Defining Your Consulting Practice

psychological discipline

Psychology is comprised of various disciplines. These include educational psychology, clinical psychology, child development, and industrial/organizational psychology among others. My specialty is I/O psychology. This discipline focuses on assessing behaviors and needs in the workplace and devising solutions to address any related concerns (Cable & O’Driscoll, 2010). With the service of I/O psychologists, employees can improve their wellbeing, enhance efficiency, and improve productivity.

Levels of psychological consulting

According to Lowman (2016), there are three levels of psychological consulting. First is consulting at the individual level. The focus is on giving individuals the advice they need. For instance, they work with individuals in addressing strengths and weaknesses that are relevant to a career choice or change. This is done through thorough assessments of the individuals. The Second is the group consulting level. Working groups provide various opportunities for consulting essential for running efficiently. This is especially when conflicts are bound to occur and team members have to work together. The third is an organizational consulting level (Lowman, 2016). At this level, consulting psychologists help organizations in understanding their complexity, understanding the cause of certain problems, and devising means of addressing these problems. My preferred level of psychological consulting is the individual level. I like working with individual clients in helping them to address needs that can enable them to function more effectively.

Dimensions of psychological consulting

Assessment and interventions are two dimensions of psychological consulting. Assessments are aimed at describing individual status, teams, or organizations. The assessments can focus on processes, effectiveness level, and changes. They are also conducted for description or categorization purposes (Hedge & Borman, 2008). For instance, they are used to obtaining information about a certain policy. Assessments are used as a diagnostic tool. They determine the nature of the most effective intervention. They are also carried out in monitoring the progress of an intervention (Hedge & Borman, 2008). The intervention involves actions taken to solve the identified problem. Assessment alone is not enough to help a client. Therefore, the best dimension is an intervention which should be guided by an assessment. I believe in conducting an assessment to understand a situation and then considering the best intervention based on assessment outcomes.

Market niche in which consulting services would be provided

I/O psychologists apply basic psychology principles in various organizations. These include government entities and large corporations. Large corporations both private and the public would serve as my market niche. These corporations are working under high pressure. Competition is more that tough. Therefore, they need help in impacting the behaviors and attitudes of their employees (Hedge & Borman, 2008). Individual employees in these corporations may be facing family or workplace conflicts. This can limit their ability to explore their potential. Through assessment and proper interventions, I would be able to improve their wellbeing eventually improving workplace productivity (Hedge & Borman, 2008). This is the desire of every large corporation. The I/O psychology service would thus be in high demand among the target population.

Type of consulting services appropriate for the level of consulting

There are various types of consulting services that an I/O psychologists can consider. One can work for a consulting firm, be an internal consultant, own private business, or work in academics (Hedge & Borman, 2008). I plan to own my own business offering consulting service at the individual level.  With this type of consulting service, I would work with large corporations in helping individual employees to improve their productivity. This kind of setting will expose me to various situations. I would be able to serve employees from different corporations and with different problems. This will expand my experience as well as knowledge in the consulting field. While striving to improve individuals’ wellbeing, being self-employed will also create opportunities for personal development (Hedge & Borman, 2008). I will be able to create time for individual development essential in the I/O psychology career.

Approach to consulting

Collaboration is my most preferred approach to consulting. This is one of the consultation approaches developed by Kurpius in 1978 (Hedge & Borman, 2008). I believe that valuable consulting is as a result of an exchange between a client and a counselor. It is not just about specific services or expertise but working directly with a client. This helps in producing the best results for both sides. This approach is beneficial because; first, it provides a good platform for identifying the actual cause of the client’s problem. Second, the approach enables the selection of the most effective solution to the identified problem (Cascio & Aguinis, 2008). Third, it ensures that implemented plans are flexible, realistic, and relevant. Fourth and most important, collaboration approach to consulting provides opportunities for continuous improvement and learning. Working with individual clients, I would be able to personalized solutions to individual needs. This is essential for solving simple to complex problems. This type of approach has proven effective in achieving major individual or organizational goals.

How the approach to consulting fits with cultural differences

The world is becoming more culturally diverse. Therefore, consultants must consider diversity in their practices for successful interventions. The collaborative consulting approach helps consultants to work with clients towards effective intervention. Through collaboration, consultants are able to identify any cultural differences. This enables them to select the most effective intervention for every client (Hedge & Borman, 2008). The approach enables a consultant to consider all aspects of a client’s worldview. With the collaborative consulting approach, a consultant is less likely to select an intervention that goes against the beliefs of a client. Instead, a consultant’s decision is guided by knowledge of cultural differences. Therefore, combining consulting and diversity through a collaborative approach has great potential in improving the outcome of the practice.


Cable, D. & O’Driscoll, M. (2010). The Practice of Industrial/ Organisational Psychology in          New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, Vol. 39, No. 3, 12-18.

Cascio, W. & Aguinis, H. (2008). Research in Industrial and Organizational Psychology    from 1963 to 2007: Changes, Choices, and Trends. Journal of Applied Psychology,        Vol. 93, No. 5, 1062–1081

Hedge, J. & Borman, W. (2008). Body of knowledge for consultants. In The I/O consultant:        Advice and insights for building a successful career. (pp. 23–28). Washington, DC:       American Psychological Association.

Lowman, R. (2016). An introduction to consulting psychology: working with individuals,    groups, and organizations. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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