Career Counseling and Effects of Theories

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We will consider some of the effects, both facilitative and restrictive, that the various theoretical positions imply or impose on the process of career counseling. Our concern will be to identify major influential factors without attempting to spell out or identify the many lesser nuances of each theoretical position. We will look primarily at how the counselor functions, what resources the counselor uses, and what outcomes are expected by the counselor within each major theoretical framework.

Few, if any, counselors view economic and sociological theories of career development as sufficiently comprehensive to warrant consideration as the foundation for their personal theory because, according to these views, the client and the counselor are placed in a position of essential helplessness. At the same time, there are few counselors who would totally disregard the factors included in these theoretical positions.

Economic theories place major emphasis upon the influence of the marketplace and the interaction of supply and demand factors. These are elements that operate on a massive scale, ponderously and incessantly, with a force that overwhelms the individual. In such circumstances the counselor's role would have to focus primarily upon helping the client read the signs that are most predictive of marketplace activity and then devise ways by which the client could best position himself or herself to capitalize upon that activity as it occurs. In many ways the counselor would function like an economic adviser or an investment counselor attempting to determine long-range market forecasts. While the career counselor's client is concerned with investing time and effort rather than capital and facilities, the approach would be much the same.

Since the major focus would fall on economic matters, our hypothetical counselor would be skillful in observing and predicting economic change and in applying those measurements and formulae used to estimate business and employment trends. Attention would be paid to bank deposits, interest rates, wholesale inventories, construction starts, business, and mergers, changes in imports and exports, and stock market indices. Counselors would read with regularity Business Week, Monthly Labor Review, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and other periodicals and news reports that focus on present and anticipated business conditions.

If counselors were to operate predominantly on an economic base, the major outcome expected would be for clients to be favorably positioned to maximize benefits as market conditions change: to be prepared to enter fields where the supply of workers falls short of demand; to be situated so that they have vacated fields before oversupply of workers forces incomes and other perquisites downward; or to be entrenched in their positions so firmly that they are relatively immune to the downward income cycle.

Sociological theories put major emphasis on social and cultural factors and tend to view the individual as the product of the interactions of those factors. Lipsett (1962), for example, stresses the influence of social class membership, home influences, school, community, pressure groups, and role perception as influential factors in career development. Caplow (1954) and Miller and Form (1951) have considered the influence of "being in the right place at the right time" or a "chance" factor in career development. More recently, Krumboltz (1976) has argued persuasively that instead of "chance" these should be labeled as "unanticipated events."

If counselors used the sociological approach exclusively they would be confronted with helping clients to accept with some degree of resignation whatever fate is about to hand them. The possibility that careful planning, effective development of aptitudes and abilities, motivation, and industrious application separately and collectively could have an impact on career development would be largely disregarded. Counselor function might be viewed as primarily predictive since the items listed by Lipsett, for example, are identifiable and mostly quantifiable. The counselor would be likely to use interview procedures, tests, and survey instruments that identify the client's status with regard to the various social factors previously listed. Since the role of the counselor is clouded in a circumscribed situation such as the one we are dealing with, it is difficult to specify expected outcomes.

Most counselors would insist that sociological factors are an important aspect in career development and must be considered in dealing with a client who wishes to make career plans. Many theoretical positions, including those of the psychological need theorists, the developmentalists, and the behavioralists, include sociological factors as a part of the total picture. Our concern at this point is based on making these factors the only consideration. (Since the psychoanalytic theory advocated by Brill and others considers the counselor unnecessary, there is no way to consider the functions of the counselor in this framework.)

In summary, one can say that the situational theories contribute to understanding the relationship between individual and job in the career development process. Certainly economic events, sociological factors, personality characteristics, even chance, influence the choices that are made by individuals and the events that occur as the individual pursues that choice. Nevertheless, each of these positions leaves unconsidered too many factors that appear to bear on career development.

