Reflections on the Role of Consultation in the Delivery of Effective Educational Psychology Services

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Farrell, P. and Woods, K. 2015. Reflections on the Role of Consultation in the Delivery of Effective Educational Psychology Services. Educational Psychology Research and Practice. 1 (1), pp. 2-9. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8856w
AuthorsFarrell, P. and Woods, K.
Abstract

For many years educational and school psychologists from all over the world have emphasised the importance of consultation as a key approach to delivering effective services. However, there is a considerable body of literature indicating that the approach has not been widely adopted by educational psychologists in the UK and elsewhere. This paper considers some interconnected factors that might explain why educational psychologists may be reluctant to wholeheartedly embrace this approach. First, it considers the possibility that educational psychologists, who may claim to work in a ‘traditional’ way, are in fact using consultation regularly in their everyday practice, although not in the way that it is often defined in the literature. Second, the influence of the history of the profession, in which educational psychologists were described as being experts in psychometric assessment, may be acting as a barrier to adopting alternative practices. Third, unintentionally perhaps, the efforts of professional associations to promote educational and school psychology may reinforce the importance of maintaining traditional practices based on individual psychometric assessments of children thought to have special educational needs and disabilities. Finally the paper discusses the skills and competencies needed to work effectively as a school-based consultant and suggests that these pose particular challenges to new entrants to the profession who wish to work in this way. The paper concludes by suggesting that debates about the relative importance of individual work versus consultation present a false dichotomy. Both roles are central to the delivery of effective psychological services. Educational psychologists need to have the necessary skills and confidence in all areas of professional practice, being able to strike the right balance between the two approaches and sensitive to the situations where each is likely to be effective in dealing with the range of problems with which they are presented.

JournalEducational Psychology Research and Practice
Journal citation1 (1), pp. 2-9
ISSN2059-8963
Year2015
PublisherSchool of Psychology, University of East London
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8856w
Publication dates
OnlineSep 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2020
Copyright holder© 2015 The Authors
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Educational Psychology Research and Practice (EPRaP): Volume 1, Issue 1
Thomas, M., Farrell, P., Chatzinikolaou, R., Fox, M., Wood, J., Browne, L., Monsen, J., October, S. and Woods, K. 2015. Educational Psychology Research and Practice (EPRaP): Volume 1, Issue 1. School of Psychology, University of East London. https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.88569