Facilitators and pitfalls in the use of consultation strategies: prospective special educators’ self-reflections on audio-recorded consultation sessions

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The purpose of this study was to deepen the knowledge concerning how prospective special educators (PSEs) used and experienced different types of consultation skills in consultation sessions they held with general educators, after having participated in a consultation course. The participants were 17 PSEs attending a course in which multiple consultation skills (problem-solving and communication skills) were trained.  The PSEs’ self-reflections on the audio-recorded consultation sessions were analyzed using a qualitative and interpretative content analysis.  The strategies they used can be described as creating frames and clarity, applying reflective listening, offering keys and lifelines, and supporting change.  Here, the use of problem-solving and communication skills could be discerned.  The results concerning facilitators indicated that the PSEs found both problem-solving skills and communication skills useful, and they mixed skills from both domains throughout the process.  Several pitfalls also appeared, and these indicated that there is a need for more supervised training in the use of communication skills, as well as more support for mastering the problem-solving stages.  Although the PSEs were aware of the consultation skills, they were still unable to apply them flexibly.  The results indicated that self-reflection can be used as a tool in PSEs’ consultation training, but as a complement, there is also a need for more supervised consultation training. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–30
JournalJournal of Educational and Psychological Consultation
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • counselling
  • Collaboration
  • consultation
  • collaborative consultation
  • Qualitative research
  • special education teachers

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