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Career Counseling Theory and Relationship Strategies

Janine Vereen

COUN5279 – Life Plng & Career Development

January 31, 2016

Professor Fred Wilson


The case study chosen is a Taneka, a 17-year-old African American female. She is a high school junior the oldest of three siblings living with her single-parent mother. As the oldest child, Taneka has held major responsibilities throughout her life to support her working mother, such as carrying for her younger siblings, Derrick, now age 14, and Kenya, age 12. Krumboltz Learning Theory of Careers Choice and Counseling (LTCC) would be the best approach for Taneka, since her environmental conditions is interfering with her ability to make a career decision without abandoning her mother and siblings.

The Learning Theory of Career Choice and Counseling (LTCC) was developed by John D. Krumboltz. Career decisions are the product of countless numbers of learning experiences made possible by encounters with the people, institutions and events in a person’s particular environment. People choose their careers based on what they have learned. Krumboltz proposed that there are four main factors that influence career choice, which are genetic influences, environmental conditions and events, learning experiences and task approach skills (e.g., self-observation, goal setting and information seeking) (Mitchell & Krumbolt, 1996). The consequences of these factors and most particularly learning experiences lead people to develop beliefs about the nature of careers and their role in life (self-observational generalizations). These beliefs, whether realistic or not, influence career choices and work related behavior.

Unit 3 – Career Counseling Theory and Relationship Strategies

Career counseling has been regarded as a personal emotional type counseling ( Osipow & Walsh 1990). However, clients attempting to choose careers need more than solutions to their emotional problems. Counselors must be prepared to choose for a client, who is considering a career choice intervention that is appropriate. Taneka needs a career counselor who will be supportive. Supportive therapy helps the client to deal with his or her problem, and provides the client with an understanding and accepting counselor.

The Learning Theory of Career Choice and Counseling helps the client by identifying the origin of his career choices and assist with creating a guide to challenge career related problems. The counselor starts with understanding how a client came to their career related view of themselves and the world and what is limiting or problematic about this view. Once this has been established, the counselor and client can identify what career relevant learning experiences, modeling or skill building will help them redirect their view (Mitchell & Krumbolt, 1996).

The basic tenets of LTCC involve cooperation between client and counselor. They include: (1) Clients need to expand their capabilities and interests with the help of the counselor to explore new activities (2) Clients need to prepare for changing work tasks and, with the counselor help, learn to cope with the stress of learning new skills throughout their careers (3) Clients need to be set free from fear and set free to courageously take responsibility for directing their own career path and making tough career decisions, and (4) Though the counselor is crucial in helping clients attain the first three tenets, the counselor is most needed to provide ongoing counseling where career and personal counseling is blended to help the client deal with all career related concerns including “burnout, underemployment, relationships with co-workers” (Niles & Harris-Bowlesby, 2009) and any other life issues.

Career counselors need to use assessment results of abilities, interest, viewpoint, principles and personality types to search for potential areas for development and to create additional learning experiences (Bimrose, 2004). The intended goal for the career practitioner is to help their clients “to create satisfying lives for themselves” (Niles & Harris-Bowlesby, 2009, p. 79) both now and for the future (Feller, Honaker, Zagzebski, 2001). Krumboltz stated that the way a person thinks ultimately controls his or her actions, including career choices. If a person is unsure on what path they want to take, then it could possibly lead them in the wrong direction. (Krumboltz, 1994).


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