Tech 'n' Tech Books

I. General Description Of The Student’s Background And Characteristics

Student A was selected as a student who might be able to benefit from career counseling.  The student is a female who is 27 years of age.  She was born and raised in Buffalo, New York until she went off to Messiah College, a small Christian school in Harrisburg, PA.  Being the middle child of three girls she felt that there was not as much pressure on her to succeed as her sisters.  A fan and participant of musicals and theater she was encouraged by her peers, teachers and parents to seek a career in performing arts.  Her ability to relate and empathize with others as well as her love for the outdoors caused her to pick Recreational Therapy as a major at Messiah College.
After graduation from Messiah College, Student A moved back to Buffalo, New York.  She rented an apartment in the city and took a job working with special education students in a high school.  Student A considered the school year to be frustrating because she felt her co-workers were sexist and made her feel uncomfortable.  Having been known as someone who makes decisions that can seem impulsive she decided to move to California and work at a summer camp with kids with disabilities.  Following the summer camp she worked for a year as a nanny for one of the camp kids.  Realizing she had no desire to be a nanny for the rest of her life she moved back east to Philadelphia, PA to work on her Masters Degree in Social Work at Temple University.  She shares an apartment with a friend from class and is working at a local hospital with mentally disturbed patients to help her pay her bills.

II. State The Student’s Presenting Problem And Important Aspects of It

Student A is Caucasian and considers Christianity to be her religion.  Her belief in God causes her to feel that she is still in search of a “career calling.”  She believes she can accomplish whatever goals she sets for herself with God’s help.  Currently she feels that she is “lost” in terms of a searching for a career and is still in search of a “career calling.” 
Student A believes one of her problems has been her inability to get over a relationship with her former boyfriend.  Her former boyfriend lives in the Philadelphia area and had been giving her emotional support as she went through her career struggles in Buffalo and California.  She believed there was a chance to resurrect the relationship, which was another, added reason for moving back to the east coast.  Although her former boyfriend insists the romantic part of their relationship is over she still holds out hope that he will change his mind and take her back.  The realization that the romantic part of the relationship might be over has added to Student A’s reasons of feeling lost when thinking about her career calling. 

III. Briefly Characterize The Problem In A Career Counseling Context (Using Career Terminology)

One potential problem Student A has is that she appears to be a spontaneous decision maker, who makes decisions quickly ( Niles, Harris-Bowlsbey, 354).  She has also mentioned that she does not openly talk about the decisions she makes or plans to make which would indicate that she is an internal decision maker (Niles, Harris-Bowlsbey, 354). 
Because she likes to make decisions spontaneously Student A does not have a plan of action when it comes to career decisions.  She considers herself to be a “free-spirit” who is not “tied down” to any one place and has the freedom to go “wherever life brings her.”
Student A likes to make internal decisions and solve problems without the help of others.  She considers herself to be a “very open person” but when it comes to talking about her career she says she becomes a “very defensive person.” 
In a career counseling context the problem Student A is having is how to deal with her spontaneous and her internal decision making without the help of others.  The next section will discuss how a career counseling approach could best help Student A. 

IV. How Could A Career Counseling Approach Benefit This Client

A career counselor approach could benefit Student A by giving her a plan of action.  Some students who prefer to analyze data internally may benefit from writing in a career decision making journal and writing career autobiographies (Niles, Harris-Bowlesbey).  Student A has never been given assistance that has recommended her taking the journal writing route in helping her reach an action plan.  Since she likes to work on her own, the journal writing counseling approach could be the tool that provides her with the means and confidence to solve what she believes is her career decision crises.
Student A’s tendency to make spontaneous decisions could be another potential problem that could be benefited by a career counseling approach.  For student A, a plan of action sounds restricting and not flexible enough to her spontaneous approach.  She believes a plan of action would mean her career decision “was set in stone” which would not allow her to change her mind about her career and make spontaneous decisions.   

V. What Kind Of Relationship Would This Client Best Need To Respond To Career Counseling

Because she likes to make internal decisions and solve problems without the help of others, Student A would respond better to a counselor who used individual intervention rather than group intervention .  Career Counselors are professional counselors or psychologists with specialized training in the delivery of career and development interventions although not all counselors are skilled career counselors (Niles, Harris-Bowlsbey, 224).   Student A would respond best to a counselor who is skilled enough in career counseling to know what strategies would work best with a student who likes to make internal decisions.
Student A’s personality is unique because even though she is an internal decision maker she still makes spontaneous decisions.  A counselor with a similar personality might better understand Student A and be able to help with career decision making. Through personal experience counselor’s with a similar personality might also know better career decision strategies in helping Student A.

VI. State Specifically HOW You Would Design Each For Your Client And WHY Use At Least 3 Sentences For Each

There are three specific career counseling techniques or strategies that would be of benefit to Student A.  Maintaining a career decision journal, writing career autobiographies and using computer-assisted career guidance systems will be the three strategies that are discussed in the following paragraphs. 
Maintaining a career decision journal is recommended a student like Student A who makes internal decisions and prefer to solve problems without the help of others (Harris-Bolwsbey, 354).  During the first individual counseling session the counselor would have Student A write a journal entry on career decisions she has made within her life since college. The second individual counseling session would consist of the counselor requesting Student A to analyze the journal and give the counselor her feedback on her career decisions.      In the third individual counseling session the counselor would sit down and help guide Student A in finding an action plan that would least interfere with the spontaneous decisions that Student A likes to make. 
Writing a career autobiography is a second career counseling technique that would help Student A out.  The career autobiography is slightly different than the career journal in that the autobiography is meant to be read by others and the journal is meant to be more private.  The career autobiography would consist of Student A writing about every career decision that she has made in her life and why she made those decisions so a reader that has never met her would understand why she made the career decisions she has made.  
The third and final strategy would be to use computer-assisted career guidance systems to help guide Student A.  In the first two individual counseling sessions the counselor would provide Student A with a list of career guidance websites.  Goals of the website would be to provide students with opportunities to clarify their salient life roles and consider which roles they think will be important to them in their future (Harris-Bolsbey, 354). Finally, the third individual counseling session would consist of counselor and Student A sitting down and analyzing any careers that Student A found interesting in the computer research and developing an action plan.

VII. Conclusion

I was introduced to Student A through  a University Professor that I had when I was an undergrad.  Although I have kept in contact with Student A and feel comfortable talking with her she still becomes very defensive when discussing her career.  Student A has not had any type of career counseling since college.  After hearing a description of the career counseling class and  listening to my analyzation of the interview Student A has had more of a desire for some type of career counseling int