Trait and Factor Theory

In simplest terms, the trait and factor approach is based on the idea that the individual differences of people can be measured and then matched against the various differing requirements of occupations. The matching concept is often traced to the early writing of Parsons, and the measurement concepts date back to the Minnesota group of Paterson, Darley, Williamson, and others. During the heyday of trait and factor counseling and continuing from that period, occupational requirements have often been identified by measuring the characteristics possessed by workers in the specific occupation. The implicit assumption is that whatever characteristics are commonly held by the workers are required for successful performance of the work. One illustration of this approach is the General Aptitude Test Battery which provides "occupational" norms and "occupational aptitude patterns" based on the scores obtained by those workers ranking in the upper two-thirds of workers tested. This application of test data to predict possible success in the occupation has sometimes resulted in the trait and factor approach being labeled as an actuarial system. Williamson (1939, 1950) suggested that individuals seeking counseling for vocational planning can be sorted into four categories. He labeled these as (1) no choice, (2) uncertain choice, (3) unwise choice, and (4 discrepancies between interests and aptitudes. He saw the vocational counseling process as one in which the client is diagnosed as belonging to one of these categories, and once diagnosis is made, a plan of action is developed to resolve the difficulty. He viewed the counselor as completing six steps in this career counseling process. These six steps include the following:
  1. Analysis--gathering information about the client, primarily from interview procedures but supplemented by data from tests and other sources, including information about aptitudes, interests, motives, physical health, emotional balance, family background, knowledge, educational progress, and other factors.

  2. Synthesis--organizing the data to gain an understanding of the counselee, searching for a pattern of consistency in the data, and seeking the unique or individual characteristics of the client.

  3. Diagnosis--reviewing case data to arrive at the counselor's statement of the client's problem, using a clinical method involving both verifiable data and "clinical hunches" matched against available information in order to make a critical appraisal and to get behind the raw data to factors causing the problem.

  4. Prognosis--predicting the future development of the problem according to the counselor's evaluation of the data. When predictions can be made validly about future behavior, Williamson suggests that this step is often combined with diagnosis. This step includes identifying alternative courses of action or alternative adjustments that can be made by the client.

  5. Counseling--helping the client marshal and organize personal and other resources to assist in achieving the optimum adjustment either now or in the future. The counselor presents evidence for or against the student's educational or vocational choice or other matters of concern, indicates favorable and unfavorable data and the weight of each, and explains why he or she advises a specific course of action.

  6. Follow-up--helping the client further, usually at a later time, with either new problems or recurrences of the same problem, or checking to determine the effectiveness of counseling.
In these six steps, as viewed by Williamson and other early trait and factor counselors, the counselor assumed a role similar to that of the physician in determining a patient's problem, prescribing treatment to correct the problem, and later checking to ascertain success of the treatment. This active leadership of the counselor produced the label of "directive" counseling by the "non-directivists" who resisted that role.

The trait and factor counselor uses a wide array of resources and typically applies many of them with each client. In the analysis stage, the counselor acquires information about the client from interviews, school records, and other sources of subjective data. In addition, testing, often extensive, is used to collect objective data. The counselor's integrative skills are of primary importance in the stages of synthesis, diagnosis, and prognosis. The counselor organizes and evaluates information about the individual and uses "occupational" or career information to support or refute client plans or to help the client develop or accept a plan. In the counseling stage, the client is actively involved in discussing and planning a course of action. Williamson sees the counselor as involved in establishing rapport, cultivating self-understanding, advising or planning a program of action, and sometimes carrying out a plan or referring the client to another individual for additional assistance. If needed, Williamson could also see the counselor forcing conformity, changing the environment, selecting a needed environment, teaching needed skills, or attempting to change attitudes. To accomplish these results, the counselor might be persuasive, explanatory, or direct.

The outcome expected by the trait and factor counselor is the resolution of the client's present problem. Obviously the final step of follow-up suggests that further readjustment or refinement of the developed plan might later be necessary. It is also assumed, as Thompson (1954) points out, that solving this specific problem assists the individual in being better able to solve future problems because problem solution is expected to lead to effective self-management.

Personality-based Theory

We will discuss the personality-based theory as related by Anne Roe and John Holland. As there is considerable difference between the two presentations we will take them up separately.

Osipow (1983) has pointed out that Roe's theoretical statement includes no recommendation relevant to counseling. We are therefore unable to identify specifically how Roe visualizes her theory being applied by a counselor. Many other theories incorporate the importance of psychological needs and also recognize the impact of early childhood experiences as described by Roe. Further, her two-dimensional system for classifying occupations is widely used by both counselors and teachers in helping individuals understand the world of work. As Osipow suggests, we can draw inferences from Roe's theory that would suggest the type of counselor behavior appropriate to the theory.

