Career Counseling in Action: Tools and Techniques
by Spencer G. Niles, EdD and Norman Amundson, PhD
Learn to utilize your counseling and therapy skills to help clients gain clarity and direction in their careers by watching several experienced career counselors work with actual clients.
Many clients enter therapy seeking career guidance—and many career counselors find themselves supporting clients through deeper issues. While not often acknowledged, there is a real overlap between career counseling and psychotherapy. This video offers perspectives and interventions that both types of practitioners can utilize. Through interviews with career counselors and clients, segments of actual sessions with people experiencing a range of vocational issues, and an overview of the skills and techniques used, this video demonstrates how to give our clients the best of both worlds.

You’ll watch established counselors work with five clients in different life stages and with different goals. Bud is an ambitious high school graduate exploring options for his first career; Melanie is an inquisitive mid-career woman contemplating next steps after an unexpected layoff; Angela, a high school senior and dancer, wants to be a choreographer but is unclear about how to get there; Jeff is a sought-after college student evaluating which path to take; and Val is a middle-aged woman seeking guidance through a difficult transition into entrepreneurship.

In each case, the counselors employ field-specific exercises such as written self-assessments, the career wheel, and brainstorming. In addition to understanding the intention of such practices, you’ll see how these structured activities are integrated with interventions from psychotherapy, including empathy and reframes, use of metaphor, identifying client strengths, and role-playing. Like psychotherapists, career counselors must contend with resistance, misperceptions, and self-defeating behaviors, and you’ll see how each is managed within the context of this approach. By the video’s end, the clients report feeling more hopeful, more confident, and more in control of their future.

In a time when more people are utilizing career counselors and coaches, this video offers a solid introduction to the essential interventions of a growing field. You’ll gain confidence of your own as you take in the teachings of this important clinical resource.
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While career counseling is a distinct approach to working with client issues, its overlap with traditional psychotherapy is undeniable; after all, many clients enter therapy seeking career guidance, and many career counselors find themselves supporting clients through deeper issues. If you’ve been curious about the specific tools used in vocational guidance, this is the video for you. Featuring interviews with career counselors and clients, segments of actual sessions with people experiencing a range of vocational issues, and an overview of the skills and techniques used, this engaging resource offers perspective and interventions that both types of practitioners can begin using immediately.

Here, you’ll watch several career counselors conduct fruitful sessions with five real clients: Bud, a charismatic high school graduate seeking a people-oriented first career; Melanie, a spirited mid-career woman contemplating next steps after an unexpected layoff; Angela, a talented young dancer who wants to become a choreographer but is unclear on the best path; Jeff, a sought-after college student evaluating which route to take; and Val, a middle-aged woman with occasional depression who’s choosing entrepreneurship after a challenging career setback.

Like psychotherapists, career counselors must work with client resistance, misperceptions, and self-defeating behaviors, and you’ll see how each is managed within the context of this approach. You’ll also get a feel for a range of field-specific exercises, such as written self-assessments, the career wheel, brainstorming, and developing metaphors. Finally, you’ll understand how these structured activities are integrated with interventions from psychotherapy, including empathy and reframes, identifying client strengths, and role playing. By the video’s end, each client reports feeling more hopeful, more confident, and more in control of their future—along with having a concrete action plan.

If you’re looking for a primer on career counseling, examples of work with real clients, or resources for how these skills can be applied to psychotherapy, this video is one to watch. Take a look today.

By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand the core skills of career counseling that also apply to psychotherapy.
  • Learn how career counseling utilizes structured activities to support a client’s search.
  • Discover essential interventions for developing and broadening a client’s sense of possibility.

Length of video: 01:57:00

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in

Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-464-9

Individual ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-464-2

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-465-7

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-465-9

Spencer G. Niles, PhD, is dean for the School of Education at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Prior to this, he was Distinguished Professor and Department Head for Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education at the Pennsylvania State University. He also served as Director of the Center for the Study of Career Development and Public Policy at Penn State. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, he was a Professor at the University of Virginia for 13 years and also served as Assistant Dean for the Curry School of Education at UVA.

Niles is the recipient of the National Career Development Association’s (NCDA) Eminent Career Award, a NCDA Fellow, an American Counseling Association (ACA) Fellow, the recipient of ACA’s Thomas Sweeney Visionary Leadership and Advocacy Award, President’s Award, David Brooks Distinguished Mentor Award, Extended Research Award, and the University of British Columbia Noted Scholar Award. He served as President for NCDA and Editor for The Career Development Quarterly and the Journal of Counseling & Development and currently serves on numerous journal editorial boards. He has authored or co-authored approximately 130 publications and delivered over 125 presentations on career development theory and practice.

Norman Amundson, PhD, is a full professor in Counseling Psychology / Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He has given numerous workshops and seminars and also has been a keynote speaker at many national and international conferences. His publications include over 100 journal articles, training videos and books such as Active Engagement (2009, 3rd edition), The Essential Elements of Career Counseling (2009, 2nd edition), The Physics of Living (2003), Metaphor Making (2010) and Career Flow: A Hope-Centered Approach to Career Development (2011).



CE credits: 2

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the core skills of career counseling that also apply to psychotherapy.
  • Learn how career counseling utilizes structured activities to support a client’s search.
  • Discover essential interventions for developing and broadening a client’s sense of possibility.