Department of Educational Psychology


Date of this Version



Published in Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings, edited by Ronald T. Brown, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, Mahwah, New Jersey & London, 2004. Pages 599–616. Copyright © 2004 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Used by permission.


Consultation services in school settings is gaining increased recognition in research, training and practice, and is expanding to include a variety of related professionals as consultants (e.g., special educators, counseling psychologists, community psychologists, speech pathologists; Gutkin & Curtis, 1999). There also appears to be a trend in increased consultation between medical professionals (e.g., general physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists) and school personnel. Whereas the term consultation may have broad meanings across educational, medical, and psychological practice, one common feature is that consultation generally consists of two or more people working together to address concerns regarding a third-party client (Sheridan & Kratochwill, 1991). As applied to school settings, consultation is defined as collaborative problem-solving between a professional consultant (e.g., psychologist, medical expert) and one or more persons (or consultees; e.g., parents, educators) who are responsible for providing some form of educational and/or psychological assistance to a child-client (adapted from Medway, 1979). This definition represents consultation as conceptualized in this chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce school-based consultation as a viable feature of pediatric and psychological services. The salient features of consultation will be presented, including theoretical foundations, models, and stages. Benefits of consultation, research findings, and considerations for conducting consultation in school settings will also be explored.