One would logically infer from Roe's emphasis upon Maslow's need structure that the counselor would give major attention to identifying and helping the client understand personal needs. The career counselor, further, would certainly try to assist the client in relating these needs to occupations by identifying those where the opportunity to satisfy existing needs would be greatest. Osipow (1983) also proposes that occasionally, where unusual factors have thwarted or distorted the development of an appropriate pattern of psychological needs, the client may need psychotherapy to help understand, clarify, and perhaps restructure a pattern of needs more appropriate to adult life. Such intensive therapy might well be beyond the career counselor's professional skill or interest and a referral to resolve this deficiency before resuming career counseling may be necessary.

One would expect the counselor using Roe's theory to use interview procedures and perhaps appropriate psychological testing to identify the client's needs pattern. Once the point is reached where both counselor and client have a relatively clear understanding of the "needs" and "presses" that bear upon the client, two options are faced. One of these options is to proceed to a consideration of occupations appropriate to that set of needs. Roe's occupational classification system provides a structure for implementing this action since it is already geared to such a construct. This system permits the client to identify typical occupations representative of the appropriate needs pattern at various levels related to responsibility and educational demands. These can then be studied or investigated through the use of suitable materials and techniques.

The second option facing counselor and client is a determination of whether the existing needs pattern offers the potential for a satisfying and fulfilling life for the client. If the answer is an affirmative one, counselor and client would proceed as we have discussed above. If the answer is negative, the counselor--or an appropriate referral--would have to undertake the process of helping the client restructure the needs pattern. Since most needs theorists view these aspects as long-lived and relatively permanent, under-taking change might require extensive as well as intensive therapy. One might hypothesize that such counseling would involve a process such as Bordin's psychodynamic approach or Rogers' client-centered approach. Hypothetically, upon successful completion of that process, the counselor and client would consider appropriate occupations in light of the modified or rebuilt needs.

Expected outcomes, in either case, would be anticipated to be the involvement of the client in work that is personally satisfying. Roe's classification system groups occupations in very broad clusters related to need patterns developing from early childhood. Those broad groupings have since been sustained by research of other theorists (Holland, 1973; Sanson, 1974). Further, her theory recognizes differences in ability, family influences, and access to resources, and so on. The classification grid proposed by Roe is used by counselors with varied theoretical positions to assist clients in building a framework for understanding the world of work.

Holland's Theory

The essence of Holland's theory is his six personality types and the six environments in which they are found. Because of this fundamental emphasis on personality characteristics, his theory is usually classified, like Roe's theory, as being based on psychological need theory. He gives little consideration to the biological or psychological antecedents that produce the personality characteristics of the client. Holland [1974) refers to himself as an adherent of a modified trait and factor view. Further, Holland views one-to-one vocational or career counseling as a last resort to be used by those few individuals who remain confused, uncertain, or undecided after other types of career development assistance have been provided.

Responding to an article in which Crites (1976) describes a series of seven counseling interviews with "Karen," Holland (1976) describes succinctly how he would have dealt with this client. The following quotations summarize Holland's hypothetical handling of the case:

I might have seen Karen for about 5 to 15 minutes. I would have started with "What do you have in mind?" When she talked about whether it should be social work or teaching, I would have mumbled to myself: "There is not much difference between an SIA or SAE." I then would have asked, or she might have asked to take the Self-Directed Search (SDS) I would have loaned her a copy of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and told her to come back when she was ready.

... If Karen came back to see me for a second interview (I lose some), I would have asked "How did the SDS go?" "What did you get out of the Occupational Outlook Handbook?" Or, she might have taken the initiative because the SDS supported social work more than teacher, or because she now saw more alternatives. Our discussion would have focused on the alternatives--questions she might have, where to get more information about training? What's it like to be a social worker? What led to the current alternatives, how she justified each alternative, and so on.

In the second interview, I would have relied on the SDS to learn whether or not she was a well-differentiated person and therefore a good decision-maker. ... I would have reinforced the need to continue exploring those vocational alternatives that were appealing via reading and work experiences, and I would have told her that it was not necessary for people to always know what they are going to do. .

. . . My fictitious work with Karen might have increased the options she considered, clarified why some made more sense than others, given her more understanding of herself in vocational terms, and a structure she might use to relate to the vocational world....

In general, the exploratory view consists in focusing on the exploration of vocational alternatives with the subordination of the concerns of diagnosis personal adjustment, examining one's values, or similar counseling concerns.

Elsewhere, Holland (1973) suggests that the counselor might use the Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI), the SDS, or the Holland scales for the Strong Vocational Interest Blank to assess client characteristics. Presumably the Holland scales on the Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory, published since Holland's 1973 statement, would also be viewed as acceptable. It would be difficult to use other interest inventories since they have not been keyed to Holland's typology. He further suggests that data acquired from interviews, tests, reports or other sources could also be incorporated into the typology structure. Similarly, to facilitate client use, career information could be coded and filed in a system based on the Holland codes. Finally, Holland suggests that further exposure of clients or students to career information via class projects, speakers, audiovisual materials, visits, and other methods can be checked against the Holland code structure to assure a balanced and comprehensive program.

Holland (1973) states that maladaptive vocational development probably arises from one of five causes, including:
  1. Insufficient experience to acquire well-defined interests, competencies, or perceptions of self.

  2. Insufficient experience to learn about the work environments.

  3. Ambiguous or conflicting experience about interests, competencies, or personal characteristics.

  4. Ambiguous or conflicting information about work environments.

  5. Lack of self-information or confidence needed to translate personal characteristics into occupational opportunities.
Holland suggests that counselors who encounter clients unable to resolve their own vocational decisions may find it helpful to involve the client in reviewing and discussing these five maladaptive conditions with the purpose of identifying the cause of their own indecision. The counselor can also use any decision about the appropriateness of one of the five conditions to determine the type of treatment the client should receive. For example, Holland suggests that a person with a well-defined profile (Holland code) probably needs only access to information to make an adequate career choice while an individual with a confused profile may need extensive counseling or psychotherapy in order to develop a better self understanding.

The anticipated outcome with Holland's approach would be satisfactory vocational adjustment of the client, based on a clear understanding of self and self-profile to enable the individual to make career choices appropriate to that profile.

Developmental Theories

Developmental theorists view career choice as a process extending over a considerable period of time and thus the counselor may have differing inputs according to the stage in which the client is operating at the time he or she encounters the counselor. Since the developmental theorists hold many viewpoints in common, it will be less confusing for the reader if we consider them jointly rather than individually. Actually, the Ginzberg group gave no particular attention to the role or place of counselors in the career development process. Osipow (1983) states this clearly by saying:

It seems that the theory is too vague to suggest techniques for counselors beyond a general notion that experiences should be arranged for young people that will facilitate their progress through whatever stage they happen to be in. If the theory has any accuracy and validity, it can be used to highlight developmental tasks and bring them to the attention of counselors, teachers, and parents.

Super, on the other hand, has written much about developmental career counseling and his approach will dominate our consideration of this theoretical position. The reader will find an excellent description of Super's approach to career counseling in the review prepared by Crites (1974, 1981).

Developmental career counseling as described by Super combines the developmental process (life stages) with a modified trait and factor approach that Super (1954) refers to as an actuarial method. Incorporating the life-stages concept recognizes that career counseling needs and processes will vary depending on the developmental status of the client. Thus, a youngster in the early high school years is likely to have quite different career concerns than the individual at age twenty-five. Further, both of these may be ahead of, approximately even with, or behind their respective peer groups in planning and implementing career development plans. This aspect of comparison with appropriate peer groups has led to the development of the concept of career maturity (Super, 1955, 1974; Crites, 1973).

Career counseling typically starts with the determination of the client's career maturity, since this status indicates not only where the client is developmentally and what his or her counseling needs are, but also suggests what counselor activities are appropriate. The immature client is helped to develop skills in understanding and exploring self and occupations before consideration is given to choosing and trying-out (Super and Overstreet, 1960). On the other hand, the mature client is more likely to be ready to deal with information about self and the environment in a choice-making process. The young and immature individual is assisted in many ways, often in a non-counseling relationship, to acquire the information and skills appropriate at that stage of career development. When the individual approaches the decision-making stage and has developed appropriate levels of care maturity, career counseling proceeds.

Super {1957a} sees the counselor using a spiraling or cyclical rotation of directive and nondirective interviewing. In the first interview, the counselor is essentially nondirective, permitting and encouraging the client describe and explore the problem, view of self, and the realities of his or h psychological world. In many ways this encounter parallels the tradition intake interview, and the process continues until counselor and client feel that the problem has been adequately identified and defined by the client.

