Abstract and Keywords
Psychotherapy and career counseling have traditionally been treated as two distinct forms of client care with mutually exclusive sets of presenting problems. The prevailing dogma of psychodynamic theories has created a therapeutic encounter in which the individual's inner world and early experiences provide the fertile ground for exploration at the expense of the larger social context. Lost within that social context is the experience of working as its own unique contributor to optimal functioning. Traditional career theories defined optimal functioning for the autonomous individual as having significant volition while largely neglecting the lives of people with varying degrees of privilege. Emergent relational approaches redefined individuals as interdependent entities and developed an expanded and more inclusive focus on work activity rather than career attainment. This new career paradigm nests work within an array of relationships, which has become a cornerstone in the argument in favor of integrating psychotherapy and career counseling. At present, a growing body of literature has proposed how to infuse vocational techniques into traditional psychotherapy, but a theoretical integration remains unexamined. This chapter will provide this examination and use a case study to exemplify the benefits of an integrated counseling perspective.
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