School Consultation Models: Definition & Types

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

School counselors use three types of consultation models when working with students, teachers, parents, and other professionals for the benefit of students. In this lesson, we will learn more about each consultation type.

Three Consultation Models

In order to successfully meet the needs of all students, school counselors consult with others that interact with the students on a regular basis. What is the best way for school counselors to share their expertise and learn more about their students? That depends on the goal of consultation. There are three consultation models: collaborative-dependent, collaborative-interdependent, and triadic dependent. Let's define each of these models and determine how each of the models is used.


When using the collaborative-dependent model, the consultee works together with the consultant. Each party has a unique set of experience and expertise that they are able to contribute to solving a problem. Using this model, the consultant and consultee develop a partnership for the purpose of developing a plan. However, the consultant is responsible for creating the plan while the consultee is responsible for implementing it. For example, a special education teacher may consult the school counselor to try to determine what is triggering anxiety attacks for an autistic student. The two professionals work together to help identify the problem; then the counselor develops a plan to help the student that the teacher implements.


What if the counselor needs to draw on the expertise of others to develop a plan of action? The collaborative-interdependent model does not rely on anyone to be the expert, but rather brings together professionals with various areas of expertise to develop solutions to big problems. Each person has equal authority and depends on the others to create solutions. For example, the school counselor, teachers, and parent group may work together to develop solutions for reducing the drop-out rate. Each of these groups has a different perspective on the problem, but none of them can solve the problem without the support of the others.

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