Parent Consultation: A Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective
In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing society, families face a variety of increasingly prevalent and complex problems such as divorce, abuse, terminal illness, financial strain, juvenile crime, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse. The role of family, and specifically parents, in development is crucial, as children and adolescents tend to develop their values, beliefs, and behavior patterns within their family system. Moreover, parents are essential in ameliorating learning, behavior, and emotional problems experienced by youth. School professionals, now more than ever, are beginning to recognize that it is imperative to develop an awareness of the issues affecting the families of the students they serve. Viewing students’ problems within the context of their family system allows for a better understanding of the needs of those students and how best to effectively provide the services necessary. Mullis and Edwards (2001) poignantly note that by increasing one’s understanding of the family system, school professionals can more effectively assist and support parents through consultation, while consequently improving the likelihood that the family will support and adopt positive changes.