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Narrative Approach to Career Counseling

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Stephen Kallaus

on 6 September 2012

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Transcript of Narrative Approach to Career Counseling

A Narrative Approach to Career Counseling By: Stephen Kallaus Overview of the Narrative Approach A Postmodern Approach
Constructivist Theory
Understanding our careers as they are lived.
Composing a Narrative Dr. Mark L. Savickas Savickas's narrative approach falls under the heading of Constructivist Theory and is an extension of Donald Super's Career Development Theory (Niles, 2009). "The Narrative Approach minimizes the 20th-century perspective that the traits of Human Beings can be measured and that jobs can be found matching these traits" (Amundson et. al., p.25) Career construction theory incorporates three perspectives: Orientation of Construction Theory Differential Perspective: addresses what different people prefer to do in their work (Niles, 2009). Emphasizes the various ways in which people cope with career development tasks and transitions (Niles, 2009). Developmental Perspective: Dynamic Perspective: attends to the dynamics by which people use life themes to delop meaning in their career behavior as they fit work into their lives "Career Construction theory asserts that individuals construct their careers by imposing meaning on their vocational behavior and occupational experiences...(Niles, p. 107) "...Career imposes personal meaning on past memories, present experiences, and future aspirations by weaving them into a life theme that patterns the individual's work life" (Niles, p. 107) According to a narrative approach, "careers do not unfold, they are constructed as individuals make choices that express their self-concepts and substantiate their goals in the social reality of life" (Amundson et. al. p. 25) Key Constructs 3 Vocational Personality: each person has a set of traits and these traits constitute personality types (Amundson et. al. p. 25). Life Themes: Unique experiences that each individual has create one or more life themes. These themes may represent a problem that needs to be solved or a value that needs to be attained (Amundson et. al. p. 25). Career Adaptability: "attitudes, behaviors, and competencies that individuals use in order to make adjustments needed in their work environment or their career changes" (Amundson et. al. p. 25) Storytelling The method used to assist individuals within this theoretical frame of reference is storytelling. The counselor triggers life stories by asking the client leading questions, identifies life themes and then tries to help the client recognize these themes (Amundson, et. al., p.25). Some typical leading questions Can you tell me three of your earliest memories? Who wer some of your most important role models, and why? What is your favorite movie (novel, magazine, TV show, etc..) and why? (Amundson et. al. p.25) Counseling Goals 1. To make the client aware of significant life themes and unresolved problems (Amundson et. al. p. 26). To help the client construct a career that will facilitate the use of this life theme or help solve this unresolved problem (Amundson et. al. p. 26). To help the client develop career adaptability in order to cope with the ever-changing ways to implement self-concept in work. Career construction theory has largely been the result of the work of Mark Savickas. However, Savickas and his colleagues have authored a number of articles in which the theoretical assumptions underlying career construction theory have been described and the usefulness of Career Style Interview has been analyzed Niles, p. 109). Research: Multicultural: More treatment outcome data and research studies directed toward theory validation are needed-especially with regard to diverse client populations. Toward this end, Savickas has formed an international research team to begin this process. Amundson, N, Harris-Bowlsbey, J., Niles, S (2009) Essential Elements of Career Counseling: Processes and Techniques. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson References: Niles, S., Harris-Bowsley, J., (2009) Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
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