Medium 9781855751170

Learning Consultation

Views: 1115
Ratings: (0)

A book which will illuminate the learning process from the perspective of the teacher as well as the learner. The experiences of the various contributors will empower the reader to take more personal risks in their own learning.

List price: $28.99

Your Price: $23.19

You Save: 20%

Remix
Remove
 

12 Chapters

Format Buy Remix

CHAPTER 1. Seminar one

ePub

I think of the Danish seminars as one long teaching event lasting ten months, but I also think of them as three distinct two-day events, with different short-term goals for each. In the longer view, I expected to introduce the participants to the main systemic concepts that are useful in consultation work; I expected to practice interviewing skills through role-plays; I expected to relate these ideas and techniques to their own cases through case discussions—mine and theirs—and discussion and role play; and I expected them to develop some awareness of what they personally brought to this work.

I prepared a plan to begin with mostly concept- and skill-based work, then to apply this more intensively to the participants' own professional situation and do more personal work towards the end of the process, when they had a clearer idea of what this was all about and were more familiar and secure with each other. I relied on the participants learning from many different sources: from me, from their wider reading, from each other, and from the exercises on the course—but primarily from themselves. I expected them to play with new ideas and try them out in their own work. I also expected them to develop their ideas and skills in the space between sessions.

 

CHAPTER 2. Seminar two

ePub

The second two-day seminar took place four months later, in March 1993. I was debating with myself whether it would be better to begin by looking at the participants' homework or do something unexpected to focus the group on specific themes: I decided on the latter. Therefore, I asked the group to divide equally into two groups: the “A's” and the “B's”. My intention was to allow them to have an experience of interviewing or consulting to each other, and the content of the consultation was designed to allow them to explore issues that I believed would help them appreciate life in an organization.

This is an example of using a structured exercise to create a context within the seminarin this case, one of exploring the participants' own experience of being in an organizationin which they learn by drawing on their own experience.

My instructions were that the A's should interview the B's for about twenty minutes to help them understand something about their own (B's) experience of their organization or their “organizational awareness”. I wrote some questions on a flip-chart, suggesting that these might be helpful in their interviewing:

 

CHAPTER 3. Seminar three

ePub

The third and final two-day seminar took place in September 1993. My plan for these seminars was to consolidate what the participants had been learning both during the seminars and in-between. I wanted to continue clarifying ideas, building skills, examining practical and theoretical problems, and discussing readings, but I also wanted to provide space to reflect upon what the participants bring personally to consultation and systemic thinking.

I decided to begin the seminar by asking the A's and B's from the previous seminar to talk together in pairs about what consultation work means to them personally. Why do they do it? What personal values enable them to do this work, and which values might lead them to get stuck? After they had completed this task, I asked them to do a role play of a consultant meeting a client for the first time.

During this seminar, I want the participants to practice some of the “real-life” situations that consultants have to face to get consultation work off the ground. Establishing the contract for work is very tricky because a request for consultation usually means many things.

 

CHAPTER 4. Review of the learning

ePub

One of the structures of the seminars was a review or reflection period following each input or exercise so that the participants could consolidate their learning or simply take stock of what had been happening to them. On this basis, I also wanted them to have an opportunity to review their learning over the duration of the seminars. I prepared seven questions—one for each discussion group—and asked them to discuss together their responses to the questions. The questions and replies are presented in this chapter.

However, the chapter is also intended as a transition. It highlights some of the experiences or ideas people took away from the seminars and anticipates how they might develop their learning about consultation further—once they were working on their own. The questions were designed to enable participants to review the past ten months of the seminars as well as their own attempts to put things into practice; however, the real proof of this pudding becomes more clear in the “eating” of case studies presented by the participants in Chapters 5-10.

 

CHAPTER 5. Should consultation fit the client's expectations?

ePub

Henning Strand & Ken Vagn Hansen

INTRODUCTION

Working as co-consultants, we have gradually changed our method from a very structured process planned in every detail to a much more process-oriented style creating new feedback within the organization.

In this chapter we present our experiences of learning about process consultation as new consultants in this field.

Both of us are experienced clinical psychologists employed by the county. Our job is mainly to serve schools and day-care institutions. We offer supervision to teachers, do psychological evaluations of children, and also do individual and family therapy at the clinic. We are both interested in the systems around clients. For instance, we offer consultations to families and the professional system around the families.

Because of the interest in consultation, we have occasionally been contacted by staff members of a school or a high school who needed help to improve their working relationship.

As we find it challenging to deal with larger and more complicated systems, we have accepted the invitations and have worked with whole staffs of teachers and leaders (40-70 persons).

 

CHAPTER 6. By which process do people learn to do consultation?

ePub

Berit Sander

This is the story about my encounter with the systemic approach to consultation in groups and organizations. I shall try to draw a picture of the changes in my perception of problems, problem-solving, group processes, and ultimately in the way I picture the interacting world around me. It has been a very interesting personal development, but at the same time unexpectedly difficult and slow: you do not change your picture of the world overnight—not even over months. Why, then, should I want to work within the framework of this new concept? Let me try to explain.

GOOD-BYE, SCAPEGOATS

Analysing, describing, and recommending are all daily tools in the consultant's work when establishing change in organizations. Such tools are, of course, necessary and relevant for a structural kind of consultancy.

But the kind of consultancy work that addresses cooperation and management—that is, which is directly related to interrelations—demands another approach. I will put it as strongly as to say that it is an explicit advantage to adopt a new “perception of the world” when our task is to be found within the context of relations and processes between people.

