Samspel för förändring : En konsultationsmodell för arbete med elever i svårigheter

Sammanfattning: The primary aim of this thesis is to formulate a theoretically and empirically based consultation model for psychologists in school contexts. Ideas and strategies are clarified so that they can be applied, evaluated, and further developed by other professionals. The model has been constructed with an interactional approach, with the stress on patterns of interaction between grown-ups and children and their consequences for children’s development. Ideas and techniques of family therapy have been integrated and translated to consultation processes in school; mainly short-term strategic therapy, with its focus on resources, goals, and solutions. The model is applicable to different types of problems and combinations of persons – teachers, parents and children – and as a frame of reference for teamwork between psychologists, special teachers, and other specialists. The thesis has three parts. I) The practical and theoretical context: Analysis of official steering documents, results of studies, and family-systems and short-term models of relevance for problem solving for children and youth in difficulties. II) An interactional model for school-based consultation: Presentation of a theory of interaction for school and family, forms of collaboration and teamwork for specialists, teachers and family, and a structured method for developmental and problem-solving talks in the process of consultation, with techniques and interventions for solving the particular problem. III) An empirical study of the usefulness of the model: Examination and illustration of the validity of the model in communication with twelve experienced psychologists and fifty special teachers who have applied it in their professional practice. The subjects answered a questionnaire, or took part in a telephone interview, with focus on eight problem areas: 1. Conditions of service, 2. Specialist organization, 3. Model application, 4. Consequences for affected parties, 5. Differences from previous modes of working, 6. Perceptions of causal connections, 7. Evaluation of different aspects of the model, and 8. Further development. The respondents were highly favourable in their attitude to working according to the intentions of the model, the recurrent theme being the importance of abandoning a search for individual shortcomings in favour of a resource-oriented solution process with multidirected partiality and with the participation of significant others – teachers, parents and children – in goals and plans of action. The consultation model was illustrated through eleven psychologists’ cases, and with in-depth descriptions of four of them from all stages of comprehensive school, showing how the model’s interaction theory and forms of cooperation between school and family can be applied with seemingly good results in a relatively short time. The model, however, should be used flexibly, in a way that suits each professional best, and with active support throughout the system.