Discussion 3 fall 2022

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Please see attached document. Refer to ch. 7-9

Chapter 7 Gender as an Issue in Career Counseling: Women, Men, and Sexual Orientation Minorities

Things to Remember

The issues that negatively impact the career development of women

The importance of social support, particularly for sexual orientation minorities, in the career counseling and development process

The four factors identified by Spokane, Luchetta, and Ricwine (2002) that lead to change in the career counseling process

The application of theory to the career counseling process for men and women

This chapter was written to set forth guidelines for career counselors who expect to provide career counseling for a full range of men, women, and sexual orientation minorities. Sexual orientation refers to a person’s sexual and emotional attraction to (1) members of the opposite sex, (2) members of the same sex, or (3) members of both the same and opposite sex, although not necessarily to the same degree (Prince, 2013). Prince goes on to define sexual identity as one’s public presentation of self and gender identity as an individual’s internal identification as male or female. The approach here will be to try to identify the unique issues for the groups under discussion that may influence the course of career development and counseling.

It has been pointed out numerous times that most of the theories of career development were developed with males in mind, and some professionals believe they are therefore of limited use to the other groups, including women. Albert Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory stimulated the Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994; Lent, 2013) and some revisions of Krumboltz’s (Krumboltz, Mitchell, & Jones, 1976) model, which was based on social learning theory rather than social cognitive theory. Given the contextual emphasis of both of these theories, the charge that they were developed solely with men in mind seems inappropriate. The same can be said of the contextualist theories, such as the ones presented in Chapter 6 (Savickas, 2013). Are the other theories useful with men, women, and people who have sexual orientations that place them in the minority? As will be shown, some of them are quite useful if applied with sensitivity and an awareness of the issues facing certain client groups. Regardless of the model adopted, the career counselor’s responsibility is to make the environment more helpful, perhaps through advocacy, and to insure that the client gains the skills needed to derive the benefits he or she needs from the environmental context.


There are a number of issues that are unique to women (e.g., pregnancy, planned or unplanned) that may co-occur in the career counseling process but may not be as great a concern for men as they perhaps should be. To be sure, men who have friends or wives who are pregnant may have to struggle by making adjustments on the job or by postponing entering a job or starting an educational program.

Unplanned or planned pregnancies are undoubtedly a greater problem for unwed younger women than they are for older women. In 2011, there were approximately 330,000 live births for women between the ages of 15 and 19. Of these live births, 57 percent of the teen mothers were either black or Hispanic (Centers for Disease Control, 2012). Young women who become pregnant often leave school and in doing so lower their educational and career trajectories. Career counselors have a responsibility to identify and help pregnant women by providing social support, helping develop plans to deal with the baby, and preparing for what’s next—what happens when the baby is born and beyond. Educational and career planning for young pregnant women are essential, but they may also need legal assistance, support from the department of social services, and help in dealing with family and friends.

Women may also have prematurely limited their career chances because of sex-role stereotyping, and thus the process that often involves winnowing occupations may first be directed to helping women expand their options prior to choosing. (I have done this, openly challenging options that foreclose more rewarding choices.) I will try at every turn to reflect on the problems faced by women and weave them into the context of this discussion.

The Oppression of Women

The oppression of racial and ethnic minority women will also be discussed in the next chapter, but many of the issues for minority women and women in general are similar. For example, much of the literature dealing with women and careers focuses on inequities in salary, sexual harassment, and various forms of discrimination. As I said in Chapter 1, it is impossible to examine salary data and conclude anything other than that women are paid less than men, about 20 percent less in the United States, and some of this inequity is the result of discrimination (Heppner, 2013). Other factors include time spent away from the job because of child bearing and a greater willingness to sacrifice advancement so that a spouse can advance. It is also the case that women continue to over select lower-paying occupations in the clerical, educational, and medical areas. Tradition and sex-role stereotyping may have persuaded women to stay away from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers and from higher-paying skilled jobs, such as electrician and plumber. However, this information alone is not particularly helpful to career counselors except to remind us that we have two types of obligations; the first duty of career counselors is to make our clients aware of what lies ahead in the work environment and help them develop coping skills to deal with eventualities they may encounter, and the second obligation is to assert ourselves to ameliorate oppressive forces in organizations (e.g., the glass ceiling), communities, families, and work to repeal policies that have brought about wage inequity, whether it be for women or any other group. But how do we do it? Where do we start? Let’s begin by thinking generally about the oppressive context in which men and women, gays and straights, transgender and stable gender persons function, other factors that diminish their earnings, and social action that career counselors may take.

