Here - Guidance & Counselling Matters

Welcome to the Guidance and
Counselling Forum!
• A short presentation on Pluralistic Approaches to
Guidance and Counselling by Peter Beven. This is
based on work undertaken on a recent sabbatical
• Discussions in small groups about specific
guidance and counselling issues
• Research / practice round up with contributions
from staff and students
• Volunteer opportunities discussion
Pluralistic Approaches to
Guidance and Counselling
Peter Beven
Northumbria University October
In Japan, an estimated 700,000 young
people, known as hikikomori, have
withdrawn from society, rarely leaving
home. In the United States, the still faltering
economy has been so difficult for the
so-called ‘Generation Y’ that there is even a television
show, Underemployed, about a group of
20-something college graduates forced
into dead-end or unpaid jobs. It is a
comedy, but of the laughter-through-tears
variety. In Europe young people out of work or
underemployed has increased as the recession deepened
and more older people enter the job market.
Worldwide, young people are three times
more likely than their parents to be out of
work. In Greece, Spain, and South Africa, more
than half of young people are unemployed,
and jobless levels of 25 percent or more are
common in Europe, the Middle East, and
Northern Africa.
(Mourshed, Farrell and Barton, 2012)
Young People and Unemployment
• EU Youth unemployment
has been double or three
times rate of general
unemployment for the
last 20 years
• 5.6 million unemployed
across EU
• 7.5 million not in
education or work
(Mourshed, Patel and Suder, 2014)
Transition from Education to
• For many transition highly
• McKinsey survey (2014) in
eight European countries:
attitudinal and behavioural
• Those seeing themselves as
successful- actively manage
their decisions about
education and career
• Significant numbers feel
disheartened, disengaged and
(Mourshed, Patel and Suder,
Career Counselling Support
• Arguably the need for
career guidance support
greater than ever
• Huge variation across
Europe in terms of
professional training
available (Barham, 2009)
• In some countries
(including England) policy
decisions have restricted
the nature of support to
young people
(Reid and West, 2011)
The Technicising of Guidance
• ‘…in a situation where guidance work has
become more complex it appears that
preparation for the work may have
diminished, being restricted to a powerful and
instrumental discourse in guidance in the
(Reid and West, 2011:399)
Reimagining Career Counselling
• As a starting point there is a need
to recognise that individuals have
different needs at different points
of time.
• Motivation will vary between
individuals, but also within an
individual depending upon
current concerns (Miller and
Rollnick, 2013). Decision making
styles adopted by individuals also
have a factor.
Role of attitude and motivation
• Drawing upon their longitudinal study of the
effectiveness of career guidance with adult
clients, Bimrose and Barnes note:
‘The extent to which individuals espouse an
evaluative, strategic, aspirational or opportunistic
approach to making decisions about their career
progression is crucial to understanding the
particular types of support required from guidance
(Bimrose and Barnes, 2008:vi)
The needs of individuals
For some…
• A placing or matching
service taking account heir
abilities may be what is
For others…
• …May require support with
more complex decisions
involving reflection, self
assessment and career
The matching model
• Matching model
variations of trait / factor
paradigm, introduced in
industrial societies with
relatively high
• Assumes that individual
have a strong work ethic
and be happy with the
match; hence society and
the individual will benefit
Critiques of the matching model
• Assumption of a stable
labour market can be
challenged (Bimrose, 2009)
• The notion of ‘career’ has
changed considerably
(Young and Collin, 2000)
• Questions raised with its
non engagement with
gender issues (Bimrose,
2001), culturally varied
groups (Mobley and Slaney,
1998), and socially deprived
backgrounds (Meara et al.,
research evidence
Evidence from Counselling and Psychotherapy:
“Distant cousins” to career counselling
• Different clients want
different things e.g. Study
by King et al., 2000)
• Clients do better in their
preferred therapies (Swift
and Callahan review,
• This also resonates with
research on career
decision making (Bimrose
and Barnes, 2008)
Different clients want different things
• King et al, 2000: Do depressed clients in primary
care want non-directive counselling or cognitivebehaviour therapy?
ethics of Diversity
Diverse needs because diverse human
• If we accept that different people have different values
(e.g., happiness, actualisation, morality, duty, meaning)
is ultimately ‘good’, and….
• We accept that it is valid/positive for different values to
exist (‘value pluralism’), and…
• We see the different therapies as being aligned with
different values (e.g., happiness/CBT,
actualisation/humanistic, meaning/existential, then…
• Diversity of therapeutic approaches is essential
Pluralism and Career Counselling
• Engagement with clients to
ascertain what might be
most helpful
• What do clients want (goals)
• How might they best be
helped to achieve it
• The co-construction of
perspective and methods
• Need a menu of alternatives
• Ongoing reflection and
Case Study
• Sheila has been out of work for 6 months, is
looking after an elderly relative. She is
unhappy about having little money and wants
to get back into some sort of employment.
• What different approaches might there be?
What are some of the difficulties in
moving towards pluralistic

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