National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation
   

Activity/Worksheet: My Current Capacity to Practice the Consultative Stance

Read each of Johnston and Brinamen's key elements and rate your current capacity to take the "consultative stance" in your work by indicating A — Always, S — Sometimes, or N — Needs More Effort in the areas where you may need to inform or enhance your practice.

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Elements of the Consultative Stance A/S/N

1. The centrality of relationships — The consultant holds the theoretical and developmental perspective that relationships and the interaction between caregiving adults and children have a primary role in the social/emotional development and mental health of young children.

A S N

2. Parallel process as an organizing principle — The consultant takes the perspective that all relationships influence one another, and a positive experience in the relationship between the consultant and the early care and educator, influences the relationship between the early care and education provider and the children in his or her care and their families.

A S N

3. Avoiding the position of the expert — The consultant relies on the relationship and a collaborative process with the caregivers in the child's life to build their capacity to deliver care and interventions in the context of the child's and caregiver's everyday activities.

A S N

4. Mutuality of endeavor — The consultant and consultee (provider or parent) both contribute to the process by identifying the concern, mutually sharing their perspectives, developing hypotheses, showing willingness to participate in changes, and generating ides for moving forward.

A S N

5. Understanding another's subjective experience — The consultant listens to consultees (staff, parents, etc.) and considers their personal context (values, attitudes, beliefs, practices) and personal experience/histories and how these influence their perception, relationships, and on-the-job actions/interactions.

A S N

6. Considering all levels of influence — The consultant considers the influences that come to the consultee as part of an organization, such as program philosophies, peers and co-workers, and others in the full context of an individual's work in early care and education.

A S N

7. Hearing and representing all voices — The consultant elicits information, hearing and voicing perspectives equally (especially the child's), and facilitating cooperation and collaboration.

A S N

8. Wondering instead of knowing — By "wondering", the consultant avoids the position of the expert, encourages other perspectives, and facilitates the process of understanding to evolve within the relationship between consultant and consultee(s).

A S N

9. Patience — The consultant anticipates and takes the time to uncover, understand, and influence change, managing the pace of the collaboration between the consultant and the consultee(s).

A S N

10. Holding hope — The consultant offers empathy and support to consultees through the consultant's belief in caregivers, families, and children and their capacity to grow, change, and be more effective.

A S N
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Adapted from Johnston & Brinamen, 2006

 

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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation