Read the attached case of Janine. Then address the following two prompts in a 2 two page, double spaced paper APA style with at least 1 reference.
1. Choose one of the five models described in Chapter 3 and apply it to Janine.
2. Describe the interplay of career and personal concerns as it relates to Janine.
THE CASE OF JANINE “BELOW is chapter #3 and all 5 models ”
THE CASE OF JANINE
Janine is a 22-year-old, biracial female who is self-identified as “queer.” She appears for her initial
appointment dressed casually, wearing a torn leather jacket, jeans and sneakers with four piercings –
ears and nose. Her hair is blond with orange streaks and somewhat disheveled. She is the youngest of
three from an intact Midwestern suburban family. She appears to be somewhat nervous and ill at ease.
She indicates that she is not currently employed, but is interested in coming to the community college
to take courses that will assist her in developing career-related skills. She is somewhat unclear about
her direction, but indicates a strong interest in art and graphic design.
A discussion of her high school experiences reveals that high school was an extremely difficult experience with the exception of art classes. She reports that she “had a lot of trouble paying attention and doing the work” which resulted in an extremely low GPA.
Janine left home in another state at 19 to escape a situation she felt was abusive and has very limited
contact with her parents. She currently is sharing living space with several friends. Further discussion
reveals two prior hospitalizations following suicide attempts. Janine was diagnosed with bipolar
disorder during her second hospitalization and is currently taking medication that has stabilized
her moods. She has participated in a computer-training program through the state rehabilitation program, but has failed to keep several positions obtained through a temporary service due to the slower pace of her work. She reports an immediate need to find work, as well as pursue an educational program that will allow her to obtain her objective of living independently.
Later, Janine revealed that her awareness of potential career directions is extremely limited. Although
expressing the desire to work in the art field, she has almost no realistic knowledge of what
types of careers might build on artistic interests and skill and is equally uninformed about the necessary
education or training required. When asked to imagine herself at work and then to describe what
she sees, she is only able to articulate “working in an office where the people are nice.” Based on her
prior, limited work experience, she knows that she does not want to work in food service settings and
expresses considerable doubt as to her ability to be successful at a “regular job.”
Although she feels strongly that additional education is important, she reports a high level of anxiety
about returning to school and is discouraged about the length of time that earning a degree will
take, since she feels she can attend only part time. She has been referred to a special program at the
community college that will support at-risk students with tutoring and other accommodations if required and has been scheduled for continuing contact with the counseling department to explore both
career and personal issues.
In this chapter we shift from the theoretical foundations of career development theories to the practical application of theoretical concepts. Five career counseling models are introduced, discussed, and illustrated with case studies. Four of the career counseling models in this chapter have been developed over time to reflect what has been learned from career development theories discussed in the previous chapter. The background for the fifth career counseling model that addresses the special needs of multicultural groups is covered in chapter 9. It is most important to recognize that the career counseling models that follow are not career development theories but do represent an attempt to apply theoretical concepts in the form of interventions and counseling procedures. The step-by-step procedures illustrated in the five career counseling models provide the reader with a sequential overview of effective interventions.
It is most important to recognize that the career development research introduced in the preceding chapter has successfully produced guidelines for career counseling practice. The career counseling models discussed here present suggestions for building a repertoire of practical applications that can serve as a foundation for career counseling models of the future. First, I briefly discuss some basic issues and concepts that have emerged from model development. Next, five career counseling models are outlined and described. The major parameters of the five models are briefly discussed in the final section.
Five career counseling models represent a broad spectrum of career counseling strategies that are directed toward a common goal of assisting clients make a career decision. Each of the following models is introduced with some brief comments about its origins: trait-and-factor and person-environment-fit (PEF); developmental; learning theory; cognitive information-processing (CIP) approach; and multicultural career counseling model for ethnic women. Model I, trait-and-factor and PEF, includes two different career development theories. Model II, the developmental model, was primarily drawn from Super’s (1957, 1980) work. Model III, the learning theory model, was structured from Mitchell and Krumboltz (1996), and Model IV, the CIP approach, from Peterson, Sampson, and Reardon (1991). The background information for Model V, a multicultural career counseling model, is contained in several chapters that follow. All the models are flexible enough to include occupational classification systems such as Holland’s classification system, assessment instruments discussed in chapter 6, and a variety of occupational information resources, including written materials, computer-generated materials, and multimedia aids.
The point here is that the career counseling models described in the following pages can use the very popular Holland typology approach and materials, some of which were described in chapter 2. All the models discussed endorse an individualized approach to career counseling. Individual needs, therefore, dictate the kind and type of assessment instruments used and the materials and procedures used in the counseling process.
Because occupational information is an important part of intervention strategies in the five counseling models described in this section, some suggestions for its effective use are summarized. The following recommendations for the effective acquisition of occupational information have been compiled from several sources.
During the last decade we have seen a gradual convergence of trait-and-factor methods and procedures with person-environment-fit constructs—also referred to as person-environment-correspondence in its early development. In general terms, some trait-and-factor methods have been adapted to determine person-environment-fit, but significant changes have also occurred:
Both cognitive and affective processes are now involved;
clinical information and qualitative data are included in the appraisal process; and
the counselor’s role has shifted from a directive approach to one in which counselor and client negotiate and collaborate (Swanson & Fouad, 2010).
The following summary statements include some major counseling guidelines that can serve as a connection between theory and practice.
The following model includes seven stages (Dawis 1996; Swanson & Fouad, 2010; Walsh, 1990) which will be briefly described.
The major goal of PEF is the enhancement of self-knowledge. It is most important to recognize that clients who have developed an adequate self-identity are better equipped to self-assess potential satisfaction and congruence with work environments. Therefore, the focus on self-knowledge emphasized in the PEF process is a major contribution to the career choice process and effective optimal career selection (Dawis, 1996). It can indeed be a tedious and most comprehensive step-by-step process. Within this model of career counseling, counselor and client form a partnership that endures numerous challenges and doubts on the pathway to an optimal career choice.
Stage 1, the Intake Interview, begins with the client and counselor forming a compatible working relationship. Counselors do not assume an authority-expert role; rather, they build a relationship in which they will share responsibility and negotiate options in a collaborative manner.
Background information includes a biographical history that can be obtained from a questionnaire and through discussion. Information about the client’s environmental influences is a high priority. During the interview, the counselor evaluates the emotional status of the client and the client’s cognitive clarity. Personality style and personality characteristics are also observed. The information obtained in the intake interview is used throughout the counseling process. For example, background variables are used to evaluate personality structure and style. Any problems that surfaced are further evaluated in the stages that follow.
Stage 2, Identify Developmental Variables, includes the information obtained in the intake interview that is reviewed to account for important elements that are involved in PEF counseling, such as perception. Perception in this context refers to perception of self, such as one’s identity, self-concept or self-image, and, in addition, perception of one’s environment or work environment including its requirements, reinforcers, and demands. What is suggested here is that counselors are to assist clients in observing the environment in which they work and the contextual interactions within it in order to evaluate and determine opportunities, relevant experiences, and limitations. Of particular interest are restrictions of developmental opportunities from environmental variables for women and minority groups.
Assessment, stage 3, involves a comprehensive evaluation of the client’s cognitive abilities, values, and interests. These measured traits are used with other variables to determine a client’s reinforcement needs found in occupational environments. Thus, the major purpose of this information is to match client needs with occupations or groups of occupations that are predicted to result in satisfaction (self-fulfillment) and satisfactoriness (achievement).
Information-processing skills are important for clients to appropriately process information presented to them in PEF counseling. Those clients who need assistance for processing information are assigned intervention strategies designed to improve these skills before PEF counseling continues. More details about information-processing skills can be found in stage 4.
In stage 4, Identify and Solve Problems, information gathered in the first three stages is used to identify any affective concerns, self-knowledge needs, and the client’s level of information processing. Clients who are identified as having serious emotional problems or dysfunctional thinking are referred for psychotherapy or for a complete psychological evaluation. Clients who have unrealistic or faulty beliefs about self-perceptions or perceptions of work environments or both are provided with tailored intervention strategies designed to assist them.
A most important point made here is that counselors are to evaluate each client’s ability to process information for optimal career decision making. Rounds and Tracey (1990) suggest that there are three types of knowledge bases: working (active, conscious thought), declarative (knowledge of facts), and procedural (processing the relationship between different pieces of knowledge). Beginners using a trial-and-error procedure tend to use declarative knowledge, whereas experts use procedural knowledge, that is, experts are able to process the relationship of different knowledge and information in decision making. This process in turn involves four steps of information processing: encoding (sorting out the information’s meaning), goal setting, plan development and pattern matching, and finally action. Each step is briefly described in Box 3.1
Rounds and Tracey (1990) also point out that effective information processing includes active and conscious deliberation, which is referred to as central processing rather than peripheral processing. The counselor’s rapport with a client and the counselor’s behavior in presenting information can negatively influence the client’s motivation to process information and is referred to as peripheral processing. Thus, if clients appear not to be motivated, the counselor should focus on persuasion cues that are related to counselor behavior of projecting warmth, trustworthiness, and competence.
In sum, treatment interventions are a function of the following:
Client levels of information processing are rated as very high, high, medium, and low. Very high levels of information processing indicate clients who have demonstrated competence in the four stages (encoding, goal setting, pattern matching, and action selection) as described earlier. Clients at this level need little treatment and consideration; computer-assisted career guidance programs and self-help procedures are recommended.
Those with high levels of information processing generally lack pattern-matching knowledge but have mastered other steps. They should benefit from instruction on career decision-making skills. The focus should be on integrating information for a decision.
Clients rated as having medium-level information-processing skills usually have difficulty with encoding. They exhibit little insightful knowledge about the role and scope of an occupation or an academic major. The treatment should focus on encoding information and depth of insight through individual counseling or by taking a career course. In addition, a thorough analysis of coping and problem-solving skills is recommended.
Clients with low-level skills in information processing are characterized as having significant deficits in problem solving, that is, they are only able to encode and process a little of the information presented to them. These clients may require the counselor to assume a teaching role that directly provides needed skills in a step-by-step fashion. The counselor also assumes a very active role in guiding the client in the decision process.
In stage 5, Generate PEF Analysis, the counselor and client develop a cognitive schema or a conceptual framework to direct the search for PEF. In this context each client’s ability patterns are used to predict satisfactoriness in different occupations. Values and personality style are used to predict satisfaction with certain occupations and also to describe the client’s reinforcer requirements. An occupational classification system is used to locate occupations for abilities required and the reinforcers that are provided. The next step is to list occupations that correspond to the client’s satisfaction and satisfactoriness needs. Within this procedure, clients find congruent occupations and choose one that is the optimal fit. The prediction system is more accurate when the client’s dominant orientation (satisfactoriness or satisfaction) is known. An illustration of PEF analysis is given in Case 3.1
This is a counselor’s summary of the case of a 19-year-old female who was undecided about a career goal.
Lee presented a background from a stable home environment, and there were no indications of irrational thinking or faulty beliefs. She appeared to be stable and expressed a positive self-concept. There was no evidence that she felt she must limit her career options because she is female. She felt free to explore any career of interest and was fully aware that some careers are stereotyped as male and female. Lee mentioned that her mother was a Chinese American born in this country and that her father was also American, of Irish and German descent. She identified with the dominant society. She finished high school in the top 20% and was in her first semester of college. She was found to have a very high level of skills in information processing. The counselor concluded that Lee was now serious about making a career decision. During the assessment stage, Lee and the counselor collaborated on the tests that could be helpful.
Lee, earlier I explained the idea of career counseling based on PEF. Do you have any questions at this time?
Not really, but I believe you mentioned that ability and values are used to help people like me find the right kind of job or as you said fit between person and work requirements.
Very good! I’ll review the procedure once more. First, we will measure your abilities, and values. Second, we will both assess work environments by not only observing work requirements, but also by whether you feel a particular occupation would be satisfying for you. We will do this by matching your traits with work reinforcers found in work environments. When we find a match, we refer to this as personal-environment-fit, or simply PEF.
The following tests were chosen after an introduction of the purpose and use of each test. The General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) (U.S. Department of Labor, 1970b) was chosen to measure nine specific abilities as shown in Lee’s score results. The Minnesota Importance Questionnaire (MIQ) (University of Minnesota, 1984) was chosen as a measure of needs based on values. Although these two instruments were developed decades ago, they have been periodically updated.
Test score results for Lee were grouped by high, moderate, or low for nine abilities and six values as follows:
The counselor presented assessment results to Lee by carefully explaining the meaning of each ability and value score. Counselor and client observed assessment scores in the order suggested in Figure 3.2. The ability scores as measured by the GATB present scores as high, moderate, and low. Lee was asked to react to the ability measures first. The counselor asked Lee to define the meaning of the subscale scores of each ability. Lee’s ability to express herself was outstanding and she also provided evidence of someone who is very interested in finding an optimal career.
|GATB||Intelligence||Motor coordination||Finger dexterity|
|Numerical aptitude||Spatial aptitude|
|Verbal aptitude||Clerical Perception|
|Form perception||Manual dexterity|
|MIQ||Comfort||Altruism Safety Autonomy|
Lee, do you recall the meaning of verbal aptitude from our earlier discussion?
Well, I think it is a measure of my ability to express myself and communicate with others.
That’s right! It was a vocabulary test that required you to identify words that have the same meaning or opposite meaning.
Yes, that was a tough one!
You’re right—some people have a difficult time with it. But more important, how does this score link with finding a career?
I was told by one of my high school teachers that a good vocabulary is important for so many things—like meeting people, making a speech, and even studying. It is also important in work—I will need to be able to communicate with other people, like a boss or a customer.
The counselor was impressed with Lee’s answers and continued explaining and discussing each of the ability measures. In each case counselor and client linked score results with career choice; the focus was on the decision process. The counselor also emphasized that occupations require a combination of abilities and skills that are listed in available references that describe job requirements for a variety of occupations.
After defining each value measured by the Minnesota Importance Questionaire (MIQ), the counselor turned to the MIQ report. See Figure 3.3. The individual’s responses on the MIQ that measures six values and 20 needs are compared with occupational reinforcer patterns (ORPs) for 90 representative occupations. Individual needs are matched with occupational reinforcers to determine an individual’s fit into a work environment. Some examples of occupational reinforcers are achievement, advancement, authority, coworkers, activity, security, social service, social status, and variety. ORPs and occupational ability patterns are given for more than 1700 careers in the Minnesota Occupational Classification System (Rounds, Henly, Dawis, Lofquist, & Weiss, 1981).
|Achievement||Ability utilization||I could do something that makes use of my abilities.|
|Achievement||The job could give me a feeling of accomplishment.|
|Comfort||Activity||I could be busy all the time.|
|Independence||I could work alone on the job.|
|Variety||I could do something different every day.|
|Compensation||My pay would compare well with that of other workers.|
|Security||The job would provide for steady employment.|
|Working conditions||The job would have good working conditions.|
|Status||Advancement||The job would provide an opportunity for advancement.|
|Recognition||I could get recognition for the work I do.|
|Authority||I could tell people what to do.|
|Social status||I could be “somebody” in the community.|
|Altruism||Co-workers||My co-workers would be easy to make friends with.|
|Moral values||I could do the work without feeling it is morally wrong.|
|Social service||I could do things for other people.|
|Safety||Company policies and practices||The company would administer its policies fairly.|
|Supervision–human relations||My boss would back up the workears (with top management).|
|Supervision-technical||My boss would train the workers well.|
|Autonomy||Creativity||I could try out some of my ideas.|
|Responsibility||I could make decisions on my own.|
Source: From A Psychological Theory of Work Adjustment, by R.V. Dawis and L. H. Lofquist, p. 29. Copyright 1984 University of Minnesota Press. Reprinted by permission.
The counselor spent considerable time explaining how one is to interpret the MIQ report form and scores. On this report form a C value indicates the strength or importance of a need. For example, if a C value is greater than .49, then the occupation is considered satisfying or of value to you. If the C value is between .10 and .49, there is likely to be job satisfaction, but, if the C value is less than .10, it is likely that there would be no job satisfaction. See Figure 3.4.
The MIQ profile is compared with Occupational Reinforcer Patterns (ORPs) for 90 representative occupations. Correspondence is indicated by the C index. A prediction of Satisfied (S) results from C values greater than .49, Likely Satisfied (L) for C values between .10 and .49, and Not Satisfied (N) for C values less than .10. Occupations are clustered by similarity of Occupational Reinforcer Patterns.
|C Index||Pred. Sat.|
|CLUSTER A (ACH-AUT-Alt)||.17||L|
|Family Practitioner (M.D.)||.27||L|
|Nurse, Occupational Health||.06||N|
|CLUSTER E (Com)||.47||L|
|Post Office Clerk||.43||L|
|Production Helper (Food)||.47||L|
|Sales, General (Department Store)||.33||L|
|Teacher, Elementary School||.20||L|
|Teacher, Secondary School||.25||L|
|CLUSTER C (ACH-Aut-Com)||.48||L|
|Commercial Artist, Illustrator||.51||S|
|Maintenance Repairer, Factory||.49||L|
|Sales Agent, Real Estate||.18||L|
|Salesperson, General Hardware||.35||L|
|CLUSTER D (ACH-STA-Com)||.64||S|
|Accountant, Certified Public||.51||S|
|Airplane Co-Pilot, Commercial||.60||S|
|Department Head, Supermarket||.42||L|
|Engineer, Time Study||.29||L|
|Farm-Equipment Mechanic I||.73||S|
|Programmer (Business, Engineering Science)||.55||S|
|Sheet Metal Worker||.63||S|
|Writer, Technical Publication||.55||S|
|Solderer (Production Line)||.45||L|
|CLUSTER B (ACN-Com)||.36||L|
|Heavy Equipment Operator||.37||L|
|CLUSTER F (Alt-Com)||.33||L|
|Airplane Flight Attendant||.09||N|
|Clerk, General Office, Civil Service||.32||L|
|Receptionist, Civil Service||.27||L|
|Secretary (General Office)||.30||L|
Source: Minnesota Importance Questionnaire. Copyright 1984 Vocational Psychology Research, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota. Reprinted with permission
That’s interesting. Let me see—I have a high value for achievement and autonomy. What does that mean?
Good point! Let’s look at the definition of each value we discussed earlier. After reading the description of the two values, Lee was able to summarize how they could be linked to a work environment.
This means I would like a job that would give me the opportunity to use my skills and be creative. But how will I know if I have the ability to be a lawyer or an architect?
Good question, Lee! After you have developed a list of occupations that interest you, we can compare your ability scores with the requirements of each occupation. As you evaluate each occupation, we will discuss what you have found and I will refer you to individuals who work in some of the professions.
During the course of the semester, Lee was very diligent in pursuing some specific interests. She visited the university’s prelaw advisor and a local attorney. She also had a conference with a representative from the school of business and an accountant. Shortly before her sophomore year in college, Lee declared an accounting major. Her overall goal was to attend law school and become a tax attorney.
Stage 6, Confirm, Explore, and Decide, begins when counselor and client review test data and the prediction analysis to determine if the client is comfortable with the results. If the client does not agree with work environments that are predicted to be congruent, recycling in the model may be recommended. Clients who do agree should be directed to explore potential work environments that are predicted to be congruent. Finally, a decision is reached.
Stage 7, Follow-Up, involves an evaluation of the client’s progress and the procedures used to assist clients in finding a work environment in which they experience satisfaction. Counselors also assist clients in their job searches.
In sum, this model emphasizes fit-of-person with an optimal career. Standard assessment instruments are used to determine the client’s abilities, values, and interests. Subjective data (cognitive clarity, emotional status evaluations, and problem-solving processes) are used with assessment data in the counseling process. A significant part of this model involves the identification of information-processing skills. Intervention strategies that are matched to specific identified deficits in information processing are a major focus of the career counseling process. The basic assumption of person-environment-fit is that individuals seek to achieve and maintain a positive relationship with their work environments. Thus, counselors assist clients in finding some degree of congruence between themselves and work environments in the career decision process.
Figure 3.1 represents the PEF analysis schematic that is used for optimal career choice. Following the steps from left to right, the client is administered an abilities test and a values questionnaire. In the second step, ability and value patterns of occupations are compared with the client’s ability and values. This comparison is used to predict satisfactoriness, or the probability that the worker will satisfy the work requirements in a work environment and whether the worker will find satisfaction performing the work that is required. These predictions are based on comparing the individual’s abilities and values with the work environment requirements and reinforcers that are available. Finally, the individual selects specific occupations of interest and researches each one until an optimal choice is made. A PEF analysis stresses that career choice should be based on one’s fit with the requirements of a job and the satisfaction and feeling of well-being one receives for a job well done.
Figure 3.1Use of the Theory of Work Adjustment in Career Choice
Source: From “The Theory of Work Adjustment and Person-Environment-Correspondence Counseling,” by R. V. Dawis, in Career Choice and Development, 3rd ed., pp. 75–121, by D. Brown, L. Brooks, and Associates, Copyright © 1996 by Jossey-Bass, Inc. This material is used by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
In Lee’s case the client’s needs and values became the central focus of discussion, which led to a better understanding of how these factors affect job satisfaction and adjustment. In PEF, job satisfaction is considered a significant variable in determining job involvement and career tenure. In sum, the PEF analysis stresses the use of occupational information to assist clients in matching needs and abilities with patterns and levels of different reinforcers in the work environment. As work environments change in the future, more research will be needed to maintain the effectiveness of the MIQ.
For more information on PEF counseling and the MIQ, see Dawis (1996, 2002), Osborn and Zunker (2012), Swanson and Fouad (2010), and Sharf (2013).
This developmental model has been built from the position that career development is a lifelong process and the career development needs of unique individuals must be met during all stages of life (Healy, 1982; Gelso & Fretz, 2001; Swanson & Fouad, 2010; Sharf, 2013). Goals, learning strategies, and timing of interventions in this model are guided by what was labeled as Super’s (1957, 1990) vocational developmental tasks and stages. Counselors are to focus on all barriers that may diminish one’s development of career maturity and self-concept. Ideally, clients should focus on the development of all life roles for a balanced lifestyle; an individual’s unique needs are emphasized. As you learned from chapter 2, Super’s career development theory is very extensive and inclusive. The following summary statements include some major counseling concerns that can serve as a connection between theory and practice:
The following counseling model includes five stages as follows:
In the first stage of this model, as in most of the other models. The counseling relationship between counselor and client is of the utmost importance. The counselor makes tentative appraisals of the client that are to be verified or debunked during the assessment phases and discussions that follow. A good example is the tentative conclusion that a client is of average intelligence or more specifically able to learn more about occupations and self-concept through learning programs. The verification and specification of this tentative conclusion will be determined by ability tests and further discussions. The counselor employs interview skills that encourage clients to verbalize their past experiences as well as future goals and lifestyle issues.