 

CHAPTER 7. Converting a teaching event into consultation

ePub

Jan Fjordbak

INTRODUCTION: BACKGROUND AND AIM

This chapter is about learning the important skills that you have to develop before starting out to do consultation, about reorganizing your previous and on-going experiences to become part of a consultant's identity, and about creating small-scale opportunities to practice consultation.

In recent years, we have seen an increasing interest in consultation work in a broader sense. The number of consultants has increased, and professionals occupied in other functions are trying to work in a more consultative way. In Denmark, this tendency is very visible in areas like school counselling and public agencies supporting developmental activities in the social services, unemployment, the occupational health service, and so forth. It seems as though everybody wants to be a consultants nowadays. Nobody wants to do the real work any more: being a consultant to people doing real work carries more prestige—even better, being a consultant to consultants!

The people who are becoming interested in systemic consultation are mostly social workers with a background in family counselling and psychologists with a clinical background. Some are pressured by their employers, others are themselves eager to expand their held of working into consultation.

 

CHAPTER 8. A story of unheeded warning lights and a semi-external consultant

ePub

Bodil Pedersen

This is a story about some obvious and simple “mistakes” and their consequences. It is also a story about failure to pay attention to one's own warning lights because of being in too much of a hurry and wanting to take shortcuts. What often happens then is that one loses direction.

SOME HISTORY

I was asked to give a “course” for a community psychological counselling service, which has its office in a community centre. The clients are people of a wide range of ages and from varied social backgrounds. The counselling service offers 10 one-hour sessions of therapy and is free of charge. Therapy is mainly conducted as individual therapy. The counselling service has existed since the mid-1970s and was originally organized as a day unit. A couple of years ago an evening unit was started up.

The members of the staff are psychology students and newly graduated psychologists. There has been some turnover in the staff group, and a little over one-third of the staff members of the whole counselling service are new. As a supervisor I, like the counsellors themselves, offered my services free of charge. The fact that everybody including the supervisor was doing volunteer work, and had specifically chosen to work with this counselling service, created a special and personal bond between the people involved.

 

CHAPTER 9. To see the world anew

ePub

Inger Drasby

In this chapter I describe how I have moved into systemic thinking, and how this process has influenced me. The first part of the chapter deals with the theoretical approach, beginning with my encounter with the concept of neutrality; in the second part I give an example of how I have applied systemic thinking in a consulting situation. My learning process has been one of going from theory to practice. The theory has been immensely fascinating, but it was not until I took it out into real life that I discovered how powerful the theory and the technique are.

THEORY

Discovering neutrality

During the Danish seminars, what first struck me in connection with the systemic approach to consultancy was the concept of neutrality—a method that helps the consultant avoid taking sides, exactly the pitfall into which I had often stumbled and which I equally often had recognized as sterile.

I remember once being with a group of salespeople and their management team. We were working with communications, and one of the sales representatives made quite a strong verbal attack on a colleague. I had them talk about this, one at a time—listening and rephrasing what they had heard, and it seemed to me that we were on the right track when suddenly one of the managers broke in, saying, “Now, lef s not get into any kind of sensitivity training here”. I got stuck immediately, turned my attention to the manager, trying to calm him down. I sided with his defensiveness—and lost contact with what was going on there and then and with the rest of the group.

 

CHAPTER 10. Learning from feedback: long-term consultation to a school

ePub

Dodo Astrup

INTRODUCTION

This is the story about two psychologists and how they were challenged by a task that was novel to them. It is also a story about a learning process. The task was a consultation at a large state school in Copenhagen. The theme presented to us was to improve communication among the staff, especially between the leaders and the teachers. The staff at the school consisted of around thirty persons, including the headmistress and two deputies.

One of the psychologists was leader of the local school guidance service, and the other was a clinical psychologist at the same office. Neither of them, at the time, had had any training in professional consultation. But the clinical psychologist—who is also the writer— was quite experienced in the use of systemic therapy, supervision, and thinking and was currently attending the Danish seminars on systemic consultation. We both wanted to learn more about consultation and systemic theory, so we welcomed this task as an opportunity to engage in a learning process—which hopefully would also help the school. We immediately decided to do a process consultation with a systemic approach. We felt lucky that the time coincided with my participation at the seminars, at which I could get feedback and inspiration. (We felt quite nervous but also enthusiastic about this new job.)

 

APPENDIX A. Recommended reading list for the Danish seminars

ePub

Recommended reading list for the Danish seminars

Andersen, T. (1990). The Reflecting Team. New York: W. W. Norton.

Anderson, H., & Goolishian, H. (1988). Human systems as linguistic systems: preliminary and evolving ideas about the implications for clinical theory. Family Process, 27 (4): 371-384.

Anderson, H., Goolishian, H., & Winderman, L. (1986). Problem-determined systems: towards transformation in family therapy. Journal of Strategic and Systemic Therapies, 5: 1-13.

Argyris, C. (1990). Overcoming Organizational Defenses. London: Allyn & Bacon.

Bateson, G. (1973). Steps to an Ecology of Mind. London: Paladin.

Campbell, D., Coldicott, T., & Kinsella, K. (1994). Systemic Work with Organizations. London: Karnac Books.

Campbell, D., Draper, R., & Huffington, C. (1991a). A Systemic Approach to Consultation. London: Karnac Books.

Campbell, D., Draper, R., & Huffington, C. (1991b). Teaching Systemic Thinking. London: Karnac Books.

Drucker, P. (1990). Managing the Non-Profit Organisation. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

 

APPENDIX B. Participants in the Danish seminars

ePub

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Chapters

Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Sku
B000000020875
Isbn
9781781811320
File size
457 KB
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata