The Four Types Of Mental Health Consultation

Caplan and Caplan (1993/1999) delineate four types of MHC, which are based on two major considerations: whether the content focus is on a client concern or an administrative concern, and whether the primary goal is to provide information drawn from the consultant's area of expertise or to improve the problem-solving capacity of the consultee.

Client-centered case consultation perhaps is the most frequent type of consultation conducted by school psychologists. For example, a teacher who is encountering difficulty with a student may contact a psychologist who then assesses the student, formulates a diagnosis, and provides recommendations about how the teacher might work more effectively with the student. The primary goal here is to devise a plan for handling a client's difficulties; consultee education or skill development is secondary.

Consultee-centered case consultation focuses on the difficulties a consultee faces with a particular client. Gutkin and Curtis (1999) note that this is the type of MHC most closely associated with Caplan. The primary goal of consultee-centered case consultation is to address the deficits in the consultee's functioning that create problems in handling the present case; client improvement is secondary.

Program-centered administrative consultation is similar to client-centered case consultation, except that a program is under consideration. Here, the consultant considers the range of issues surrounding the development of a new program or other aspects of organizational functioning.

Consultee-centered administrative consultation has the goal of improving the professional functioning of staff members, and is generally based on a more broadly defined role for the consultant. For example, the consultant may not limit his or her purview to consultee-generated issues, but rather may be active in evaluating many different organizational problems.

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    What are Caplan’s 3 categories of consultation?
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  • Olivier
    Which are the 4 types of consultation delineated by Caplan?
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    Which of the four consultee difficulties in the caplan model is seen more in the school setting?
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