Value of theory to clients
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Theory is every systematic collection of ideas that relate to a specific subject. Observations that can be explained by a structure designed to analyze them is called a theory. It can also be a series of principles applying to something and describing a set of phenomena. A theory should be able to identify this set of phenomena and make allegation about the reality of a coherent collection of ideas. Theories are supposed to be practical and they are never considered right or wrong. They are supported only by observations and there is some significant truth in every one of them but no single one of all these theories says it all.
On every field, practitioners make decisions and give advice based on principles, theories. A good practitioner needs to predict the effects of action and if he's not able to do that he is hardly responsible or professional. Each career theory should describe the important features of the situation and find proof of what really happens. Theory asks "why does it happen this way?" and tries to give a reason based on the evidence. Understanding the causes and the results means that a practitioner can work out "what would happen if..." By doing this the practitioner can see how outcomes change if interventions are different. This is where theory and practice communicate with each other.
Theories have a great impact on a practitioner's way of work and in order to give advice, information and counseling he should be able to apply these theories based on the situation. Being capable to do that gives him the confidence to make the best of his skills to help the client. By doing that he increases his range of skills, self awareness and the opportunity to give and get support. Meeting the desirable outcome means that the practitioner has been tested and proved his effectiveness and knowledge on the subject. It's a way to evaluate his skills, challenge his self and reflect on his action. Having the knowledge to adapt theories to the client's needs improves his performance, gives him guidelines and provides him with a target for practice. The practitioner is developing his skills by interacting with people and learning from them. He's being changed by the individuals and his ability to approach and understand the needs of the client.
Counseling is a way of helping people overcome problems and achieving their goals. The clients should have the resources needed to deal with any difficulty they have and this is what they should try to gain from a meeting with a career practitioner. After the meeting they should be able to make well informed realistic decisions, resolve their problems and reflect on their selves. In order to achieve what they desire, they should explore their choices, increase their understanding of the situation and make effective plans. These can be achieved if the client trusts the practitioner and understands that he has the best interest at heart and his role is to make him more responsible on his decision making and his future planning.
Using the case study provided offer justification as to how the theories studied can contribute to our understanding of the client and the issues that the case study presents. Evaluate the implications these insights have for the practice of career guidance.
As we can see from the case study Dee is a person easily influenced by everyone around her. She didn't go to college or sixth form after she finished school because of her parents, who seem to have the final word on her life's path. She found a job to contribute to the family income and she got married very young because her parents believed that is important to settle down with a husband and children. She left others guide her life decisions but now she seems ready to take her life on her hands. Dee has been through every major transition in her life and I can see that she managed to overcome many obstacles to finally decide she wants more of her life. Her new-found confidence and ambitions brought the end of her marriage but she seems to be able to make her decisions without the influence of her family.
As her practitioner I would use the occupational choice theories and the transition theories to understand Dee and the issues she presents at the meeting. Transition theory provides a description of ways in which people may cope with change and draw insights on hoe people make decisions. If the client understands the process of transition it would be easier for her to engage and participate in the process.
Most of the transitions in Dee's life were involuntary and a number of conditions appear to disable her from taking the next step, finding a new job or going to the university. She has no economic security, high commitments as a woman divorced with two children and no one to support her. She is a person who experienced multiple transitions in her life, marriage, parenthood, divorce and from school to work. All these events in her life are possible vehicles for maturity and personal development.
As practitioner we should have in mind that each of us cope differently with transitions and the more aware a person becomes of these aspects of himself, the better equipped he will be to control the change effectively and to be benefited from the transition. Adams, Hayes and Hopson signify that a cycle of feelings and reactions are expected in every type of transition. The cycle has seven stages and a person must go through them in order to move on. The first phase of the transition is immobilization. The person feels overwhelmed, frozen and unable to do anything about the situation. Then comes the phase of minimization. At this point the person is in denial or feels euphoric. Denial is sometimes a positive reaction and a necessary way to adjust. The third phase of the cycle is depression. People are fully aware of the situation and feel powerless. Not being able to get control of their life they often get depressed, angry and have an intense feeling of hopelessness. As people start to face the reality they manage to move to the fourth phase. They begin the process of unhooking from the situation and letting go. At the fifth phase people turn out to be more active, adopt new behaviours and life styles to deal with this big change in their lives. At the next phase people try to find a reason for the things that are different now and what this means for their lives. Finally, at the seventh phase of transition people acknowledge the reality, have a better understanding of their selves and test their behaviour based on their experiences through the transition.
A person who is already experiencing a divorce and a career change is possible to be more upset and have a more powerful transition. To be able to give advice and guide a person like Dee means exploring all of the aspects of her life, how she arrived at this point and how she made all these decisions that brought her today to this office to get career guidance. Being familiar with the occupational choice theory gives as a better understanding on how Dee decided to change her career and what obstacles she may face during this process.
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