Career Development; an Holistic Approach

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Ian Halliday Student ID # 2996644
Psych 300 Final Integrated Paper
April 28, 2011
Introduction
In my profession as a career counsellor I will take a holistic approach to a client’s circumstances. It is important, I think, not only look at a clients career path but also to examine a clients life as a whole. Through this process, I believe, a superior decision making process will take place. To achieve this aim I will use Parson’s trait and factor (Chapter 2 Trait and Factor Theory, Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling, Richard Sharf 2006), Super’s life-span (Chapter 8, Late Adolescent and Adult Career Development, Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling, Richard Sharf 2006) and Kelly’s constructivist theories (Chapter 10, Constructvist and Narrative Approaches to Career Development, Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling, Richard Sharf 2006). I have chosen option one for my paper because this is the beginning of the counselling process. The initial contact with the client is important and sets the tone for the rest of the counselling process. The quality of the initial contact and information gathering that comes from that is invaluable to the decision making process. I will identify assessment, problem identification and formulation, and goal setting from the phases outlined in option one and discuss these from a counselling phase, practitioner beliefs, theory, and worksite perspectives. Assessment

Practitioner Beliefs
In the assessment stage the very foundation of the counselling function begins. Through using solid counselling skills such as making good eye contact, asking open ended questions, using continuation responses and expanding techniques I would begin to form a picture of the client’s abilities, values, personality, and interests. This process would be enhanced by the introduction of testing into the formula. The holistic approach I would advocate serves to better the client’s needs as whole, not just career related needs, and also serves as a reminder that every client is unique and has developed an exclusive view of the world and his or her relation to it. The use of eclectic theories, drawing on elements from more than one theory, is paramount in attaining the best possible results for the client and also in maintaining the holistic approach. By using theories in combination I would seek to minimize any weaknesses in any one of them. Trait and Factor Theory

In the assessment phase I believe it is important to uncover where a client’s career and life choices have taken them to date, what their current aspirations and desires are and, how they see the future for themselves as a holistic endeavor. In Sharf p. 25, Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling, trait and factor is said to be “the assessment of characteristics of the person and the job”. This theory is fundamental to Parson’s trait and factor theory and represented the genesis of the career development profession, although it was known as that at the time. Parsons developed a three point process he called “vocational guidance” in which he saw a one-on one process. This theory, I believe, underpins the whole process of career development theory and, therefore, career counselling. In a counselling situation the client’s broad goal is to seek a better life for his or herself, in uncovering a client’s traits and factors a platform is built on to which the rest of the counselling function relies. Life-span Theory

Super, as quoted by Sharf on p. 203 of Applying Career Development Theory to Counselling, (life-span theory) “makes use of two major concepts: life role and life stage. He espouses that important roles for an adult are, studying, working, community service, home and family, and leisure activities. The importance of these roles to an individual is governed by a person’s participation in the activity, commitment to the activity and how much the activity is valued. In gauging the salience of these...
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