At this point, the counselor shifts to a directive approach in which topics for subsequent counseling sessions are identified and priorities are established. The identification of needed additional data related either to the individual or to his or her world and ways in which those data may be acquired are also considered. When data can best be obtained by testing, the client is included in the consideration of this approach and in the decision to use such instruments. Tests are used selectively to obtain specific information when it is needed, rather than as a broad, general test battery applied in "shotgun" fashion. A schedule and other operational details may be considered, along with the goals and limitations of the counseling process.

After completing this phase the counselor resumes a nondirective role to permit the client opportunity to react to the proposed plan, its implications and demands. This change of pace allows the client to clarify feeling and attitudes, accept responsibility for the mutually developed plan for counseling, and increase self-acceptance and insight.

Subsequent sessions in which the counselor assists the client to acquire and understand test results, career information, or other factual material are conducted in a directive manner. Since counselor and client are dealing with data often involving format and terminology unfamiliar to the client the counselor may assume a quasi-teaching role. The objective of these sessions is to assist the client to obtain additional needed information and assimilate that knowledge in a way that the client can use in the decision making process.

The broadening of perspective through acquisition of additional data requires the reexamination of attitudes and feelings. Consequently, the counselor reverts to a nondirective role. The client is assisted in understanding and clarifying his or her attitudes and feelings as viewed against this broader view of self and the world in which he or she exists. This nondirective approach is continued by the counselor as the client works through feelings and attitudes and moves forward in the decision-making process.

Shifting between directive and nondirective procedures need not be confusing for either client or counselor. Essentially, Super is separating approaches to fit the content of the counseling sessions. When the major content is factual, such as developing procedural plans, considering test data, or discussing career information, the counselor assumes a directive approach. When the content is primarily attitudinal, such as exploring self- concept and previous experiences, identifying the client's willingness to proceed with counseling as proposed by the counselor, discussing the client's feeling toward test data, tryout experiences, and other reality testing, the counselor assumes a nondirective stance. In the first role the counselor uses interpretation, explanation, and summarization. In the second role the counselor responds with reflection, restatement, and clarification.

The developmental counselor draws on a wide range of resources. These include interview procedures, tests, and a variety of career materials and experiences. As indicated earlier, the choice and application of appropriate resources relate to the developmental stage of the client and the goals and outcomes that are compatible with the client's career maturity.

Although somewhat oversimplified, the primary purpose of applying these procedures is to assist the client in an appraisal process that includes evaluation of the presenting problem, the client, and predictive estimates of future career adjustment. Unlike the trait and factor adherents, Super sees both client and counselor cooperatively involved in the appraisal process. Thus the client is given access to new information about self, occupations, and the broader environment but is still required to deal with feelings and incorporate them into overall career development.

The developmental counselor has access to the entire array of test instruments as a means of helping the client to learn more about self. Super's early book (1949), later revised with Crites (1962), is still considered one of the definitive statements on using tests. Super (1950) suggests that tests be used to obtain information that appears to be crucial for the client in understanding either self or the larger environment. Instead of selecting and administering a lengthy general battery of tests to all clients, Super proposes that tests be selected to provide specific data and used when client and counselor agree those data are needed. The counselor must have a thorough mastery of available tests to assure consideration of the instrument that best fits the client's needs as perceived by counselor and client together.

The developmental counselor also helps the client use information about jobs and the world of work or larger environment in which those jobs exist. These materials, too, range across the gamut of available information forms, from printed materials to direct contact materials such as shadowing (spending a day with a worker, watching what is done) and tryout experiences. The primary reason for using career information is to assist the client in personal appraisal and in prognostic appraisal-helping to identify present or potential strengths and weaknesses and estimating the degree to which those characteristics can predict later success or satisfaction.

Crites (1974, 1981) emphasizes that the most useful type of career information for the developmental counselor is that which provides a "career pattern" approach, and further, that this type of information is least available. Some materials of this type are becoming available from the results of Project TALENT (for example, Flanagan et al., 1973) and data now being released from Super's own twenty-year Career Pattern Study (for example, Jordaan and Heyde, 1979). These data do show more dearly than any other available information the developmental paths through which the subjects passed from early high school years until their mid-thirties. Caution in the use of such data is still crucial since the influence and forces encountered by adolescents two decades ago are not identical to those encountered today. Neither the internal forces of values, motivations, and goals nor the external forces of opportunity, social mores, and economic and political conditions are factors that remain static over long periods of time.

