This tutorial was developed by Kathy Seitzinger Hepburn for the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, an Innovation and Improvement Project funded by the Office of Head Start.
About this Tutorial
Mental health consultation is a fundamentally different approach than the traditional one-on-one, treatment relationship for which mental health practitioners are typically trained. Providing consultation that is therapeutic, relationship-based, capacity building, yet indirect in its approach requires a unique set of skills.
Research has indicated that among consultants' skills, the ability to form and facilitate positive, respectful, and collaborative relationships with staff and families is foremost in being an effective mental health consultant. The "consultative stance", a way of being and a way of guiding the collaborative work between consultant and consultee, embodies elements and practices that represent this relationship-based, capacity building approach. Consultant preparation, ongoing supervision, and Head Start and Early Head Start program administrative features can support the "consultative stance" and relationship-based work of consultation.
Purpose and Overall Goal
The purpose and overall goal is to help early childhood mental health consultants understand what is meant by "the consultative stance" and the practices that support its effectiveness. Implementing the core elements and practices associated with the consultative stance can improve therapeutic consultation skills as well as enhance consultation services to Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
- Describe the relationship-based features of effective early childhood mental health consultation.
- Define the consultative stance
- Identify core elements and practices inherent in the consultative stance approach
- Recognize consultant preparation, supervision, and supports that will enhance the effectiveness of consultation and the consultative stance
- Recognize program features that will enhance the effectiveness of consultation and the consultative stance
This tutorial is designed to take about 30 minutes to complete, although timing may vary from person to person. We recommend completing the training in one sitting, but if this is not possible, you can easily pick up where you left off at a later time.
Other than a computer, you will not need any materials to complete this training. You may want to keep a pen/pencil and paper handy to take notes, or to have ready access to a printer to print items that are of particular interest to you.
Throughout this tutorial there may be words or terminology that may be new to you. Please check our glossary by clicking on the direct link at the top of the page or in the left margin. The glossary will open in a new window.
If you have any questions or technical difficulties with this tutorial, please email us. Thank you and we hope you enjoy the training.