The second stage of this model, known as career development assessment and counseling (CDAC), is very extensive and inclusive. There are four very important steps in this stage and each will be explained separately. During the first step in this stage, the client’s social development and role salience are assessed. The emphasis of assessment is on the client’s relative importance of life roles that involve education, work, family, community, and leisure.
The second step consists of an evaluation of the client’s perception of the work role, such as his or her current career status, as well as career concerns that are associated with growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement. In addition assessment includes measures of the client’s knowledge and attitudes about career choice, especially when one is involved in career planning and career exploration and gathering information about work and occupations. The client’s adaptability (making mature career decisions) and perception of current job market trends are also of utmost importance.
The third step includes the often used measures of abilities, interests, and values. A variety of instruments that measure these characteristics are available as described in chapter 6. In the developmental model, interest inventories that present results as estimates of realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional (RIASEC) types are preferred. Thus counselors would use the very popular and effective Holland (1992) typology as described in chapter 2. The overarching goal here is to present the client with valuable information concerning the relationship and connection of her or his abilities, interest, and values in the choice process.
The fourth and final step focuses on self-concepts and life themes. The procedures in this step are often referred to as subjective evaluations of the client’s view of self and dominant lifestyles and life themes expressed by clients in conversations or in an autobiography. Counselors guide and encourage clients to discuss their work and other life-role experiences, including how one has made decisions in the past and negotiated transitions. Another method is to ask clients to write about their life experiences and future projections. Salience of life-role indicators includes, the amount and quality of participation in different roles, the commitment one makes to life roles, and the opportunities provided by life roles for meeting numerous value needs. This concludes the assessment steps in stage two of this counseling model.
The third stage in this model is primarily devoted to an explanation and interpretation of the key measurement instruments and the counselor’s subjective information that was garnered from the interview and other discussions of life roles. Counselors often use profiles of score reports as a visual aid when discussing the significance of client scores. One advantage of using test data to get to know your client better is through score reports that usually encourage clients to self-assess and express agreement and disagreement with scores. Counselors have the opportunity to encourage clients to draw conclusions about their future from score results.
In this model’s fourth stage, counselor and client in a working consensus relationship are to establish future counseling goals. Counselors are to assist clients in conceptualizing an accurate self-concept. According to Super (Super, Starishesky, & Matlin, Jordan, 1963), self-concept development includes one’s ability to self-differentiate, role play, explore, and test reality. Over time other explanations of how self-concepts are developed and expressed have been suggested. In some of the following chapters I will discuss the importance and relationships of self-efficacy and self-concept. In the developmental model, self-concept is a most important factor in the choice process—one is to project one’s self-concept into the work world to find an optimal fit.
The fifth and final stage of this model emphasizes that counselors should include a careful analysis of the client’s progress in career development and maintenance of career. Counselors are encouraged to challenge clients to be aware of developmental tasks such as those for early adulthood: Strive to make your work position secure and a permanent position, but also find more opportunities for your work of choice. Such tasks are especially relevant when the economy is in recession and job loss does indeed happen. What is also suggested here is that workers may have to make multiple career choices over time.
Super (1990) suggests that counselors may need to use a variety of helping procedures in the career counseling process. Counselors may function as mentors, coaches, and teachers. Career coaching has received increasing attention; one is to offer task and advice giving as well as help clients develop solutions to their problems. In sum this model is designed to help clients “
develop and accept an integrated and adequate picture of themselves and their life roles,
test the concept against reality, and
convert it into reality by making choices that implement the self-concept and lead to job success and satisfaction as well as benefit society” (Super, Savickas, & Super, 1996, pp. 158–159).
Excerpts from the following case study are examples of how a counselor can assist a client after a job loss because of a weak economy. The counselor uses Super’s CDAC model to introduce procedures for learning more about one’s self-concept, the world of work, and one’s current career development status.
Larry, a 26-year-old Caucasian male, has been married for six years and has fathered two children ages 2 and 4. He is currently a construction carpenter specializing in framing buildings. He and his wife both have a high school education. The counselor was impressed with Larry’s ability to express himself. He appeared to be very happy with his marriage and as he put it, “I married my high school sweetheart.” His wife is employed as a bank teller. His parents are in their mid-60s and his father is a licensed electrician. He has three siblings. His parents have both been very supportive and encouraged Larry to work hard to support his family.
Larry grew up in a small town near a large city. He has commuted to different job sites in the nearby city. Currently there has been a downturn in the construction industry because of a severe recession. Many of his fellow workers have not been able to find work and he is very concerned about being laid off and in addition is worried that his wife may also lose her job. As Larry put it, “We may lose everything we have worked for including our home! Somehow I will need to find other work to support my family.”
In the discussions that followed Larry informed the counselor that he became a carpenter because the pay was good and the work was steady. He added that he liked to work with his hands and had never considered going to college. He admitted that considering other jobs that required a higher education was not a part of what he had learned while growing up. As he said, “Most of my family and friends became workers like plumbers, carpenters, and electricians. I always thought I would end up in the building trades.”
Not surprisingly, the counselor realized that Larry’s knowledge of occupations was very limited and now might be the time to introduce skill development programs and technological advances that could offer Larry some opportunities for employment. The counselor concluded that Larry was sincere and highly motivated to learn more about occupations that could offer stability and security. It was also obvious that Larry was anxious about finding solutions to his current financial problems. In addition, Larry grew up with a strong family background in which the welfare of the family as a group was of utmost importance—thus the counselor was not surprised when Larry reacted very positively to the possibility of pursuing educational programs to improve his chances of getting a job. Larry agreed that a battery of tests could be used to learn more about his abilities, interests, and values as well as learning more about different kinds of work.
What other kind of work have you considered?
The only kind of work that my wife and I have thought about is the building trades and that’s why I came to see you for help. This recession could get worse and new building projects have already shut down. The trouble is I don’t know a lot about other kinds of work. But I sure want to find something to support my family.
The counselor continued by asking Larry about his past education especially about his grades in school and if there was any particular subject he liked best.
I made good grades in mathematics courses and I liked that subject better than English or history, but I never failed a course. My folks encouraged me to study for all my courses but never pushed us to go to college.
The counselor took this opportunity to point out that the job market today and in the future will require more education and skill development. She made a most relevant point that future workers will need to adopt the position that one must be willing to be a lifelong learner in order to stay employed.
This recession has taught me a lot of lessons and one of them is that I need to improve my skills in order to find more permanent work. I am ready to do just that if I can find something interesting that offers me future opportunities.
The counselor cautioned that there are very few guarantees of a lifetime job in the current job market, but there is no question that if one improves their skills and develops multiskills the chances are better of finding and keeping a job.
That makes sense to me, but where do we go from here?
The counselor used this opportunity to explain the purpose of tests and inventories used in the CDAC model. In a working consensus counseling relationship, every test that Larry was to take was explained in terms that he could understand, especially its purpose and, more importantly, how it could be helpful. Larry was to agree to take each test. Examples of how the counselor summarized the order of assessment in the CDAC model are contained in the next paragraph.
In the first phase of testing, the counselor emphasized the importance of the work role and its relationship to other life roles. The point was made that what happens in one life role can affect other roles; anger and unhappiness resulting from work dissatisfaction can spill over to family life. Thus the purpose for evaluating one’s commitment and participation in all life roles has a definite connection to future goals. In the second, assessment phase the purpose is to measure one’s career concerns and how they are related to career development tasks. Lack of occupational information, for instance, may be related to a lack of exploration skills needed to locate and process career information. Interests, values, and abilities will be measured in the third assessment phase in order to develop a better understanding of the kind of work one is interested in, values highly, and has the necessary ability to accomplish required tasks. In the final assessment phase, Larry was informed that discussions will focus on how he currently views himself and the world around him. Finally, Larry was told: “We will put all these data together and come up with some goals and plans for the future.” What follows is more information about the four assessment phases in the CDAC model.
The Salience Inventory (Nevill & Super, 1986) measures the relative importance of five life roles; Student, Worker, Homemaker, Leisurite, and Citizen. What we have here are measures of one’s involvement in educational activities such as studying, taking a course or developing skills, one’s work experiences and commitment, one’s role as a parent or family member, participation in leisure activities, and involvement in community activities and civic affairs. The indicators of salience of work roles are the quality and content of one’s participation, strength of commitment, and knowledge through experience, observation, and study. The rationale here is that individual development is a process that is multidimensional and multifaceted. Clients are to consider the position that one learns from life experiences while participating in different life roles. Thus there are opportunities to fulfill individual needs by one’s participation and commitment in a variety of activities. What is not to be overlooked is the suggestion that one is to participate, commit, and become involved for maximum benefits of a balanced lifestyle. Larry’s score on the Salience Inventory indicated high scores in Working, Home and Family, and Leisure and will be included in the data integration narrative stage.
The Adult Career Concerns Inventory (Super, Thompson, & Lindeman, 1988) measures one’s current career stage and current concerns with career developmental tasks. In Super’s approach to career decision making and maintenance, one should have good exploration skills in which one can crystallize or clarify what it is one wants to do in the future. One is able to specify desired work roles and develop the savvy to implement their plans. Or one may be struggling with establishing a career, especially getting started with one. Another may be attempting to consolidate their position and is looking forward to preparing for advancement. Yet another person is ready for retirement planning. By identifying one’s current career status, counselors are able to offer assistance with developmental tasks. Larry’s most pressing concerns were in exploration, followed by maintenance and establishment.
Another instrument used in this assessment phase is the Career Development Inventory (Super et al., 1971) which is designed to measure Larry’s resources (how to do career planning and exploration) and his procedures for making decisions. For example, the counselor wanted to know more about how Larry would go about career planning and obtain information about work and occupations. The results of the inventory indicate that Larry has serious concerns about career planning and exploration, knowledge of the world of work, and is also very concerned about decision-making skills. A subjective appraisal of Larry’s adaptability (career maturity), such as making mature decisions when exploring potential careers, was obtained in the interview and by listening carefully to discussions concerning initial and secondary appraisals of information. Both the score results and the interview indicate a general weakness in career planning, decision making, and exploration and knowledge of the work world. More about the meaning of these scores will be discussed in data integration.
In chapter 6 there are a number of ability tests listed that can be used to match one’s abilities with job requirements. In the same chapter one can also find a number of interests and value inventories. In Larry’s case the following test and inventories have been selected: the Differential Aptitude Test (Bennett, Seashore, & Wesman, 1991), the Strong Interest Inventory (Strong, Hansen, & Campbell, 1994) and the Values Scale (Nevill & Super, 1989). On the aptitude test Larry scored highest in mechanical reasoning, numerical ability, and verbal reasoning. The interest inventory results indicated that Larry’s highest scores were in the realistic occupational environment. The Holland typology codes in order of preference were REC (Realistic, Enterprising, and Conventional). Larry’s highest scores on the Values Scales were Achievement, Lifestyle, Ability Utilization, and Autonomy.
Each person’s perception of self is indeed a most relevant concern for helpers, especially those who are assisting clients in making important life decisions such as career choice. One’s ability to project into a work environment and do a reality check concerning their ability to meet work requirements is certainly a complex process that is very inclusive. One of the important factors involved in the choice process is self-efficacy. Self-efficacious thinking suggests that one has expectations to succeed through their own initiative, skills, and knowledge. More than likely, clients who have experienced previous success and job satisfaction have developed confidence so they can succeed in other work roles. Counselors, therefore, are to be alert as to how clients approach making choices that may be primarily influenced by past experiences. One way to uncover self-efficacious thinking is through dialogue that encourages clients to express reasons why they feel comfortable with some work requirements and environments and why they dismiss considering others. One could also use card sorts to observe how clients react to work environments.