Many jobs, particularly public school jobs and jobs in unionized workplaces, often base pay, bonuses, the likelihood of being furloughed, and sometimes promotions on seniority. The last hired, first fired rule often invoked in unionized industries and the lock-step pay system work against women who delay entry for childbearing and child rearing. Career counselors could lead the charge to have pay scales based more on accomplishment and competence than years served. Teachers in particular fear the evaluation process and its linkage to salary. The seniority system long promulgated by unions may be unassailable, but at the point at which unions are lobbying for approval by the workforce men and women may be able to bargain for changes.

In Chapter 1, I took issue with Peterson and Gonzales’ indictment of the PWE and CWE, Judeo-Protestant and Confucius work ethics. I agree with the need to reform the oppressive aspects of these so-called work ethics, but I am reluctant to throw out the entrepreneurial economic system that accompanies the PWE, because it creates the wealth that can, if used properly, help deal with the inequities that exist in our world. However, religion has been and continues to be one of the major oppressive forces in our society, particularly as it relates to women. The traditions of Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and conservative Protestant denominations have long been major oppressive forces of women. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men can be priests. Nuns are subservient members of the church. Some Christian denominations do not allow women to serve as preachers or ministers. Although it is theoretically possible for Muslim women to serve as imams, it is not common. I have studied the history of the Christian church and read the Qur’an twice in an attempt to better understand Islam. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have common roots, tracing their roots to Abraham and Sarah and an ancient, male-dominated culture. There are biblical verses and surahs from the Qur’an that suggest that women should be subservient to men, usually their husband; as another example, it takes two females to counter the testimony of one male in the adjudication of contentious issues.

From the Holy Quran (English Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, 2005):

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are obedient . . . Surah IV, Verse 34

From the Bible (New International Version):

The Apostle Paul said, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. . . .” (1 Cor. 11:3)

Career counselors need to be aware of these and other traditions and prepare themselves to deal with women whose perspective about themselves (their vocational identities) in the workplace has been limited or abridged. I’ll deal more with these traditions in Chapter 8.

Heppner’s (2013) insightful work regarding the status of women was oriented largely to the world situation while recognizing that we have made some progress toward equity in the United States. Her review did not touch on three issues that may be relevant to women’s ongoing battle to attain equity. Religion, which was discussed earlier, was ignored, as was the military and

Chapter 8 A Values-Based, Multicultural Approach to Career Counseling and Advocacy

Things to Remember

The process and techniques used in a culturally sensitive approach to career counseling

The cultural values of the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States

The advocacy process and the risks involved

That religious values may influence the career choice making process

In a sense, this entire book to this point has been to a large extent about values and multiculturalism. Specifically, in Chapter 2 I outlined how professional organizations have established ethical prohibitions against not taking race, ethnicity, and culture into consideration in counseling and psychological practice. In the discussions about each of the theories, I have included suggested multicultural adaptations, both in the theories themselves and in their applications. I have also pointed out that Holland (1997) theorized that his six personality types include both interests and values, that TWA (Dawis, 2002) and its adaptation on O*NET place values at the center of the theory and its applications, and that Super not only saw values as important in career development, but he and Nevill produced the Values Scale (Super & Nevill, 1996) to help measure work values. However, not one of the aforementioned theories or its application includes cultural values, in spite of evidence that suggests that they are an important variable in the career development of African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latina individuals and groups (Fouad & Kantamneni, 2013).

