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Copy of Narrative approach to career counselling
Transcript of Copy of Narrative approach to career counselling
Who is Mark Savickas?
Creator of Career Construction Theory
The secure and stable employment of the 20th century offered a basis for constructing a grand narrative about how employees' lives would unfold
Presence of more permanent jobs
Employees made a life-long commitment to one employer
"Work world of the 21st century provokes feelings of anxiety and insecurity" (Savickas, 2005, p. 13)
Due to the digital revolution, there is a new social arrangement of work
Less loyalty to employees, by companies
More workers hired in part-time capacity, or as consultants
Individuals have to deal with unstable job environments and frequent job transitions
Career Counselling Paradigms
Two major paradigms for career intervention:
Both paradigms focus on matching individuals with one stable occupation
Mark Savickas proposes that this notion of matching is
no longer attractive in the 21st century
Theory of Career Construction
As work forms change from stability to mobility to reflect the labour needs of modern society, there is also a need for career intervention change
The theory of career construction attempts to explain the interpretive and interpersonal processes, through which individuals impose meaning on their vocational behaviour
According to Niles and Harris-Bowsley (2009), "career imposes personal meaning on memories, present experiences and future ambitions, by weaving them into a life theme that outlines the individual's work life" (p. 107)
Narrative Career Counselling
Clients talk about their past and present career development, which enables them to construct their future career
An active approach, which focuses on how clients intentionally interact with their world, as well as learn about it through these interactions
The narrative approach focuses on the stories of clients' lives
Provides direction as to how counsellors can use clients' stories, in order to help those clients gain a better understanding of who they are (vocational personality), how to adapt (career adaptability) and what work roles matter to them (life themes)
Two different constructivist approaches:
Personal construct counselling
Focuses on understanding the ways in which clients view their occupational reality
Narrative career counselling
Emphasis is placed on telling stories, where the client becomes an active agent in constructing a future career (Mc Mahon et al., 2012)
The new conceptions of work life recognize that career belongs to the person, not the organization (Duarte, 2004)
The 21st century brings about change and uncertainty, on both economic and cultural levels
Savickas (2005) argues that new approaches are necessary, in order to meet the needs of 21st century clients
Theoretical models are needed that emphasize human flexibility, adaptability, and life-long learning.
Both perspectives take individuals' subjective experiences into consideration
Narrative approach offers a means to draw out and clarify these subjective experiences
Career construction theory provides a framework for the narrative approach
Theory of Career Construction
Savickas’ posited life themes as a crucial element in career decision-making
Personal narrative plays a pivotal role in the construction of career identity
In telling their career stories about their work experiences, individuals selectively highlight particular experiences to produce a narrative truth by which they live
A person’s narrative is not just a simple and isolated entity
The individual's context influences his or her narrative
The life theme counseling model is used for dealing with career indecision
The Career Style Interview:
Collecting stories from the client, so as to reveal a life theme
The counsellor narrates this life theme back to the client
A discussion of the meaning of the client’s presenting problem (i.e., career indecision) in context of the revealed life theme
Interests and occupations that correlate with the theme
Rehearsal of the behaviors necessary for the specification
Implementation of a career choice
Career construction theory asserts that individuals create and construct their careers by doing what motivates them (Savickas, 2006)
Savickas (2005) argues that individuals strive to turn their unconscious preoccupations into jobs
Individuals seek to “actively master what they have passively suffered” (Savickas, 1997, p. 11)
These needs, interests, and values arise over and over within a person's life as they attempt to turn their private pain into public roles
On the other hand, repetitive words and phrases, within individuals' narratives, reflect what brings their stories to life and are referred to as life themes
Life themes suggest how an individual solves a problem, moves towards self-completion, and strives for security,power, or love
Career counselors can help clients become aware of how the stories in their past are connected to their current career struggles (Savickas, 2001; 2005)
Life Themes cont.