There are a variety of card sorts that are used in counseling, but for our purpose we select cards that have the occupational titles and Holland code titles on one side of the card and the occupational description on the other. Clients are instructed to sort the cards into three stacks: “Would Choose,” “Undecided,” and “Would Not Choose.” As clients respond verbally to their choices, the astute counselor listens carefully for clues that are related to self-concept development and self-efficacious thinking as well as clues to negative cognitions that may be the driving force behind one’s view of the world as well as the future. Larry responded “undecided” and “would not choose” to certain occupations because he knew very little about them. This reaction could be typical of individuals who have little exposure to occupational requirements and have focused only on those that are related to past experiences. Clearly Larry can benefit by increasing his knowledge of occupations through effective exploration. In addition, Larry’s future can be enhanced through his efforts to develop a more balanced lifestyle.
The counselor began the data integration stage by asking Larry to state the reasons given for coming to counseling. The counselor’s goal was to have Larry participate from the very beginning. After repeating his need for help in finding a job, Larry stated that he began to realize that even though finding work was now a necessity, he soon recognized he should have gone through this process long ago.
I guess I just took the easy way out and thought things would work out, but now I have to admit I have been hoping for something better for quite some time.
Keep that observation in mind as you continue to learn more about accessing occupational information.
The counselor outlined the steps for assessment and made the point that discussions of score results should help develop some plans and goals for the future. A synopsis of score reports can be found in Box 3.2.
|Salience Inventory||High scores (relative importance of roles) Work roleHome and family roleLeisure|
|Adult Career Concerns Inventory||High self-rated concerns Tasks involved in explorationMaintenanceEstablishment|
|Career Development Inventory||Low scores Planning orientationReadiness for explorationInformation about decision making|
|Differential Aptitude Tes||High scores Numerical abilityMechanical reasoningVerbal reasoning|
|Strong Interest Inventory||High scores REC (realistic, enterprising, conventional)|
|Values Scales||High scores AchievementLifestyleAbilityUtilizationAutonomy|
The results of the Salience Inventory indicate that you consider work to be the most important life role. You scores also indicates that home, family, and leisure roles are also important. Do you think this rank order of life roles is a correct one?
That’s right! I grew up with the idea that work is one of the most important things a person can do. And yes, I want to have a happy family and enjoy the downtime. I couldn’t agree more with the results.
A discussion followed about how one life role affects other life roles. The spillover effect from one life role to other life roles was emphasized as well as benefits of a balance between life roles.
Right now I think about my work and family roles most of the time—the recession has me worried. But even before the recession I often thought about finding a different job. It seems that I was not committed enough to do something about it.
The counselor asked Larry to explain the strategies he would now use in finding a “different job.” Larry explained that he has never had to look for work because his friends and family told him about the kind of work available. “I didn’t give much thought to other kinds of work, but yet I knew I didn’t want to do framing work the rest of my life.”
We can help you develop effective exploration skills, but we also need to find out what kind of skills you have and the kind of work you are interested in and value. When you learn more about other occupational requirements, you should be in a better position to expand your opportunities.
The next set of score results is from the Career Development Inventory (Super et al., 1971) that measures one’s ability to do career planning and the skills needed to learn more about occupations. It is also a measure of one’s decision-making skills. Not surprisingly Larry’s score report indicated low scores in career planning, exploration techniques, decision making, and knowledge of the world of work. Larry and the counselor both agreed that he would need to vastly improve his skills in all the areas measured by this inventory. The counselor offered support by informing Larry that not all his score results are negative and in fact he has some strong characteristics he can build on. She reminded him that these inventories are used to identify ways in which one can be helped.
The Adult Career Concerns Inventory (Super et al., 1988) is an instrument that can be used to identify one’s career concerns in terms of developmental tasks. Test takers are instructed to self-rate their concerns with developmental tasks. Score results include concerns with the developmental tasks associated with growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance, and decline. According to the score report, Larry’s greatest concerns were with the tasks of exploration, maintenance, and establishment.
Larry once again explained that he is very concerned about learning more about the world of work but admits he is not sure about the best way to do this. He added he is most interested in maintaining an occupational position so that he could have the possibility of advancing in a career. The counselor took this opportunity to once again make the point that lifelong learning is a good philosophy to adopt. She then informed Larry that one of his future goals can be to learn how to effectively access occupational information and to discuss ways in which one can make an occupational position secure.
The counselor then informed Larry that there were some positive signs in the next set of test scores, especially on the aptitude test. The overall results suggest that Larry is certainly capable of learning complicated tasks that are required in some occupations. He has good numerical and verbal reasoning skills and also has a high score in mechanical reasoning. In addition, he values achievement which suggests that he sets high standards and makes every attempt to utilize his abilities in a constructive way. Also, Larry prefers to make his own decisions about work procedures and planning lifestyle activities. He informed the counselor that his boss often praised some of his decisions he made concerning tasks in the workplace. It appears that Larry feels he can improve his decision-making abilities, but he has also been encouraged by accurate decisions he previously made at work. Thus, there are good indications of self-efficacy. The interest inventory score results of REC (Holland’s typology codes) suggest that Larry prefers skilled trades, and leadership roles and is rather conservative and practical.
Larry’s reaction: I have always attempted to do my best at work and I guess my independent feelings come from my parents who taught me to listen to all opinions about a subject and then make up my own mind.
This statement by Larry is a good example of someone who has developed a sense of self that is strong enough to make decisions based on both positive and negative information. This sense of self also suggests that Larry’s confidence is based on self-efficacious thinking. He gives the impression that he has confidence in his beliefs but also recognizes his deficiencies. His life theme suggests that he has a strong background of beliefs, especially of family values and community service. His strong career convictions suggest that he is willing to use alternative strategies when making decisions and he is most willing to negotiate transitions in the future.
Both Larry and the counselor recognized that the job market is very limited at this time because of a severe recession. They reached a consensus of opinion that Larry would select the best local job option available. Larry wanted to keep his home and remain in the community he and family enjoyed. Fortunately, there was an initiative program being developed in the nearby city that was designed to help people locate and train for jobs available. A foundation had given a grant to pay individuals a small amount per hour while in training. A company that was a part of the initiative program was offering an eight-week training program for learning the skills to build customized doors and other milled products. Larry entered the training program with the idea that he would do his best but would also continue to learn more about exploration skills and decision-making techniques; he would keep his options open for the future. In sum his goals included:
developing effective methods of processing career information,
enhancing efforts to develop a balanced lifestyle,
developing career planning skills and decision-making techniques, and
engaging in planning for a secure future which would include lifelong learning.
Larry’s career counseling was to continue to involve his career development needs over the life span. Larry expects to experience a series of up-and-down times in the future economy but vowed that he would be better prepared to face the challenges he may encounter. As he put it, “I want to be what you referred to as flexible and be able to adapt to changes that might occur.” In the meantime, he plans to make the best of the opportunity to learn how to work with milled products and will engage in exploring the possibility of learning new skills and more about the future trends in the job market. To no one’s surprise Larry will continue his strong commitment to family and home and his involvement in community affairs. In short Larry learned that career development is indeed a lifelong process.
A most comprehensive approach to career decision making has been carefully delineated by Krumboltz, Mitchell, and Gelatt (1975); Krumboltz and Hamel (1977); Krumboltz and Nichols (1990); Mitchell and Krumboltz (1990, 1996); and Krumboltz (1996). These authors emphasize that each individual’s unique learning experiences over the life span are most influential in the career choice process. Therefore, learning is a key ingredient in career counseling and career guidance, suggesting that a career counselor’s major task is to enhance learning opportunities for clients by using a wide array of effective methods that begin in childhood and endure throughout a lifetime.
The scope of the career counselor’s role is viewed as very complex and inclusive—suggesting a number of skills, knowledge, and methods to deal with all career and personal problems that act as barriers to goal attainment. Career counselors may take the role of mentor, coach, or educator and should be prepared to solve unique beliefs that hinder personal development. As Krumboltz (1996) sees it, the counselor as educator provides the environment for clients to develop interests, skills, values, work habits, and many other personal qualities. From this learning perspective, clients can be empowered to take actions that promote the creation of satisfying lives now and in the future. For future reference, counselors help clients identify elements of a satisfying life that could change over time and especially how to adapt to changing circumstances and constantly changing work environments.
In this model, the client is viewed as one who is exploring and experimenting with possibilities and tentative decisions. A client should not be condemned for abandoning a goal in the exploratory process of learning about self, workplaces, and careers. In fact, Krumboltz (1996) strongly suggests that clients do not need to make a career decision for the sake of deciding but, rather, should be encouraged to explore, eliminate, and make tentative tryouts in a learning process that makes progress toward accomplishing their personal goals. Within this perspective, indecision is viewed as what is expected from clients who seek assistance; indecision should not be viewed as a negative diagnosis, but as an existing condition of a client who is open to learning and exploration.
In sum, the following practical applications for counselors are paraphrased as follows:
Assessment instruments are used to stimulate new learning by identifying needed new skills, cultivating new interests, and developing interpersonal competencies;
educational interventions should be increased to provide more opportunities of learning about one’s abilities to meet career demands, the demands of the workplace, changing work habits, changing beliefs, and values;
success criteria should be based on learning outcomes and not solely on whether a client has made a career decision—the focus is on new behaviors, attempts to learn, and revised thoughts; and
counselors should integrate career and personal counseling; learning should focus on personal as well as career issues (Krumboltz, 1996).
The following career counseling model relies heavily on a decision-making model developed by Krumboltz and Sorenson (1974) and has been updated by more recent publications as noted in the beginning of this discussion and by Walsh (1990) and Savickas and Walsh (1996).
The following paragraphs summarize and highlight additional information to make this model more user friendly.
In stage 1, Interview, client–counselor relationships are established and maintained throughout the counseling process. The client must be allotted the status of collaborator and allowed the freedom and given the encouragement to learn, explore, and experiment. A working partnership may best characterize an appropriate relationship.
Some techniques of interviewing discussed and illustrated in the next two chapters, can be used as examples for at least partially fulfilling the requirements of an intake interview. Counselors obtain more specific information of client learning experiences and environmental conditions that have significantly influenced the development of task approach skills.
In stage 2, Assessment, results are used in two ways:
to suggest to clients how their preferences and skills match requirements found in educational and occupational environments and
to develop new learning experiences for the client (Krumboltz, 1996).
Using test results as a method of identifying what a client may want to learn for the future, for example, encourages clients to identify learning intervention strategies that are needed for occupations of interest. In this context, career development is considered as a temporary state that can be improved to enhance a client’s potential for career exploration. One may also want to use criterion-referenced tests that evaluate what a client can or cannot do rather than norm-referenced tests that reveal what percentage of the population the client exceeds.
Assessments designed to measure interests, values, personality, and career beliefs are also used as points of reference for developing learning interventions. In essence, using assessment results for identifying learning needs to improve career decision making suggests that
clients should not only base their decisions on existing capabilities and interests but also expand them and
occupational requirements are not expected to remain stable—thus, clients need to prepare for changing work tasks and work environments.
Tailored and remedial intervention strategies designed to meet each client’s unique needs are most effective (Krumboltz, 1996).
Tentative goals formulated during the intake interview are further evaluated during stage 3, Generate Activities. Client and counselor determine steps necessary to reach goals. Some clients might want to confirm their goals by taking an interest inventory. Another client might want to evaluate abilities. Yet another client might be best served by personal problem counseling before making a goal commitment. Before completing this stage, clients select two or more occupations to explore.
