyze the cases. This casebook presents the realities of life as a consultant, the good and the bad. Several of the cases are quite complex and are probably not suited for the early stages of training Rapin's consultation with a human services agency opens the series and is one of the most complex cases. This multilevel consultation, a challenge to follow, uses multiple assessment strategies (interviews, questionnaires, and supportive documents). It would be helpful to know more about how Rapin chose these assessment strategies and her perception of the advantages and disadvantages of each. This case illustrates some of the challenges of consultation (working simultaneously at several organizational levels and performing dual roles). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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