Free «Career Counseling Theories» Essay Paper

Career Counseling Theories

Counseling is evaluation and management of the person’s mental health that includes behavior and decisions. Competent counselors possess significant knowledge of therapeutic theories and apply them to the clients’ diverse problems. Cases handled by counselors include career choices, talent evaluation and behavior management. Counselors utilize a number of theories that include human developmental theory, psychotherapeutic theory, social developmental theory and the theory of moral development. Career counseling involves the identification of client’s talents and skills and their alignment with the projected career choice.

Career counseling includes differentiation of patients based on age and level of education. For example, high school students require a different form of career counseling as opposed to the employed and working adults. In the case study, Sally is a 42 year old adult woman with a dilemma. Sally states that she is happily married, enjoys her family and work, but still feels that something is missing. Sally, therefore, is not satisfied with a particular aspect of her life, but she has no knowledge that would allow her to figure the problem out.

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Hundreds of counseling theories that guide therapists through patient evaluation and analysis exist. Two main theories apply to Sally’s case that are the human developmental theory and the psychotherapeutic theory. The human developmental theory explores the stages from childhood to late adulthood based on the number of years and their characteristics (Savickas, 2011). Freud introduced the human development theory, but notable research and exploration was done by Erik Erikson. Freud’s explanation explored psychosexual stages, while Erikson explored ego. Erikson developed eight stages of human development and their distinctive characteristics. Sally, in this case, is at the stage adulthood, which Erikson associated with “generativity and stagnation”. The middle age stage begins at the age of 30 and extends to the age of 65. In this psychosocial stage the person feels lost, unaccomplished and delayed (Savickas, 2011). Sally’s life and career are stagnant and monotonous. Sally’s career lacks spontaneity making her feel trapped in a depressive cycle. Sally mentions that she is happily married and enjoys her family and work. Family is a visible accomplishment for Sally. However, Sally does not mention any information about her career, which is the most likely cause of a dilemma in her life.

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Psychotherapeutic theories are critical for evaluation, understanding and offering solutions to the clients. Psychotherapy has five distinctive categories, which are “psychoanalysis and psychodynamic, behavior, cognitive therapy, humanistic therapy and integrative or holistic therapy” (American Psychological Association, 2015). Psychoanalysis and psychodynamics focus on problematic feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Behavior therapy explores behavioral determinants such as culture, religion or violence. Cognitive therapy explores the difference between what people think and what they do. Cognitive theory claims that dysfunctional thinking results in negative behavior and emotions. Therefore, by changing the way a person thinks, the therapist can alter their behavior and emotions. Humanistic therapy explains the person’s capacity to make rational decisions and achieve maximum potential. Integrative or holistic therapy incorporates several theories to meet the client’s needs (American Psychological Association, 2015).

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Two psychotherapeutic theories that apply to the case study are psychoanalysis and psychodynamic and integrative, or holistic, therapy. Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic approach attempts to minimize problematic feelings and emotions by identifying the unconscious meanings and motivations (American Psychological Association). Sally states that her life is going well due to her happy marriage, family, and work. However, Sally states that she feels like something is missing. Sally’s dilemma can be solved by critically exploring her definition of “happiness”, especially in relation to her career. The factors to be explored include career position, skills, interests, spontaneity, promotions, rewards and expectations. The probable cause would be Sally’s not rewarding career that causes her to feel trapped and stagnated, though she cannot admit it. Sally may have chosen a career that does not align with her skills and talents. Although the career may be momentarily rewarding, it fails to provide her with satisfaction. A counselor can also use holistic and integrative psychotherapy to explore several possible causes of Sally’s middle adulthood career dilemma.

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The proposed three websites can assist a student to make career informed career decisions even in the absence of a career counselor. Sally in this case can use these websites to re-evaluate her skills, personality and interests to determine whether her career is right for her. The first web page can be found at The website offers a personality test based on Holland’s code. Holland’s code includes six personality types that determine a person’s behavior, skills and suitable career. Using this test a student can identify a career that fits his skills. The six personality types include “realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional” (Truity, 2014). The occupational model of Holland explains the characteristics of each theory and their relation to personality. For example, artistic people are creative, sensitive, original, structural and spontaneous. Suitable professions include fashion models, artists, and actors. Social people are helpers, and their characteristic include caring, empathy, patience, friendliness and tactfulness. School counselors are an example of social people.

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Career seeking students can also use The website offers a personality test based on the Myer-Briggs indicator. People can use this site to evaluate their personalities based on the list of careers. The Myer-Briggs explores sixteen personality types that influence the person’s behavior and interests. The Myer-Briggs indicator is based on Jung’s topology and is widely used and recognized by school counselors. Jung originally developed four personality types, which are “sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking” (Human Metrics, 2015). The Myer-Briggs personality assessment expands these four to sixteen different personality types that influence a person’s career choice (Human Metrics, 2015). For instance, a student fascinated by logic, structure and design fits the INTP category: introvert, intuition, thinking and perceiving. The careers in this category include building, construction and also electrical engineering.

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Lastly, the adults thinking about career changes can use This website offers an amplitude test that identifies the person’s talents and interests. This web page also offers tips for career evaluation and change for the unsatisfied with their current careers adults. Career change must not be based on financial considerations, but rather on interests and skills (, 2015). Sally can use this test to evaluate her current and future career needs and choose a career from the recommended fields.

Career counselors use psychometric tests to evaluate the personalities of their clients. Combined with such results from psychotherapy as behavior, feelings and motivation analysis, the counselors can provide accurate career advice for their clients. The Myer-Briggs indicator is the most accurate, efficient and recommended indicator for personal use. It explores sixteen personality types and their relation to career decisions. Sally can use the psychometric test to get a better understanding of her personality and career interests. After all, people with the careers that fit their talents and skills have higher career satisfaction.

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In addition, Sally should engage in identifying top three careers that fit her skills and interests after completing the personality and aptitude tests. Sally must also indicate under each her reasons for choosing the specific career. She must also relate the prospective career to her current one and indicate how they differ. She needs to make sure that the new career will be more satisfactory.

In conclusion, career choices must be based on skills and talents. Aligning careers with skills and interests ensures satisfaction and happiness. Stressed adults should seek the assistance of competent career counselors before making career decisions.

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