The major objectives of stage 4, Collect Information, are to introduce clients to career information resources, their purpose, and use. Client and counselor also develop a format for evaluating occupations. Included in the format are opportunities for advancement, pay scales, worker associates, preparation time for certain occupations, and skills that are required. Clients are assigned individual projects involving career exploration and may be required to job shadow or use job-experience kits.
Client and counselor discuss the information gathered for each occupation evaluated in stage 5, Share Information and Estimate Consequences. Counselors assist clients in estimating their chances of success in a chosen occupation. During this process, the client is directed to state tentative conclusions, reasons for conclusions, and ideas for further exploration. Some clients may be directed to collect more information before conclusions can be reached.
In stage 6, Reevaluate, Decide Tentatively, or Recycle, client and counselor establish a firmer commitment to career direction. Some clients continue to the next step of job search whereas others recycle for more information or a change in direction. Counselors maintain the position that clients should not be judged harshly for changing their minds during this process of discovery. Some clients require more time and information before deciding tentatively. Counselors should support clients who make reasonable and realistic requests during this stage.
In the final stage, Job Search Strategies, clients become involved in the usual programs of interview training, preparing a résumé, or joining a job club. A unique feature of this model, however, is the emphasis on teaching clients the consequences of making a career decision. Client and counselor reintroduce the concepts of career life planning and, specifically, how the procedures of learning to make a career decision can be used with other major decisions in life.
In an attempt to understand how clients arrive at decisions, counselors view core goals as driving forces underlying an individual’s motivation toward certain activities and, as such, goals function as a fundamental sense of self. For example, one who has a core goal “to be in charge” might not be motivated to evaluate certain work environments and to complete an agreed-on activity. In this case, the counselor assists the client in clarifying core goals as underlying reasons for a lack of interest in pursuing certain activities. Counselors are to assist clients in resolving issues associated with core goals, especially those that influence decision making. This step in the career counseling process is considered a key role of the career counselor (Krumboltz & Nichols, 1990).
Two major goals of this model are to build an understanding of what motivates human behavior and how thought processes and actions influence career development and subsequent career decisions. According to the living systems framework (LSF) developed by Ford (1987) and Ford and Ford (1987) as discussed in Krumboltz and Nichols (1990, p. 175), the primary and most direct influences on decision making are
one’s accumulated knowledge about the world and about one’s self (information processing and storage);
one’s entire set of desired and undesired outcomes (directive cognitions);
evaluative thought processes that determine what one can or should try to accomplish right now (regulatory evaluations); and
thought processes that determine strategies for how to accomplish current objectives and coordinate action (control processes).
Krumboltz and Nichols’s explanation of decision making underscores the magnitude of extremely complex systems from cognitive science that are used as guidelines to understand what motivates human behavior and how information about self and environment is processed when one makes a career decision. See Case 3.3 for a case involving a reluctant decision maker.
Joe was accompanied to a community counseling center by a friend who was also a career counseling client. Joe needed a great deal of support and encouragement before he agreed to make an appointment. He reluctantly asked for help to find a better job.
Joe dropped out of high school when he was in the 10th grade to work in a fast-food establishment. He recently completed a high school equivalency course and received a diploma. Now 22, he continues to live with his parents. His father is a factory worker, his mother is a homemaker, and he has four siblings.
The counselor immediately recognized that Joe was very uncomfortable asking for help. He appeared to be very nervous and restless; the counselor attempted to help Joe feel more comfortable.
Joe, I am pleased to know you (shaking hands). Your buddy here has been telling me about what a nice guy you are and what a good friend you have been.
Well, ah, thank you. He is a good friend too.
It’s great to have good friends, Joe. This reminds me of when a friend of mine helped me get started in college a few years ago.
The counselor continued to make small talk to help Joe feel more at ease. When it appeared that Joe was more relaxed, the counselor outlined his role as counselor and what is expected of a client during the career counseling process. Joe was receptive to suggestions and agreed to keep his appointments and complete work away from the counseling center that might be assigned during the course of counseling.
During the intake interview the counselor discovered that Joe had taken part in career counseling while in a high school equivalency program.
Yes, I took several tests before I finished training.
Do you recall the kind of tests?
One was for interests and I believe the other was an aptitude test.
Good! What did you decide after going over the results?
Well, I decided to think about two or three different jobs, but I didn’t get anywhere.
Explain more fully.
I thought the counselor was supposed to tell me more about what I should do and what I’m qualified for.
As Joe and the counselor continued their discussion, it became very apparent that Joe had some faulty beliefs about career decision making. He evidently thought that someone would decide for him or provide a recipe for choosing a job with little effort on his part. In addition, the counselor suspected that there were some underlying reasons Joe was not taking appropriate actions to solve his problems, but this would have to be confirmed by additional data and observation.
I just was not able to decide, and I really needed some help.
Could you tell me about the kind of help you need?
I don’t exactly know, but I just couldn’t see myself in those jobs. I just don’t know about all those jobs. My family makes fun of me when I talk about more school.
Tell me more about your family and what they said.
They all work hard. They have labor-type jobs and don’t make much money. They want me to do the same kind of thing—just live from one paycheck to another and somehow get by. You know, sometimes I think they are right! Maybe I’m not cut out to do any other kind of work.
After further discussion, the counselor was greatly concerned that Joe would not progress very far in the career decision-making process with faulty beliefs such as those he had expressed. The counselor jotted the following notes of a thinking pattern that could inhibit Joe’s career development:
Joe, we can help you make a career decision, but first we both should learn more about your career beliefs. Would you be interested in taking an inventory that would help us understand more about your beliefs and your assumptions about careers?
Sure, I guess so, but I don’t understand how it will help me.
Let me explain how we will use the results. We can find out about some of the factors that influence your decisions, what may be necessary to make you feel happy about your future, and changes you are willing to make. Discussing these subjects should help in clarifying your role and my role in the career decision-making process.
The results of the Career Beliefs Inventory (CBI) (Krumboltz, 1988) described in chapter 6, not surprisingly, indicated low scores on several scales, especially on acceptance of uncertainty and openness. Low scores on these scales indicate that excessive anxiety can lead to viewing career decision making as overwhelming, and Joe’s scores also suggested that he had fears about the reactions of others. The counselor felt more certain about his tentative conclusions from the intake interview. In the next session with Joe, and following a review of the purposes of the inventory and its scores, the counselor and Joe discussed the results.
The counselor asked Joe to tell him the reasons why he was uncertain about his future and career plans. The counselor was not surprised when Joe told him that his family had never supported any plans for him to continue his education. As Joe put it, his entire family did not agree that a college education was worth the effort. The lack of support and the ridicule he received from family members had convinced Joe that he was not capable of meeting the demands of college courses.
The counselor took this opportunity to focus on Joe’s experience with academic courses he took when pursuing a high school equivalency. Joe replied that he received a C or better in every course and also received two As. The following exchange took place:
What does this tell you about your ability to do academic work?
OK, I guess I was successful then, but that does not mean I could do the same in college.
You are absolutely right. There are no guarantees, but we have known for a long time that past academic performance is a good indicator of future performance in school.
But my brother and mom keep telling me that we aren’t the kind to go to college.
If I provide you with information about your chances of making a C or better in community college, would you be willing to talk with your family about options you are considering for the future?
Okay, but I don’t believe it will help.
Each of the scales with low scores from the results of the CBI was discussed in a similar manner, that is, faulty beliefs were identified, followed by specific plans of actions. The counselor continued to confront Joe with facts about individuals who were the first in their family to complete a college degree and stressed that he must arrive at a decision based on his own desires and potential.
The counselor and Joe agreed that he should take an achievement test to determine his academic deficiencies. Their plan was to have Joe improve his skills as a means of improving his chances of being a successful college student. In the next four months Joe spent a considerable part of his spare time in studying and being tutored to improve basic academic skills. He also gained a great deal of confidence by being involved in such a project. A follow-up test boosted Joe’s confidence when he discovered that he had shown significant academic progress.
The counselor and Joe met on a regular basis to discuss his interests and to change his faulty beliefs. The counselor met with less resistance from Joe as he became more comfortable in the college environment. Finally, Joe convinced his parents to visit with the counselor about his future plans. To everyone’s surprise, especially Joe’s, they agreed to let Joe “give it a try for a semester.”
Joe and the counselor agreed that they would delay making a firm career commitment at this time. They both felt that Joe should be open to look at several options as he progressed in college.
In this case, the CBI provided the stimulus for discussing relevant career problems that inhibited Joe from making choices in his best interests. Learning theory counseling makes it quite clear that faulty beliefs are to be challenged throughout the counseling process. Clients are to be empowered to discover their abilities and improve them as well as to explore various options before making a firm career commitment. In this case learning to improve his skills gave Joe confidence in his ability to perform at a college level.
Source: Adapted from Zunker and Osborn (2002).
In sum, learning is the key to enhancing self-knowledge. A key focus is to develop a greater sensitivity to the advantages and limitations of environmental experiences that influence career decision making. Using learning intervention strategies to develop skills, interests, and abilities to expand a client’s outcome potential is a unique feature of this model. Finally, one must recognize that cognitive functions provide clients with a model of the world and their relationship to it. As clients evaluate changing work environments, they also evaluate their skills, abilities, and other personal qualities to meet their perceptions of what is demanded. In this context, appropriate and realistic information processing is essential.
Peterson and colleagues (1996) have proposed a seven-step sequence for career delivery service as shown in chapter 2, Figure 2.3. This sequence can be used as a delivery option for both problem solving and decision making and can be used for individual, group, self-directed, and curricular programs.
This model is an extension of a career development theory, a cognitive information-processing approach to career problem solving and decision making, developed by the same authors and introduced in chapter 2. This unusual approach of illustrating and carefully describing how a theory can be applied to career counseling should be placed on the practitioner’s list of events to celebrate.
A CIP approach to career development and its application to career counseling require an in-depth understanding of cognitive information process theory. I strongly encourage you to read the original source for more information. This brief introduction to evaluating career information problems within a cognitive processing model should be considered a starting point only for understanding this theory’s application to an individual career counseling model.
Information processing for career decision making is conceptualized within this model as a hierarchical system from a base of Knowledge Domains (self-knowledge and occupational knowledge) to a Decision Skills Domain, and finally to an Executive Processing Domain, as shown in Figure 3.5.
Figure 3.5Pyramid of Information-Processing Domains
Source: From Career Development and Services: A Cognitive Approach, p. 28 by G. Peterson, J. Sampson, and E. Reardon, Copyright © 1991. Reprinted with permission of Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, a part of The Thomson Corporation.
In the Knowledge Domain, self-knowledge is related to one’s interests, abilities, and values whereas occupational knowledge consists of an individual’s view of individual occupations and structural relations between occupations.
The Decision Skills Domain consists of five stages referred to as the CASVE cycle. The acronym CASVE consists of Communication (problem perceived as a gap); Analysis (problem is reduced to components); Synthesis (problem is restructured by creating alternatives); Valuing (problem solutions are evaluated by valuing alternatives); and Execution (problem solutions are accomplished by formulating strategies).
The Executive Processing Domain consists of skills of initiating, coordinating, storing, and retrieving information. These skills are considered to be metacognitions that are used in problem solving and by self-talk, increased self-awareness, and control. Briefly, self-talk (“I think I can be a good engineer”) creates expectations and reinforces behavior. Self-awareness influences decision making, in this context, by serving as a balance between individual goals and the goals of important others. Control refers to one’s ability to control impulsive actions in the career decision process. The following summary statements include some major counseling concerns that can serve as connection between theory and practice:
Combining this very brief introduction to cognitive information processing with the material presented in chapter 2, a career counseling model in a seven-step sequence follows in a paraphrased format (Peterson et al., 1996, pp. 450–457).
