Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Counselors' Perspectives on Using the Career Style Interview with Clients

Academic journal article Career Development Quarterly

Counselors' Perspectives on Using the Career Style Interview with Clients

Article excerpt

The authors investigated counselors' perspectives on using the Career Style Interview (CSI) with clients who had career concerns. Participants were a purposive sample of 34 counselors who had been trained in and who had used the CSI with clients. The findings indicated that the counselors viewed the CSI as a helpful and positive career counseling intervention. It was most effective at identifying clients' life themes and assisted them with making meaningful career decisions. Implications of these findings for career counseling practice and research are also discussed.

The growth and acceptance of constructive and narrative approaches to career counseling have fostered the development of qualitative career assessments and interventions (Chope, 2008). These new qualitative instruments, although similar in some ways to the structured interviews of historical vocational guidance (Parsons, 1909/2005)., seek to measure something different. Current qualitative instruments have been designed to be consistent with narrative or constructivist theory and seek to aid the career counselor in giving voice to a client's story to clarify Or modify it (Bingham, 2001; Goldman, 1990; McMahon 6k Watson, 2008; Reid, 2005; Savickas, 1989; Singer, 2004). This often means helping individuals draw from their past and present experiences to provide direction for their lives and careers in the near and distant future (Savickas, 2005 ) . These qualitative assessments, unlike traditional quantitative assessments during which the counselor often is a distant expert observer, seek to place the counselor subjectively within the context of the individual's lived experience (McMahon, Partorì, & Watson, 2003). Young and Collin (2004) suggested that the narrative reality of one's life is coconstructed with the therapist as the person's stories are expressed, explored, and clarified in session. Although these approaches are theoretically sound, Bernes, Bardick, and Orr (2007) indicated that research is needed Co explore the challenges and benefits of these qualitative instruments for both the client and the counselor.

During the past 20 years, career interventions have shifted from sole dependence upon environment fit (trait) models toward ones that integrate holistic and subjective approaches (Brott, 2004; Collin, 1996; Richardson, 1996; Savickas, 1993). Modern-day career counselors and vocational psychologists seek to understand how a client's experiences and environment affect his or her career choice (Brott, 2004; Sarbin, 1986). Career theorists have argued that careers can no longer be "adequately conceptualized solely in terms of objective or intraindividual factors; its context and the individual's subjective experiences of it have to be taken into account" (Collin & Young, 1992, p. 1; see also Collin, 2007). According to Severy (2008), this alteration in conceptualization partially reflects the dramatic influence of technology and the global economy on workplace environments. The shift in today's societal contexts has led counselors to embrace multiple constructivist approaches to career counseling.

Bujold (2004) stated that the constructivist perspective "has to do with the way individuals know, and by implication, find meaning in what they come to know and experience" (p. 474). It seeks to expand and integrate quantitative modes of gathering information, such as traditional career assessments, with divergent qualitative career assessments seeking to integrate the best of both (Maxwell, 2007). According to Gysbers (2Ö06), this holistic approach assists people in gaining insight into the roots of their career concerns by focusing upon the context of their lives. It provides the counselor with an alternative, but more complete, view of the individual, which often results in differing outcomes (Collin & Young, 1992).

The Career Style Interview (CSI) is one of the first assessments to integrate this holistic approach to career counseling (Savickas, 1989, 2005). …

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