Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

An Interview with Sunny Hansen: Pioneer and Innovator in Counseling and Career Development

Academic journal article Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD

An Interview with Sunny Hansen: Pioneer and Innovator in Counseling and Career Development

Article excerpt

Sunny has been a catalyst for change in the American Counseling Association. Her emphasis on women's career development and her attention to multicultural perspectives in counseling brought attention to marginalized issues in counseling. Sunny was always a pacesetter and is a special human being.

--Patricia Arredondo, Professor, Arizona State University; President, American Counseling Association, 2005-2006

Sunny Hansen has demonstrated innovation in several areas of her work: gender issues, career development programs; international guidance and counseling, holistic life planning, and organizational leadership. In this interview, we ask her about those topics and many others while she discusses the evolution of her career, a career that has been highly productive, as evidenced on the work side by her numerous books, chapters, speeches, and honors, and, on the family side by two capable children who now have their own families and are balancing family--work issues.

Sunny Sundal Hansen is a professor emeritus in the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology Program (CSPP) in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Minnesota. Her career has focused on a variety of areas in school counseling, career development, developmental career guidance, international counseling and guidance, and career education. She has also emphasized career development programs, systems change, the connection between gender and career, career development of women, gender issues, social issues, and multicultural counseling. She coauthored Career Development and Counseling of Women (Hansen & Rapoza, 1978). Her book Integrative Life Planning." Critical Tasks for Career Development and Changing Life Patterns (Hansen, 1997) provides a holistic and humanistic concept and a 21st-century worldview for career counseling and life planning.

Sunny's past leadership responsibilities have included president of the American Association for Counseling and Development (now the American Counseling Association) and of the National Career Development Association (NCDA). Sunny has been an active professional in AACD/ACA and its divisions and branches for more than 40 years. Beginning her career in school counseling, Sunny is a former editor of and contributor to The School Counselor and the newsletter of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). She authored ASCA's position paper on gender equity. She also was coeditor of a special issue of The Personnel and Guidance Journal (1975) on career development, career guidance, and career education. She has been on the editorial board and a contributor to the Vocational Guidance Quarterly (now The Career Development Quarterly), the International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, and The Personnel and Guidance Journal (now the Journal of Counseling & Development).

Sunny was the keynote speaker at the NCDA national convention in Tucson in 2001, she has delivered keynote addresses and has lectured in 30 countries in all 50 states in the United States, and she has conducted hundreds of workshops, nationally and internationally. Recently, she founded the Joint Commission on Preparing Counselors for Career Development in the 21st Century, sponsored by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) and NCDA.

Sunny has authored, coauthored, or edited more than 150 chapters, monographs, and articles and 13 books on such topics as gender and career; career development; career guidance; career education; developmental guidance programs; career development of women; international/cross-cultural counseling; work/family linkages; and social change for counselors, counselor educators, career counselors, and human resource professionals (e.g., Hansen, 1984, 2002; Hansen & Gama, 2000; Hansen, Walker, & Flom, 1995; Skovholt, Hansen, Goh, Romano, & Thomas, 2005). Recently, she completed a study guide for her distance learning class at the University of Minnesota on Integrative Career/Life Planning (Hansen & Houg, 2003). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.