The major purpose of the interview is twofold. The counselor seeks information about the client’s career problems and establishes a trusting relationship. More specifically, the counselor attends to both the emotional and cognitive components of the client’s problems. The counselor recognizes that an effective relationship enhances client self-efficacy and fosters learning.
To determine the client’s readiness for problem solving and decision making, the Career Thoughts Inventory (Sampson et al., 1996a) is administered. This inventory is used both as a screening assessment and as a needs assessment; as such, it will identify clients who could experience difficulty in the career choice process as a result of dysfunctional thinking.
In this step, the counselor and the client agree on a preliminary understanding of the client’s problem(s). For example, the problem may be defined as a “gap” between the state of the client’s indecision and the ideal state of “career decidedness.” A word of caution: The client’s problem should be explained and stated in neutral, rather than in judgmental terms.
Formulating goals is a collaborative effort between counselor and client. Goals are put in writing in an individual learning plan (ILP), as shown in Figure 3.6.
Figure 3.6Individual Learning Plan
Source: From Career Development and Services: A Cognitive Approach, p. 28, by G. Peterson, J. Sampson, and E. Reardon, Copyright © 1991. Reprinted with permission of Brooks/Cole, a part of The Thomson Corporation.
Again, the counselor and the client collaborate when developing the ILP, which provides a sequence of resources and activities that will assist the client in meeting goals established earlier. These goals and resources are very evident in the example of an ILP. The ILP also serves as a contract between client and counselor.
This step requires that the client take the initiative in proceeding with the agreed-on plan. The counselor encourages and directs the progress and may provide more information, clarification, or reinforcement of the client’s progress and also offer planning for future experiences. With dysfunctional clients, a workbook is used as a supplement to learning about the results of the Career Thoughts Inventory administered in step 2. This workbook, entitled Improving Your Career Thoughts: A Workbook for the Career Thoughts Inventory (Sampson, Petersen, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996b), is used for cognitive restructuring, within which the client uses a four-step procedure (identify, challenge, alter, and take action).
Selected strategies for enhancing career problem solving and decision making are summarized as follows. For discovering self, trace the development of your interests, write an autobiography, and prepare a vocational history; for life experiences, write a description in the third person and analyze emergent themes; for linking measured interests to past experiences, take an interest inventory and relate the results to real-life events.
Progress in solving the gap that might have motivated the client to seek counseling is perceived in this last step. A determination is also made about how effective the progress has been in following through with the ILP. The focus through all steps is on the client’s career decision-making status. Finally, the lessons learned within the preceding six steps are generalized as skills learned to solve future career and personal problems.
In the initial interview, the counselor’s goal is to analyze the characteristics of each client’s problem according to a gap, ambiguous cues, interacting courses of action, unpredictability of courses of action, and new problems. Gap is used here to describe a career problem of dissonance between what actually exists and what the client feels should exist. For example, a low-paying job with minimal responsibilities is quite different from the client’s mental image of an ideal situation of higher pay, higher status, and independence. Recognizing a gap in this manner provides viable information for problem identification and subsequent goal development.
Ambiguous cues are clues the counselor and client can use to understand sources of problems or the underlying reasons for certain behavior patterns. For instance, a client might be experiencing extreme anxiety when faced with a situation in which competing cues are difficult to resolve. A client who might be searching for a stable job that is secure could also be struggling with a desire to be in a position of risk that provides the opportunity of becoming wealthy. In such situations, personal desires and motives or internal drives that are in conflict can be sources of anxiety. Sources of anxiety can also emerge from situational conditions or external factors. Identifying sources of anxiety is a major step toward resolving conflicting ambiguous cues.
Interacting courses of action and uncertainty of outcome also affect decision making and problem solving. For instance, a client might decide to pursue a nursing career and identify requirements, but while doing so might also explore an unrelated career. In this case, this client might lack the confidence to proceed on her own and could need more information about personal traits and career information. Counselors assist clients in identifying actions and elements of actions that provide clues to solving problems. Moreover, the uncertainty of outcome is a major barrier for clients who lack self-confidence to advance on their own. Some issues might be external, such as the lack of financial means for higher education. Another client might be directed toward self-talk or be given support and reinforced by discussing unique assets. Cognitive problems that are identified as dysfunctional are directed toward interventions that replace dualistic thinking with relative thinking, methods of developing self-control strategies, and acquiring effective methods of problem solving.
In addition to uncertainty of outcome, new problems arise during the course of decision making, and they are viewed as sets of subordinate problems. For example, should a decided client seek a low entry position or go through training for a higher level job? Another client might be searching for which university provides the best program that is affordable. The point here is that subordinate problems can tend to discourage clients who foresee insurmountable barriers to reaching their goals. The uncertainty of outcome and new problems are critical issues at critical stages in a counseling model; the counselor must be prepared to support the client and offer solutions that are discovered in a collaborative relationship between counselor and client.
The next step in the outline, preliminary assessment, is basically a screening and needs assessment procedure. An inventory that can be used for problem identification in the screening process is My Vocational Situation (Holland, Daiger, & Power, 1980). This instrument provides scores for vocational identity, need for information, and perceived barriers to occupational choice. Other instruments that measure career maturity, indecision, career beliefs, career decision-making style, and occupational certainty also can be used in the preliminary assessment step.
Defining problems and analyzing causes (step 3) requires counselor and client to identify probable causes of gaps and subsequent problems. For example, a client who cannot make a decision between two plausible choices might need individual counseling to clarify life roles or other important unique issues. Collaborative interaction between client and counselor is an important relationship that fosters problem identification and, by this process, provides for client agreement and understanding of probable causes.
The formulation of goals (step 4) follows with continued collaboration for careful detailing of each goal. An active client role reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings and confusion about the sequence of the counseling process.
Client and counselor develop an ILP (step 5) for each counseling goal, followed by an intervention activity. Learning activities included in the ILP can also be instructional modules that contain objectives, self-administered diagnostic tests, alternative learning activities, and a self-administered summary assessment.
In step 6, execute an ILP, several practical suggestions are given in the outline, including self-talk. Self-talk comments are viewed as self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1989); thus, both negative and positive statements made by clients are discussed with each client. Positive statements are used to reinforce client’s actions, and negative statements are considered self-deprecating and should be fully evaluated.
Finally, step 7, summative review and generalizations, focuses on learned skills that can be used in problem solving and career-making decisions in the future. A review of all steps reinforces client progress and enhances learned experiences.
This model and its theory attempt to answer some important questions about problem solving and the career decision-making process. This career counseling model is basically a learning model built around CIP theory. In applying this theory to a career counseling model, the authors have developed a sound system of steps that are clearly delineated for the practitioner. An ILP is a unique element of this model, which also has a variety of intervention modules. A career counseling case that illustrates some elements of this model is presented in Case 3.4.
(This case was recorded by a counselor in the first person. Excerpts from the case are used as an example of one of the important stages in the CIP model.)
When Pat walked in the counseling center he impressed the secretary as someone who has to be very important. Pat had a swagger in his walk that gave the impression of one who is most confident, considers himself attractive, and has got the world by the tail. He didn’t ask for a counselor; he wanted to see the director or the “person who is in charge.” The secretary did not question Pat’s motives but meekly showed him the way to my office.
He quickly made his entry and almost cracked my knuckles while shaking hands. I am sure they could hear him clearly in the adjoining rooms as his first comments went something like this, “Howdy!! My name is Pat. I came to see you today for a little help.”
As Pat and I got to know more about each other during our early conversations, he stated that he wanted help in “picking out a good job” and agreed to proceed with career counseling as it was outlined. Pat grew up on a ranch in west Texas that his father managed for a wealthy oil man. In the area where Pat grew up there were extremely large ranches, and many of them contained significant oil and gas deposits. As Pat put it, the people there were “friendly and down home.” Pat felt his parents were very supportive of him and it was understood that he would attend college. He had two younger siblings. Pat was now a first-semester freshman. His grades in high school were slightly above average. But he explained that he had to ride the school bus for considerable periods of time because his home was 30 miles from the school. When he got home he had to help his father, which left little time for studying.
After further discussion that was not very productive because of Pat’s bravado and guarded comments, we agreed that he should write an autobiography of his life and include his perception of a career goal, his experiences at home, school, and work, and hobbies and interests.
I have learned a great deal about your background from our discussion, but I believe it would benefit both of us if you would be willing to write about some events in your life.
Yes, sir, that might help to get everything down ’cause you see that I like to talk a lot and skip around.
I do enjoy hearing about your experiences on such a large ranch. We don’t have a lot of students who come in here with a similar background. But we are meeting to help you, and this might be a way to get started.
Pat dropped off his autobiography at the designated time of five days. As I read the autobiography I could not help observing that this was a different Pat than I had met only a few days ago. There seemed to be a private Pat who is reflected in his autobiography and a public Pat who you get when you meet face-to-face. Of course I realized we all have our public and private self-concepts, but Pat’s behavior appeared to be overcompensating for some reason. The Pat who wrote expressed himself as an individual who is in search of a future that was realistic. He expressed interest in jobs that he evidently observed in his environment, such as geologist, petroleum engineer, and businessman. Yet he admitted he was uncertain about a career choice. Conversely, when he spoke about possible occupations in the counseling center, he mentioned professor so he could drive a Mercedes and stockbroker so he could be rich. Besides being unrealistic about a professor’s salary, his statements reflected a naïveté about occupations per se.
The gap between perceived income and actual income had to be resolved before Pat could make appropriate career decisions. In essence, Pat needed to learn more about occupations and options. But what seemed to be the most pressing matter was to discover the sources of anxiety that Pat was currently experiencing.
During the next counseling session when discussing the autobiography, Pat appeared to be very anxious. It appeared that he was experiencing ambiguous cues such as wanting a lot of money regardless of risk but also wanting a secure job that would give him “time to take care of the livestock.”
I have an inventory that might help us clarify your needs and help you make some decisions. It only takes a few minutes.
That sounds good to me—let’s get started.
The inventory is the Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI) (Sampson, Peterson, Lenz, Reardon, & Saunders, 1996a). It will give us scores about decision-making problems, anxiety, and conflicts you may have.
Pat scored high on the scale that measures commitment anxiety, and the counselor explained his score as follows:
Your high score on this scale may mean that you are having difficulty committing to a career option because you may be afraid of what might happen when you do make a decision.
I’ll have to think about that but it might just be true. To tell the truth I don’t really know what I want to do. I suppose that if I decide now it might be wrong and I would be wasting my time and my parents’ money.
I informed Pat that many students are undecided about their future and that is understandable, but it is most important to put forth the effort to create some options during the first year in college. This was the first time I met the private Pat face-to-face—he was actually a down-to-earth person struggling to determine an optimal career.
Pat, I have met with many students over the years who have struggled to find a career choice. We can help you do that, and I must add that you have made a sincere effort to help yourself and that is most important!
Thank you. I can really use some help.
Pat and the counselor negotiated an ILP similar to the one displayed in Figure 3.3. Pat was to filter out barriers to decision making and to learn more about lifestyle factors and occupations. He was to improve his decision-making skills. This plan involved individual counseling that focused on self-talk to improve his self-esteem and debunk negative thoughts. He was to identify resources for occupational information and use a computer program to narrow his career options. He would be offered training in information interviews that are designed to assist clients in learning about workplaces, and he would be able to do job shadowing to learn more about the give-and-take of specific occupations.
