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School psychologists play an essential role in the provision of school-based mental health services yet continue to spend the majority of their time conducting psychoeducational assessments. In California, changes in law regarding the provision of mental health services have increased the tension around the role of school psychologists and led to models for determining the need for mental health services that are inefficient and present a potential barrier to students receiving services in a timely manner. The paper proposes case conceptualization as a more useful and efficient approach, than traditional assessment processes for determining students’ mental needs and writing goals.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Contemporary School Psychology in 2021 following peer review. The final publication may differ and is available at Springer via

A free-to-read copy of the final published article is available here.

Peer Reviewed



California Association of School Psychologists

Available for download on Thursday, January 06, 2022