The Consult Model

By Pam Marshalla

3345896050_8e2d8cbe51_mQ: What do you think of the consult model? I got into this profession to work directly with children, and now I am being told I have to engage in a pure consult model. I am mad and frustrated.

I find several problems with the consult model.

  • Young therapists coming out of school are being asked to consult with parents when they actually have not figured out how to do therapy themselves yet.
  • Without working directly with clients, young therapists are being denied the actual experiences they need to grow their professional skills.
  • Children almost never work as well with their parents as they do a professional.
  • Many of the parents we serve are completely ill equipped to do the kind of work required of good professional SL therapy. Parents often do not have the intellectual capability to understand the work, and other children and circumstances distract them.
  • Even worse–– some of our parents are on drugs and alcohol, some are not very communicative themselves, some are unable to read and write, and some do not even speak the language!

I have been asking myself several questions along this line lately––

  • Why are we hell-bent on giving our profession away in this manner?
  • Why do we degrade our own skills so much that we think anyone can do this work as well as we can?
  • What is the point of getting a Master’s Degree and then allowing everybody and their brother to do this work instead of us?

I do not get it.

3 thoughts on “The Consult Model”

  1. I don’t mind the consult model with teachers. SLPs often see SH kids one time per week for 20 mins. when, really, their simple language goals can better be addressed in the classroom on a daily, consistent basis with occasional consult with the SLP.

  2. I am with Pam as I do not understand why we are allowing our profession to be incorporated into a classroom and/or consult environment while moving away from our specialized services. OT and PT are not going in this direction. I have concerns about the future of our profession.

  3. Marshalla,
    I continue to enjoy the common sense and tell-it-like-it-is approach that you use. It is a breath of fresh air in our profession. I agree with your thoughts–

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