The developmental counselor expects that career counseling will result in the client acquiring a clearer understanding of self that results in appropriate decisions in the present, compatible with client self-concept. Further, the counselor expects the client to be able to adjust or modify present decisions to fit changing circumstances encountered in the future.

Behavioral and Decision-making Theories

Krumboltz proposed his social learning theory of career selection in 1975, and it was first published in 1976 in Counseling Psychologist. This statement was reprinted in Whiteley and Resnikoff (eds.) (1978). Essentially the same statement appeared in Mitchell, Jones, and Krumboltz (eds.) (1979). Two brief responses by Holland (1976) and Roe (1976) have appeared. A reply by Krumboltz (1976) does provide a sketchy view of some aspects of the theory's application to counseling.

This theoretical statement appears to be a logical extension and, to some extent, a summarization of earlier writing by Krumboltz and colleagues (1966; Krumboltz and Thoresen, 1969; Krumboltz and Baker, 1973). Thus it seems reasonable to assume that those earlier statements of a behavioralist approach fit reasonably well into the more recent statement. The reader will find an excellent summary of Krumboltz' earlier statements contrasted with a more theoretical behavioral approach in the previously cited review by Crites (1974).

Behavioral theory is built largely on the psychology of learning; in fact, Krumboltz' label of "social learning" merely emphasizes this. One can then expect that the counselor may often be involved in a teaching relationship with the client. That teaching may be either direct--for example, transmission of knowledge--or indirect--for example, unknowingly serving as a role model, in using or developing learning situations to build understanding and attitudes and thereby produce behavior.

Krumboltz and Thoresen (1969) state that the counselor must first be concerned with what they call problem identification. They identify seven types of problem that clients may present in counseling. Of these, three are directly related to career counseling and the remaining four are more involved in personal and social areas, touching career problems only tangentially. The three career counseling problems include: (1) the absence of a goal, or indecision, (2) expressed feeling of concern about high aspirations, or unrealism, and (3) a conflict between equally appropriate alternatives, or multi-potentiality. The goals of counseling are established pragmatically in terms of the identified presenting problem, usually expressed as the elimination of the problem.

Krumboltz and Baker (1973) identify a series of eight steps in the career counseling process. In many ways the list is comparable to the previously described phases of trait and factor or developmental counseling. These eight steps include the following:
  1. Defining the problem and the client's goals.

  2. Agreeing mutually to achieve counseling goals.

  3. Generating alternative problem solutions.

  4. Collecting information about the alternatives.

  5. Examining the consequences of the alternatives.

  6. Revaluing goals, alternatives, and consequences.

  7. Making the decision or tentatively selecting an alternative contingent upon new developments and new opportunities.

  8. Generalizing the decision-making process to new problems.
Krumboltz (1976) suggests that the impact of the social learning theory on the way counselors operate will include the teaching of decision making as a skill, revising the criteria of success in vocational counseling, and a more systematic development of occupational preferences and skills. This emphasis on decision making is supported by other behavioralists such as Gelatt, Katz, and Hilton. Krumboltz contends that teaching decision-making skills will assist the client later when changing conditions inevitably require modification of previously made decisions. The client, having learned a generalizable approach to such situations, should now be able to make satisfactory decisions independently. Secondly, he suggests that the crucial criterion for measuring successful vocational counseling should not be the degree of certainty the client has about the present decision, but instead, the extent to which appropriate decision-making procedures were used in making the decision. Finally, he advocates that counselors must spend more time helping clients explore career possibilities so that they acquire accurate occupational concepts, including considering positive and negative aspects of the alternatives.

One can see from the eight steps in counseling proposed by Krumboltz and Baker that the interview plays a major part in behavioral counseling. Except for portions of the third and fifth steps, which focus on occupational exploration of various types, almost the entire process consists of counselor-client interaction. Interviews are likely to serve a variety of functions, including information collecting, attitude and feeling exploration, and reinforcement, and may range from teaching relationships to nondirective counseling sessions. Krumboltz and Thoresen (1969) include many specific examples of the counselor's application of interview procedures.