The storied self is made up of stories of how individuals explain events and their lives as “human actors striving to do things over time” (McAdams, 1993, p. 30)
These stories come together to form a larger self-defining life story, known as a meta-narrative (Polkinghorne, 1988)
The meta-narratives indicate the thematic continuity in an individual's thoughts, actions, and behaviors
How individuals perceive themselves, in the present moment, is informed by their perception of the past
Through story-telling, a stable sense of self is created, which helps individuals adapt to life/career changes
and the Storied Self
Individuals must maintain a coherent identity as they move through various work roles throughout their lifetime
Without a cohesive sense of self, individuals struggle to implement their self-concept into work roles, because their self-concept or identity feels fragmented
One way to help individuals maintain a cohesive identity is to help them see their identity and lives as narrative stories
Savickas argues that the only stable and consistent structure in a person's life is him/herself
Therefore, people rely on this self-knowledge to make informed career decisions
Career adaptability refers to how individuals implement their storied self into work roles
The person–environment matching process is ongoing and must continue over time, since ideal narratives are never fully formed and finished
Each new life or work experience forms a short story within a person's life narrative
Savickas identified the ABC's of career adaptability behaviours, which are used by individuals to fit into work:
Career counselors can consider how their client's personality reflects their current interests, desires, needs, and values at this point in their life journey
Career construction theory uses narrative techniques to address the what, how, and why people construct their careers
Savickas (2005) explains vocational behaviour by drawing on:
The vocational personality work of Holland (1997)
Super's (1980) stage theory
Adler's theory of individual psychology
The narrative approach connects these three concepts
Through narratives, individuals can identify their vocational personality, career adaptability obstacles, and the life themes that drive their behaviour
Drawing out clients' life themes, through narrative, enables counsellors to help clients choose work roles in the future that are congruent with what matters to them
Westernized middle class sample base on which the theory has been founded
More treatment outcome data is needed with diverse client populations
Individuals are more active and goal directed than just conditioned by experiences of their past (Young & Collin, 1988)
Lack of structured techniques and tangible products (e.g., psychometric inventories) typically associated with traditional approaches
Unlike traditional approaches, narrative career counselling has not yet accumulated a evidence base
Furthermore, there is a need to build upon the extant guidelines for qualitative assessment and counselling procedures (McMahon & Patton, 2002; McMahon et al., 2003) and develop theory that explicitly informs the development and evaluation of new narrative career counselling procedures
Amundson, N., Harris-Bowlsbey, J., & Niles, S. (2009).
Essential elements of career counselling: Process and Techniques
. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
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Journal of Vocational Behavior, 79
, 334-339. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2011.04.003
Duarte, M. (2009). The psychology of life construction.
Journal of Vocational Behavior,
, 259-266. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2009.06.009
McAdams, D. (1993).
The stories we live by: Personal myths and the making of identity
. New York, NY: William Morrow.
McMahon, M., Watson, M., Chetty, C., & Hoelson, C. (2012). Examining process constructs of narrative career counselling: an exploratory case study.
British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 40
(2), 127-141. doi:10.1080/03069885.2011.646949
Polkinghorne, D. (1988).
Narrative knowing and the human sciences
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Narrative psychology: The storied nature of human conduct
(pp. 3-21). New York, NY: Praeger.
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(pp. 3-26). Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black Publishing.
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Applying Career Development Theory to counseling
(4th ed.) Delaware: Thomson
(Del Corso & Rehfuss, 2011)
(Savickas, 2002; 2005)
The counsellor asks the client leading questions, in order to trigger life-stories
Life themes are identified
The counsellor then helps the client to recognise these themes
Examples of questions asked:
Can you tell me three of your earliest memories?
What is your favourite movie, and why?
Who are your role models?
Narrative Counselling in Practice
What was your favourite childhood book/movie?
Do you have a favourite saying or motto?
What was your least favourite subject in high school? Why?
What is your favourite TV show? Why?
Who is your role model?