Pat continued to visit with me while reporting his progress with the ILP. We discussed options and the feasibility of choices. Pat’s sophistication in career exploration improved significantly as we were able to tease out the sources of his anxiety and point out his assets. Pat’s self-talk continued to be monitored to make certain that he concentrated on positive thoughts. It was noticed that he began to walk with that “peacock swagger” again, but this time it was a different Pat—he had a realistic reason for being proud of his progress in college and in the career choice process.
Pat kept in touch after he graduated from college. He married a woman from another state and moved close to the Canadian border where they also have large ranches. He once wrote that he continues to use his business major and information he learned from animal husbandry courses on a ranch that will “all be mine someday where I can take care of the livestock.”
In sum, the counselor assisted Pat in closing the gap between reality and what he perceived about some professions that was incorrect. Most important, Pat learned to know more about himself and the anxiety he had experienced from a lack of confidence that he attempted to mask and deny. A carefully thought-out ILP focused on how to assist Pat make appropriate career decisions and solve personal problems.
An introduction to steps or stages in a multicultural model for ethnic women by Bingham and Ward (1996) provides a means of comparing techniques designed to identify specific needs of a special group of clients and the methods and materials used in the counseling process. This model focuses on contextual elements of influence and recognizes that salient racial factors were not a part of theoretical conceptualizations of most of the career development theories discussed in the two preceding chapters. Theories, however, cannot directly guide specific counseling processes at a microlevel that are necessary to meet the unique needs of special groups. Counselors should, however, remain alert and open to learning more about the needs of minorities and especially the context of their worldview.
This model is presented with the recognition that background issues in multicultural counseling have not been discussed. Chapter 9 is devoted to multicultural counseling and should be considered an introduction to a vast amount of published material on this subject. However, Bingham’s and Ward’s model emphasizes contextual factors that limit career choice and stereotypes that hinder career development and introduces counselors to racial identity as a significant variable in client–counselor relationships. These unique features and others are not emphasized in the career counseling models that were developed from career development theories described in previous chapters.
Establish Rapport and Culturally Appropriate Relationships
Identify Career Issues
Assess Impact of Cultural Variables
Set Counseling Goals
Make Culturally Appropriate Counseling Interventions
Implement and Follow-Up
Bingham and Ward strongly suggest that counselors are to prepare for clients by using a self-administered Multicultural Career Counseling Checklist (MCCC) (Ward & Bingham, 1993) as displayed in appendix C. The first section of this instrument assesses the counselor’s preparation for counseling a culturally different client by identifying both counselor’s and client’s racial/ethnic backgrounds. The other sections of this instrument concern the counseling process of exploration and assessment and establishing a negotiating and working consensus.
Also in the precounseling phase, the client is administered a Career Counseling Checklist (CCC) (Ward & Tate, 1990) displayed in appendix D. This instrument contains 42 statements that measure such factors as knowledge of the world of work, gender issues, role of family in the decision process, and client’s concerns about choosing an occupation.
A Decision Tree (Ward & Bingham, 1993) is a schematic, as displayed in appendix E, that provides counseling decision points and pathways. One major decision point determines if the client is to be referred for psychological or personal counseling before obtaining career counseling.
A brief explanation of each step in the career counseling model follows.
Client–counselor relationships are considered to be most important in all career counseling models, but especially in this model. Trust and collaboration are key components in counseling relationships, particularly when client and counselor are from different ethnic backgrounds. One should welcome a discussion of different worldviews by acknowledging racial differences between counselor and client and invite the client to discuss his or her feelings about racial differences (Paniagua, 2005).
Counselors must be aware of various specific cultural cues such as the client’s nonverbal actions and reactions. Some clients, for example, may not consider it appropriate to maintain eye contact during counseling; the counselor’s reciprocal behavior will enhance the relationship. Counselors should use as much time as necessary to establish a collaborative relationship, especially with clients who have been socialized in a cultural context that is different from that of the counselor. Respect and appreciation of differences on the part of the counselor and client are most desirable in establishing rapport.
Ivey, Ivey, and Zalaquet (2014) suggest that a counseling relationship should be built on trust that can take the entire initial counseling session to develop. The developers of this model suggest that listening and observing are two ways to determine how the counselor should respond to their client; one learns how to establish the context of the working relationship. Also suggested is that counselors should ask clients to clarify some of their comments to demonstrate interest in their thoughts and gain a more adequate understanding of their constructs. What is most important here are the recognition and appreciation of the cultural context the client has experienced.
In step 2, the effective counselor focuses on cultural variables that influenced career development. Clients are not to be stereotyped, but observed as unique individuals. One attempts to identify any barriers that could impede career decision making. Ethnic minority clients who have experienced discrimination, for example, might feel they cannot overcome the barriers that have conditioned them to limit career choice. Counselors should realize that cultural groups often share a common set of experiences of oppression that can collectively limit their perspectives of future opportunities.
Although ethnic minority clients can experience a sense of responsibility for career identification, they must also be guided to realize that past and present internal and external barriers have in some way influenced their career decision process. It is also likely that socioeconomic limitations diminish a client’s perspective of a future lifestyle. Thus ethnic minority clients may have limited experiences with other ethnic social groups and view others as being unreceptive to them.
One major goal of this step, therefore, is to assist clients in identifying those experiences that limit career choices. If your client suggests that her gender has limited future opportunities, she could be reflecting the social mores of her ethnicity in which women are restricted from working outside the home. Yet another client who is looking for a job is focused on taking care of immediate financial needs rather than searching for a career; career development over the life span may at best be a vague concept. Another client’s perception of career development is that it has nothing to do with self-determination, but more to do with luck and who you know.
It should not surprise anyone that salient messages received by clients from contextual interaction can cause some ethnic minorities to circumscribe choices for what is considered an appropriate job. It is very likely that some clients limit their choices without being fully aware of it. Moreover, ethnic minority groups that have developed worldviews that limit their career choices suggest that counselors must be prepared to address both career and personal needs. More on this subject is discussed in chapter 9.
In this step, counselors identify cultural variables that have the most limiting influence on career choices. This process can be very time consuming, yet productive, when clients recognize the importance of understanding how their family environment, religion, and cultural history, for example, have shaped their prospects for the future. Counselors need to isolate unique cultural variables that need further delineation in culturally appropriate intervention strategies.
A good example to illustrate the problems associated with this stage in career counseling is the influence of one’s extended family. If you ask a Native American how her family is doing, she might respond by telling you how the entire village is attempting to solve their problems. Family for Native Americans is an extended family, which among some tribes means an entire village (Ivey et al., 2014). For other ethnic groups, the extended family can include parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even godfather. Thus, the influence from family among ethnic minorities, especially first-generation ones, can be very extensive and inclusive. Clients are often in conflict when attempting to decide between what they want to pursue and what their families see as appropriate.
Another related issue is how decisions are made in some ethnic groups. In this country, the rugged individual takes charge of his own destiny and independently determines its course. We as a society have endorsed the individualistic perspective of behavior in which one focuses on individual goals; the individual is empowered to make decisions. In many ethnic minority groups, the opposite is true; collective decision making among family members is considered more appropriate. A friend who grew up in Puerto Rico explained that he consulted his father in all major decisions by telephone from wherever he lived, which included several countries in South America. He had been conditioned that this was the proper way to make a decision. Thus, counselors who include the family in the decision-making process recognize the collectivist’s view of the future. More about collectivism is discussed in chapter 9.
Goal setting is to be a collaborative negotiation between client and counselor. This process encourages clients to be more active in pursuing satisfactory outcomes. A collaborative counseling relationship is especially important for ethnic minority clients. Some ethnic minority clients, for example, assume that they are to be passive participants, leaving all decisions to the counselor. In this context, clients are reluctant to share their true feelings and experiences and are uncomfortable being actively involved in the entire career counseling process. Thus, counselors should inform clients that it is proper and acceptable to negotiate activities throughout the entire counseling process. One begins in the very beginning of counseling by asking clients to participate whenever possible and asking for their agreement on procedures or options.
Leong (1993) suggests that pragmatic goals are more appropriate for ethnic minority groups than are goals based on self-actualization. The point here seems to be that clients who are more collective oriented, that is, placing family before self, might be more concerned about how a career benefits the family. Also, clients might need immediate placement in a job to support their needs and plan to consider long-term goals in the future. Even though circumstances may determine goal direction, counselors and clients who confer on outcome goals within a relationship that has established trust and respect for each other have the better chance of agreeing on appropriate goals.
Although individual needs typically determine appropriate interventions, for some ethnic minorities, however, family approval and involvement in developing and delivering intervention strategies are recommended. It should not be considered unusual for some minorities to seek family approval. Counselors will find that it is very productive to fully investigate which members of the family are empowered to make major decisions.
Group interventions are also considered as very productive for some cultural groups. Clients who are struggling to learn English, for example, may be served best by group interventions that use the client’s native language; interpreters may also be used to facilitate groups. It is generally believed that group counseling is more effective when composed of the same racial group, biracial group, ethnic gender group, and community members.
Bingham and Ward point out counseling interventions may require several sessions because many ethnic minority groups take considerable time to complete an agenda. Finally, if an inventory is used during the course of an intervention strategy, it must be appropriate for the client’s racial/ethnic group. (See chapter 6.)
Monitoring the decision-making process is most important in all career counseling cases, but especially when clients are faced with multiple barriers that inhibit ethnic minorities. No doubt some barriers can be difficult to overcome for someone who speaks a different language and is living in a country with different customs and traditions. As a result some clients will make a decision mainly to please the counselor. In these cases, client’s can be invited to recycle in this model without a sense of embarrassment; in fact, a review of the model steps can suggest to the client that it is a legitimate request to continue counseling.
Implementation suggests that clients are referred to information resources, individual contacts, or agencies for assistance. Counselors are to closely monitor each client’s progress and invite them to return for counseling in the future.
The following recommendations for the multicultural career counseling process as suggested by Bingham and Ward (1996) follow.
Case 3.5 illustrates the use of the Career Counseling Checklist with a Hispanic senior high school student who currently resides in a small town in Texas. Experiencing conflicts between his former culture and the dominant culture, he asks for help from a career counselor. This case illustrates a few examples of the problems faced by individuals from a different culture who want to become working American citizens.
Carlos wanted to go to college but was unsure of his future status as a citizen. He came from the interior of Mexico at age 8 to join his mother, who had left him for one year with his grandmother while she found a place for them to live in the United States. She married a U.S. citizen and has now established a home. For the first two years of school, Carlos was placed in a bilingual program. Once he learned the English language, he was able to make very good progress in school. He graduated from high school in the top quarter of his class and had made mainly As and Bs on most subjects. His favorite subject was precalculus and his least favorite was economics. He belonged to French and Spanish clubs as well as to a high school spirit club.
Carlos reported that both Spanish and English are spoken in his home. He prefers English and uses it more than his mother does. He and his family belong to the Catholic Church. Carlos does not care to go to Mexico because, as he put it, “of the corruption there.” The family celebrates the traditional holidays but relate more to respecting their ancestors on Halloween than is the custom here.
Carlos is now 18 years of age and is working full-time at a company that specializes in mailing services. He claims to identify more as an American than as a Mexican and plans to make his home permanently in this country. Carlos spoke excellent English and expressed himself very well. It was apparent that he had assimilated many of the dominant culture’s social values, but he had also retained many values from his own culture.
Carlos had asked for career counseling because he was not sure about his dream career and needed more information about it and wanted to know which nearby university offered degrees in photography or in how to produce and direct films. He told the counselor that he was interested in photography and the film-making industry because he had worked on some productions at his high school. He would very much like to become a film editor or a producer. The counselor told Carlos that he could be of help but wanted to begin counseling with a Career Counseling Checklist.