Since tests are rarely mentioned by Krumboltz, Thoresen, Gelatt, or others, one must conclude that little use is made of these instruments in behavioral career counseling. Crites (1974, 1981) suggests that this disregard for tests may be related to the behavioralists' focus on the interaction between the individual and the environment, whereas tests usually provide data that indicate interpersonal differences.

On the other hand, career information materials are extensively used by behavioral counselors. Emphasis is usually focused on reality-oriented types of material such as shadowing, simulated work exercises, on-the-job tryout, and work experience programs. For example, the Job Kits developed by Krumboltz and his colleagues are widely recognized as excellent examples of the use of simulation in career information. Krumboltz (1976) anticipates increased emphasis on assisting adolescents to learn more about jobs, develop both breadth and depth in that knowledge, and acquire more job related skills, if his social learning theory is adopted widely.

The counseling outcome expected by behavioral counselors is usually directly related to the client's presenting problem. Pragmatically stated, the outcome sought is the elimination of that problem. From a more theoretical position, Krumboltz (1966) has identified three goals or expected outcomes. These include (1) changing maladaptive behavior, (2) learning the decision-making process, and (3) preventing problems.

Theoretical Approach

By now it should be clear to the reader that each of the previously described viewpoints has certain advantages for the counselor who is an adherent of that particular approach. Similarly, each has limitations and disadvantages that impede or restrict the effectiveness of the counselor who holds counseling activities within the boundaries established by that theoretical approach. Other authors have also attempted to combine aspects of several approaches into a broader, more flexible system. A notable example of such an effort is the comprehensive approach suggested by Crites (1976, 1981). Career development theory, in spite of the efforts of many writers, remains both incomplete and fragmented. This situation is at least partly due to the need for more time in which research can be completed to provide a basis for revision and clarification of existing viewpoints. In the meantime, as Osipow (1973) points out, counselors each day encounter clients and must help them with assorted needs and problems. It is proposed therefore that these variable needs of clients can be met most effectively by drawing selectively from existing theoretical approaches and using those techniques and resources that appear to offer the greatest likelihood of rendering substantial assistance to each client within a logical and appropriate framework.

This pragmatic approach will sometimes result in choosing or suggesting procedures that appear inconsistent with one or more of the theoretical positions previously considered. It should nevertheless be consistent with the basic criterion of what will best help the client at this point. It is also likely that the action is consistent with other theories we have considered. In other words, theoretical consistency may be less important than effective client growth.

Our approach will involve role changes for the counselor. On occasion the counselor may be the directive expert suggested by the trait and factor theorists. At other times, he or she may be a reflective counselor or a teacher in the developmental model. In addition to these roles and many others, the counselor will most often assume a collaborative role as described by Crites (1976, 1981). At one time, it was felt that the counselor must maintain a consistent role to prevent confusion on the part of the client. Such a view may have merit for counseling seriously disturbed clients, but it does not appear valid in dealing with most clients who seek career counseling.

Similarly, a wide range of resources is available to the counselor and these can be used selectively to assist the client. The interview skill of the counselor constitutes the most important resource since this provides the basis for the counselor-client relationship that is foundational for all that takes place in career counseling. Client problems and concerns may arise from self-oriented or internal aspects of the client or they may arise from external or environmentally oriented factors. Sometimes these problems require information or evaluation best obtained by tests or other data-gathering, data-assessing techniques. In some situations, there may be a need for skill development or enhancement, and a different set of techniques may be more useful. In still other circumstances, the need may focus on evaluating and understanding external data that may be important in decision making, such as what a job really is like, how one prepares for it, the rewards and satisfactions that accompany it. Frequently, clients who request career counseling may reveal self-oriented or externally oriented problems of sufficient magnitude to impede or prevent effective career counseling. The counselor then must give priority to these impediments before proceeding to the client's stated reasons for contacting the counselor.

Like counselors with narrower theoretical frames of reference, eclectic counselors seek effective resolution of the client's problem as the expected outcome of counseling. With some clients this may be a relatively simple process of identifying and removing whatever prevented an appropriate decision. In other cases, the process may be straightforward but time-consuming. With other clients, intervening aspects must be resolved before proceeding to the presenting problem. Nevertheless, the counselor's raison d'être is assisting the client with the problem he or she brings to the counselor.
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