Learning the Language of Consultation: Quantifying Interactions Over Time

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Studies of school-based consultation communication interactions have typically examined only single sessions, providing a limited snapshot of interactions between consultants-intraining (CITs) and consultees. The present study is an evaluation of language used during ongoing consultation training relationships for 26 dyads (CITs and volunteer teachers), using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software. Working with a database of 116 session transcripts, group differences and trends over time were examined for pronoun use and the 4 LIWC summary variables of analytic thinking, clout, authenticity, and emotional tone, along with language style matching. CITs used more "you" language and exhibited higher analytic thinking, clout, and emotional tone scores than consultees; consultees exhibited higher rates of "I," "she/he," "we," and "they" language as well as higher Authenticity scores. Only CITs demonstrated changes in language used over time: rates of "I," "we," and "you" language decreased as sessions progressed. Implications for consultant development and consultation training are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalConsulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)100–118
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Consultation language, LIWC analysis, School-based consultation

ID: 241119170