After Carlos completed the checklist, a discussion followed. Different worldviews and specific items as a way of establishing rapport (step 1) were covered. A collaborative working relationship was established.
Carlos checked several items on the checklist that were thoroughly discussed in step 2, Identify Career Issues.
I noticed that you checked item 14. “My ethnicity may influence my career choice.” Could you tell me more about this item?
Carlos stated that he was unsure that most people would think that he is capable of being successful in some of the jobs he would like to choose. He explained further that he was aware that many Americans do not think Hispanics can do certain jobs. He explained that conclusion by stating that most Hispanic men do simple labor jobs or work that does not require one to be smart. Furthermore he stated that it’s okay for Hispanics to mow the yard but not work as an engineer or an accountant. Carlos also stated that all he wants is a chance to prove he is capable to meet the challenges of higher level jobs that require rigorous training.
The counselor wisely realized that he could not convince Carlos to change his views by simply having discussions about race relations, but he felt he could encourage Carlos to follow through with his goals with evidence that Hispanics and other minorities are successfully getting professional jobs by completing a college degree.
To an extent, that is a realistic appraisal of what could happen. But on a more positive note, more and more minorities are moving into other than labor-type jobs. I would rather you think of it as a golden opportunity right now to choose the job that you are interested in and pursue it using your best abilities.
That is what I want to do and if I am given the chance, I am confident I’ll be successful.
Good, but let us move on by removing the negative feelings you still have about getting an equal opportunity in the future.
Counselor and client continued their discussion, and during the next session Carlos revealed that part of his worry about the future was that he must try to remain close to his mother. He was afraid that he would be required to move to another location for an education and much farther away from her later to fulfill his dream of being in the film industry.
As they continued their discussion, the counselor identified several career issues, including the following:
The counselor concluded that Carlos had evaluated his current situation in a fairly realistic manner. However, it was obvious that he needed more support from his family to fulfill his ambitions. For example, it was clear that his mother did not want him to move far from her, and as a result there was evidence of serious conflicts before he even launched his career journey. Even though Carlos expressed confidence, he was also doubtful about his future that included taking a calculated risk in an environment that has not always been affirmative and friendly to minorities and pursuing a career that was unknown to the family. Carlos stated that he also wanted to remain near his family for consultation on major decisions in the future.
The counselor and Carlos negotiated three goals for the time being: Carlos would
gather information about university programs, admission requirements, and financial aid;
gather information about related careers in film editing, production, and photography and probable locations of opportunities; and
arrange a meeting with his parents and counselor to discuss the information he had gathered.
The counselor made certain that both parents could speak and understand English. The first meeting was a difficult one. It was clear that Carlos’s parents were not sure they could trust another “Gringo,” but the counselor was prepared to make them as comfortable as possible by introducing a friend who was a highly respected individual in the Mexican American community. The friend put in a good word for the counselor and made his exit. This ally helped tremendously to get the first session going with some sense of trust.
Another ally was used in the second session to explain that her daughter was now attending a university in another state and she was most proud of her. Some of the conversations were in Spanish. As expected, Carlos’s parents delayed a decision about his future until they could consider all the information that was discussed. Carlos was to continue working to earn money for college and was encouraged to be tutored by a volunteer from the community who had attended a university.
In this case example, the counselor first made certain that he had developed a trusting relationship with Carlos. It was apparent that Carlos felt free to discuss personal and family problems with the counselor. The counselor recognized that Carlos’s mother had experienced a great deal of stress in her lifetime and was very protective of her son. Carlos also recognized his mother’s reluctance to agree with a plan that might require him to move to another state. There was a genuine concern that Carlos would not be given the opportunity to prove himself because of his race. Goals were set to include parents in the decision process and allies were brought in to encourage trust and an open mind about their son’s future. Finally, Carlos and his family compromised by agreeing to let him apply at two universities nearby. What we have here are special needs of minority clients that must be addressed in the career counseling process; in many of the chapters that follow one’s cultural background is a key factor for identifying concerns.
In this section, five career counseling models are summarized by describing each according to its counseling goals, intake interview techniques, using assessment, diagnosis, and counseling process. The process of career counseling usually begins with an intake interview, moves to assessment, on to diagnosis and problem identification, followed by a counseling process that maintains a client-collaborative relationship, then intervention strategies, and ends with an evaluation of outcomes and future plans. Individual needs may dictate different paths for some individuals. I begin with counseling goals.
Counseling goals provide the reader with goals specific to the model’s purpose and procedures that are described in each parameter. For example, the trait-and-factor and PEF model emphasizes optimal fit of clients with an occupation; the developmental model stresses strategies that delineate clients’ individual traits to promote career development over the life span; learning theory model suggests interventions to enhance and expand the client’s current status; CIP model uses a variety of individual learning plans to improve cognitive processing; and the multicultural model for ethnic women explores avenues of removing salient cultural variables that inhibit and restrict career choice. Within these frameworks, client–counselor relationships are critical. The counselor might simultaneously be a teacher, a mentor, an overseer, and, in most cases, a collaborator who establishes a working consensus relationship.
The intake interview has many purposes, including building the foundations from which client–counselor relationships are established, and plays a major role by assessing client problems. Ivey and colleagues (2014) make a distinction between interviewing and counseling, even though they are often used interchangeably. Howerver, interviewing is often considered the be a key process that is used for information gathering and solving problems whereas counseling is a more intensive and personal process. In the parameter descriptions that follow, the intake interview is used for information gathering, building client–counselor relationships, assessing problems, assessing client readiness for career counseling, and establishing the process of counseling.
A preliminary assessment of the client’s personal and career problems are obtained through background information and observation in the trait-and-factor and PEF model. This information is used with valid test results to form a subjective and objective appraisal of the client. The client’s social networks, support system, and unique beliefs are the subjects of an intensive interview in the developmental model. This information is used with standardized measures to form a picture of the client’s career development. In the learning theory model, the interview identifies both personal and career problems and obstacles such as career beliefs that could block optimal career decisions. The major emphasis is identifying learning opportunities for each client. Both emotional and cognitive problems are emphasized in the CIP model. Furthermore, this model considers a trusting relationship that enhances self-efficacy and fosters learning to be most important. In the multicultural model for ethnic women, culturally appropriate relationships are established. A structural interview is used to determine client needs and to discuss client worldviews.
In this parameter, assessment refers to both standardized and nonstandardized methods used in the five models. This broader use of assessment is found in all career models as a part of client problem identification and is used in ongoing career counseling to identify appropriate intervention strategies. Within this framework, counselors not only have to understand the technical aspects of standardized tests that determine their appropriate use but must also sharpen their skills in applying nonstandardized measures. Assessment use is determined through a consensus between client and counselor that generally leads to a client’s increased self-knowledge. All models make the point that testing is not the dominant force in making career choices but, rather, can be used effectively as a counseling tool.
The trait-and-factor and PEF model uses assessment to provide valid and reliable information of interests, values, and cognitive abilities. Emotional stability, cognitive clarity, and skills in information processing are also evaluated. The developmental model requires assessment of the client’s uniqueness in a variety of trait characteristics including career development status, self-concept, and life themes. This information informs clients of their personal characteristics that are used to determine learning strategies. The learning theory model uses assessment to determine learning experiences and to determine personal beliefs. Two stages of assessment are used in the CIP model. The first stage is used to measure dysfunctional thinking and the client’s readiness for problem solving. The second stage is used to measure cognitive processing domains and to develop individual learning plans. The major use of assessment in the multicultural model for ethnic women is to assess salient racial factors from interview results and the results of inventories specifically designed for this purpose.
Identifying client problems is a major focus of the diagnosis parameter—not only for providing a client label but, more important, as a starting point from which goals can be set to resolve client problems. The diagnostic parameter is also used to identify client mental health problems that require further psychological evaluation or treatment. In all five models, diagnosis of irrational or dysfunctional thinking is determined by appraisal systems involving subjective or objective evaluation and, in most cases, both. In sum, diagnosis primarily serves as a means of identifying the client’s level of knowledge, information-processing skills, readiness, and motivation to engage in intervention strategies that lead to problem solving and career decision making.
Client deficiencies in information processing are an important function of diagnosis in the trait-and-factor and PEF model. The client’s optimal person-environment-fit is determined by valid relationships. Extensive diagnostic procedures are used in the developmental model to determine intervention strategies. Counseling goals evolve from data integration. In the learning theory model, faulty beliefs that interfere with goal achievement are identified in the interview and with an inventory designed for this purpose. The status of client skills and their personal qualities are used to determine learning interventions. The effectiveness of cognitive processing is an important element in the CIP model. The causes of gaps between what the client desires in the future and reality provide guidelines for intervention. A decision tree schematic is used as a diagnosis procedure for determining the direction counseling may take in the multicultural model for ethnic women. In this process, clients receive career-style counseling or psychological counseling. Those on the career-style counseling path will be further diagnosed for the impact of cultural variables that influence career choice.
The career counseling process in all five models involves a multitude of skills; although the following summary is not meant to be an all-inclusive list, it does include the major focus by most models. First, the counselor must be prepared for each counseling encounter that will involve a unique individual whose uniqueness must be accurately delineated. Client and counselors need to form a bond that will endure throughout the entire counseling process. The counselor must be an effective interviewer. The client–counselor relationship is very inclusive, as the counselor may function as a teacher, mentor, coach, advisor, confidante, and overseer, but mainly as a collaborator who involves the client in the ongoing counseling process. Counselors must be knowledgeable of a variety of standardized and nonstandardized assessment instruments. Identifying client problems is a major counseling function. Effectively using intervention strategies including occupational information is an important component of the counseling process within all models. The effective use of decision making is also a major model focus. Finally, clients need to be prepared to recycle in the future.
Counselors introduce clients to the person-environment-fit process and assist them in matching their self-knowledge with congruent work environments in the trait-and-factor and PEF model. This process may follow interventions designed to improve the client’s ability to process information. Counselors discuss individual and unique traits with clients in the developmental model. Goals are established as the client is able to project self-concept into potential work environments. Learning strategies are developed in collaborative client–counselor relationships. In the learning theory model, counselors assist clients in identifying career beliefs that could interfere with progress in decision making. Counselors try to motivate clients to participate in a learning process that will improve their skills and abilities to function in changing work environments. Clients are to visualize a life span of occupational decisions and learning opportunities. In a CIP model, dysfunctional thinking and cognitive processing problems are a major concern in the opening stages of counseling. Counselors clarify problems and goals and match them with intervention strategies that are developed by consensus between client and counselor. Counselors offer assistance in decision making through cognitive restructuring. The counselor must be prepared to establish and maintain a collaborative, negotiating client–counselor relationship in a multicultural model for ethnic women. An open discussion of worldviews and salient cultural variables that are unique to the client’s experience is fundamental in an effective counseling process. Counselors need to respond appropriately to culturally related cues and develop culturally appropriate intervention strategies.
In sum, the parameters of the five counseling models discussed in this chapter provide a wide range of techniques as well as a number of similar procedures. These models were developed during the last two decades of the 20th century and may serve as a foundation for building new models or minitheories to meet clients’ unique needs in the future. There seems to be a consensus among model developers that information gathering is the first step, followed by discovery of unique client needs through subjective and objective data. Standardized assessment does not dominate the counseling process. The locus of control has shifted from counselor dominant to counselor collaborator; client involvement throughout the counseling process is prevalent. The final step in all models is the client learning effective decision-making skills and the counselor extending an open invitation for future counseling.