Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Role Induction in Career Counseling

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Role Induction in Career Counseling

Article excerpt

Many vocational psychologists advocate addressing career as well as personal concerns in career counseling. However, some clients may have inappropriate expectations toward career counseling and may not be prepared or want to discuss personal issues. This study examined whether perceptions of the career counseling process could be modified with the use of role induction. Results indicated that, whereas role induction was associated with perceptions of students' own career concerns, gender was a strong influence in perceptions of counseling overall and in the stigma Associated with a holistic perspective on career counseling.

Personal issues and career issues often intertwine (Blustcin & Spengler, 1995; Hackett, 1993), and career counseling clients may be best served if given the opportunity to address personal concerns m addition to career C(MiCLTIiS. Theorists have pointed out that, in many cases, career concerns can be strongly affected by a variety of personal concerns, including contextual factors, relationship issues, and personality characteristics (Betz & Corning, 1993; Blustein & Spengler, 1995; Croteau & Thiel, 1993; Krumboltz, Savickas, & Walsh, 1996; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2000; Super, Savickas, & Super, 1996; Swanson, 2002). In situations where potential personal concerns are strongly linked to career issues, a holistic or broad approach to career counseling in which both career and personal concerns are discussed may be preferable to a narrower approach, which would only allow for exploration of career issues. The latter may lead both counselor and client to overlook the impact of personal issues on career issues. However, some clients may have inappropriate expectations toward career counseling (Galassi, Crace, Martin, James, & Wallace, 1992; Gold & Scanlon, 1993; Lewis, 2001 ) and may not be prepared or want to discuss personal issues. In other words, they may not know what career counseling may entail or understand their role in the counseling process. This study focused on perceptions of career counseling when clients are provided with different types of role induction to career counseling.

Vocational psychologists know that a more holistic perspective to career counseling may be more satisfying and effective for clients. Researchers have found that clients who seek career counseling were more satisfied with the experience when both personal and career issues were addressed (Nevo, 1990) and that clients' perceptions of the most helpful events in career counseling included self-exploration ( Anderson & Niles, 2000; Heppner & Hendricks, 1995; Kirschner, Hoffman, & Hill, 1994) and discussion of issues pertaining to family relationships (Heppner & Hendricks, 1995). Previous literature has also pointed out how issues regarding mental and physical health can have an impact on career development (Blustein & Spengler, 1995; Manuelc-Adkins, 1992; Swanson, 2002).

However, although theorists advocate for a holistic approach to career counseling, some clients appear to want to focus only on self-exploration as it relates to career issues. A study by Galassi et al. ( 1992) found that, when students were asked to explore their preferences for activities in career counseling, they preferred talking only about specific careers and career decision making. There may be many reasons for this mismatch between perceptions of clients and what they ultimately find satisfying in counseling. One factor may be their assumptions or perceptions regarding career counseling. Heppner and Heppner (2003) noted that "career counseling has been often viewed as a time-limited, rational process, with an emphasis on information giving, and testing" (p. 432). Some clients may strongly push for this counseling style, leading their counselors to circumscribe the counseling process, thereby perpetuating the notion that career counseling is centered on advising and information giving. …

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