Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


School Psychology

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Jessica Glass-Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, EdD

Third Advisor

Michelle McIntyre, PsyD


This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of 11 parents whose child received an evaluation at school by the school psychologist. By using a semi-structured interview, the author examined the initial evaluation process, or the first time a parent had his or her child evaluated by a school psychologist. A special focus was placed on the meeting in which the parent received results from the school psychologist. The results indicated that there is a lack of connection between parents and the evaluation process. This disconnect becomes wider over the course of the evaluation and at the end of the process, these parents are still searching for help for their children. This dissertation will discuss ideas for an improvement in reframing this process around a cognitive-behavioral framework; this will include developing a therapeutic alliance using empathy, learning the existing schema that a parent has for his or her child, and treating the evaluation feedback conference as an activating event for thoughts and feelings. Finally, practice guidelines for school psychologists to use during the evaluation process with parents will be suggested.