Volume 26, Issue 3 (1997)
Demythifying Behavioral Consultation
T. Steuart Watson, Heather Elise Sterling, Ashely McDade
Abstract: Since behavioral consultation was first described 20 years ago, a number of assumptions have emerged in the literature and gained legendary status despite being based either on weak or non-existent data Noell and Witt (1996) initially identified five assumptions underlying behavioral consultation including: (a) consultative services are more cost efficient than direct intervention, (b) collaborative consultation are more effective than expert consultation, (c) verbal interactions with teachers result in significant behavior change, (d) skills learned during the consultation interaction will generalize across subjects and behaviors, and (e) direct contact with the client are unnecessary for behavior change to occur Because these assumptions do not have a solid empirical basis, we prefer to call them “myths.” In an attempt to “demythtify” behavioral consultation, we present four additional myths not previously discussed to further emphasize that what many practitioners have been taught about how to conduct consultation may not be the most effective means for teaching consultees new skills, improving treatment integrity, and improving client outcome. We also hope to provide an impetus for new research directions to enhance the effectiveness of consultation practice.
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