School Psychology Review

A Case Study in Behavioral Consultation: Organizational Factors

Jan Hughes

pp. 103-107

Behavioral Assessment

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Few school psychologists deny the applicability of behavioral principles in modifying children’s classroom behaviors. The school psychologist practicing behavioral consultation teaches school personnel how to apply learning theory principles to children’s problem behaviors.Behavioral consultation assumes that the psychologist, by decreasing his or her direct contact with children and by improving teachers’ skills, maximizes his or her effectiveness in meeting the mental health needs of children (Grieger, 1972; Tharp & Wetzel, 1969; Tomlinson,1972). Although there are different forms of behavioral consultation, generally behavioral consultation shares certain similarities with Caplan’s client-centered case consultation (Caplan,1970). In both consultation models the focus is on a particular client of the consultee, the consultee seeks the consultant’s assistance, the consultee is free to accept or to reject the consultant’s advice, and the consultant has the major responsibility for an expert diagnosis and prescription for change. Several articles have described techniques of behavioral consultation(Dorr, 1977; Halfacre & Welch, 19’73; Goodwin & Garvey, 1971; Greiger, 1972; Kauffman & Vicente, 1972; Tomlinson, 1972). The behavioral consultant in schools quickly realizes that good behavioral technology and good consultation techniques do not guarantee successful behavioral consultation. The consultant must consider the influence of organizational factors on consultation(Gallessich, 1973).