Career Counseling:
Foundations, Perspectives, and Applications
edited by David Capuzzi and Mark Stauffer
Chapter Three
Toward a Holistic View:
Decision-Making, Postmodern,
and Emerging Theories
Jane Goodman
Holistic Approach
• Career along with life planning
• Individual as well as contextual and
• Masculine and Feminine
• Relational approach to career counseling
• Counselors help clients work through
external barriers and Internal barriers.
• Counselors advocate on behalf of clients
and teach clients how to advocate on their
own behalf.
Peterson (1995) states that “most people
entering the work force today will have
three to five careers and eight to ten jobs.”
Most unlikely to have one job or job field
for life.
Finding Meaning In Work and
Two Tramps in Mud Time
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight
(Frost, 1930, p. 314)
Finding Meaning In Work and
Victor Frankl (1963)—meaning is essential to
Calling (Vocation)—“vocare” in Latin is “to call”
Burnout and failure in the search for meaning
through work
Authentic existence with occupation
Integrating Spirituality and
Whole selves at work
Spirituality as an answer to isolation,
existential frustration, alienation, and
violence in the workplace
Defining Spirituality
• Connectedness of history
• Interconnectedness of life
• Sense of transcendence
• Spirituality of dwelling
• Spirituality of seeking
• Peak experiences
• Sense of awe
• Purpose and meaning by
adhering to sets of larger
• Exercise of faith
• Experience of a connection
with God
• Spirituality of moral
• Other?
Cohen’s (2003)
Existentialism and Career
Key concepts
 Responsibility
 Evaluation
 Action
 Reevaluation
Bloch’s (1997) “Right work”
Implications for finding right work
1. Nature of meaning in life as it relates to
2. Forms of Stillness (e.g., meditation)
3. Intentionality
Brewer’s (2001) Vocational
Souljourn Paradigm
“the ongoing interior process of
discovering meaning, being, and doing
and the expression of that discovery in
the exterior world of work through four
possible paths: job, occupation, career,
and Vocation”
(p. 84).
Seligman’s Learned Optimism
Optimism is a critical life skill, and that can be
learned (Seligman, 1998).
1. Distraction
2. Disputation
The Decision-Making Process
Planned Happenstance
• “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
• Indecision as open mindedness
• Curiosity, persistence, flexibility,
optimism, and risk taking
The Decision-Making Process
Positive Uncertainty
1. Be focused and flexible about what you want.
2. Be aware and wary about what you know.
3. Be objective and optimistic about what you
4. Be practical and magical about what you do
(Gelatt, 1991, pp. 7-10).
The Decision-Making Process
Dealing with Change
Gelatt’s (1991) “resilient” mouse:
1) change happens
2) anticipate change
3) monitor change
4) adapt to change quickly
5) change
6) enjoy change
7) be ready to quickly change again and again.
Post Modern Approaches
 Narrative Approach
 Integrative life planning
 Constructivist theories
 Contextual action theory of career counseling
 Relational approach to career counseling
Narrative Questions
1. Who do you admire? Who would you pattern your
life after? Who did you admire growing up? How
are you like this person? How are you different
from this person?
2. Do you read any magazines regularly? Which
3. What do you like to do in your free time?
4. Do you have a favorite saying or motto?
5. What are (were) your three favorite subjects in
school? What subjects do (did) you hate?
6. What is your earliest recollection?
(Savickas, 2003)
Integrative Life Planning
Finding work that needs doing
Attending to our health
Connecting family and work
Valuing pluralism and diversity
Managing transitions and organizational
6. Exploring spirituality and life purpose
(Hansen, 2002, p. 61)
Post Modern Approaches
 Constructivist theories
 Contextual action theory of career counseling
 Relational approach to career counseling
Adult Career Transitions
Schlossberg’s 4-S system for transitions
 Situation
 Self
 Support
 Strategies
Brewer, E. W. (2001). Vocational souljourn paradigm: A model of adult
development to express spiritual wellness as meaning, being, and doing in
work and life. Counseling and Values, 45, (2), 83-92.
Cohen, B. N. (2003). Applying existential theory and interventions to career
decision-making. Journal of Career Development, 29, 195-209.
Frankl, V. E, (1963). Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to
logotherapy. New York: Washington Square Press.
Frost, R. (1930). The poems of Robert Frost. New York: Random House.
Gelatt, H. B. (1991). Creative decision making: Using positive uncertainty.
Los Altos, CA: Crisp.
Peterson, L. (1995) Starting out, starting over. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.
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