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Consulting Skills Intensive: Overview

Consulting Skills Intensive (CSI) Overview

The Consulting Skills Intensive (CSI) is required for students in the PsyD Behavioral Health Leadership program and it is optional for MS and PhD students.

The CSI is a hands-on learning experience featuring role play, teamwork, observed integration, and real time feedback and coaching. The skills intensive provides intense and in-person immersion into the scenarios and case studies that directly relate to the day-to-day challenges and opportunities participants may encounter in their current and future workplaces.The retreat is a participant-centered environment in which there is ongoing collaboration and interaction through discussion, practice, feedback, reflection, integration, teamwork, and coaching.


Psychologists and practitioners need strong consulting skills to guide organizations and their leaders toward desired strategic and tactical outcomes. For in-house staff this encompasses assessing problematic areas, developing effective processes, and fostering appropriate behaviors aligned with organizational goals; for external consultants it includes similar steps, but also entails assessing the impact of culture and climate on organizational processes and individual behaviors.


Participants in the skills intensive will develop a working knowledge of the consultation process, acquire assessment skills, gain experience using select instruments, and achieve an understanding of expected deliverables. CSI participants will initially complete a series of pre-work readings. They will then be formed into small consultant teams that will work collaboratively during the retreat through an array of scenarios to support a notional client organization. The notional organizations represented encompass the private, government, and non-profit sectors. Team members will collaborate in applying previous coursework and assigned readings to assess the notional organization, use tools to identify/capture/quantify issues, develop tailored interventions, and formulate implementation strategies. Teams will be immersed in case analysis, role-playing, and hands-on activities. Added emphasis will be placed on consulting with matrix, virtual, and global organizations. At the conclusion of the CSI, each team will draw from the products completed during the session to out-brief for their notional client. Collectively, the skills intensive provides participant a systematic framework to leverage as future organizational consultants.

Learning Outcomes

The following are key learning outcomes you will be expected to achieve as part of your CSI retreat experience:

  1. Develop the skill to present a concept of how and why an organization can use you to address specific organizational issues.
  2. Development of the skill to present a proposal to an organizational leader.
  3. Develop the ability to identify specific tools to address organizational issues (diagnose organizational issues).
  4. Integrate the ability to administer; score; and interpret tools useful for organizational work and coaching.
  5. Develop the ability to provide developmental feedback to individuals in the organization.
  6. Develop the ability to provide a briefing to the organizational leaders on the results of the intervention with identification of potential next steps.
  7. Develop an understanding on how to establish your costs for providing this service to an organization.

Session Topics

Consulting Skills Intensive retreat topics may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • The Internal vs External Consultant
  • Public vs Private Sector Consulting
  • For-Profits & Non-Profits Consulting
  • Successful Client Relationships
  • Effective Project Management
  • Handling Ethical Matters & Dilemmas
  • Effective Feedback Format, Delivery, & Management
  • Resistance to Change, & Overcoming Resistance
  • Consulting and Entrepreneurship
  • Organizational vs. Corporate
  • Consulting Firm vs. Independent Practitioner
  • Teaming & Designing Interventions
  • Change Targets & Change Agents
  • Evaluating Outcomes
  • Client Follow-Up