In the years leading up to my initial statement about the importance of cultural values in career development and counseling, I read and rejected several ideas about how best to tackle the issue. I happened to be involved with a report of a group of English consultants who helped an African government design a health care intervention that failed miserably. The now-forgotten authors concluded that the first step in their process should have been to assess the values of the people who were to be helped and only then to design the intervention. The report of the failed consultation and the extensive work of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development on the need for cultural competence oriented my thinking to differences and similarities in cultural values.

In 1988, I embarked on a crash course in work and human values by reading literally dozens of research articles about values. Some of those articles discussed the differences in values in various cultures, including the impact those values had on the decision-making process, work satisfaction, and so forth. I also discovered that some people in the field of communications had focused on variations of communication styles based on differences in cultural values. This chapter is the culmination of a long process of discovery aimed at ascertaining how effective, sensitive career counseling can be offered in a cross-cultural context.

In Chapter 1, I cited Blustein and his colleagues (Blustein, McWhirter, & Perry, 2005), who had called for a change in the paradigms that guide the work of career development specialists, partially because of its cultural roots in Eurocentric thinking and partially because the current models do not include advocacy for racial, cultural, ethnic, and sexual minorities. In this chapter, a multicultural approach to career counseling is presented, based largely on my (2002) values-based theory and its updates in this book. The objective of this presentation is to provide a detailed, comprehensive approach to career counseling, defined as a process aimed at facilitating career development and one that may involve choosing, entering, adjusting to, or advancing in a career. Along with Brooks (Brown & Brooks, 1991), I defined career problems as undecidedness growing out of too little information; indecisiveness growing out of choice anxiety; unsatisfactory work performance; incongruence between the person and the work role; and incongruence between the work roles and other life roles, such as family or leisure.

I want to point out that the approach discussed here does not rule out borrowing ideas from other theories. For example, I often use Bandura’s ideas about self-efficacy and appraisals to help my clients understand their motivation or, more likely, their lack of motivation. This presentation is followed by a section focused on helping students and others build their own approaches to career counseling.

Implicit in many discussions on multiculturalism, and its extension to counseling, is the message that white counselors need to learn about the cultures of ethnic and racial minorities, persons who are disabled, and persons who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered and apply this knowledge to counseling. Consider the very real possibility of a lesbian counselor entering her office one day to find a white, Christian male who believes that homosexuality is a sin and freely expresses that view with everyone. One possibility is for the counselor to refer the client to another professional if she finds his views so repugnant that she cannot maintain her objectivity. The other is to try to understand his worldview, develop a working relationship with him, and proceed to help him with his career problem. The point here is a simple one: In a diverse culture such as ours, all counselors, regardless of race, ethnicity, or worldview, need a multicultural approach to career counseling.

As was illustrated in earlier chapters, the mechanics of career counseling, including approaches to the relationship and assessment, vary based on the theory being applied. Gysbers, Heppner, and Johnston (2003) developed a taxonomy of tasks that occur within career counseling simultaneously with the process of developing a working alliance. These tasks include identifying the presenting problem; structuring the counseling relationship; developing a counselor–client bond; gathering information about the client, including information about personal and contextual restraints; goal setting; intervention selection; action taking; and evaluation of outcomes. As will be shown later, the multicultural counseling model outlined in this chapter accepts most of these ideas regarding the structure of career counseling with minor changes.

Foundation of the Values-Based Approach

There are three aspects of culture. Universal dimension refers to the similarities among all groups. General cultural dimension refers to the characteristics of a particular group and typically refers to ethnicity, the group’s common history, values, language, customs, religion, and politics. There are more than 200 national entities and 5,000 languages in the world. These broad groups can be broken down into countless subgroups. It is impossible for career counselors to study all of the cultures and subcultures of the world, although it is possible for counselors in the United States to learn about what are termed the cultural generalizations of the major cultural groups in this country. The third aspect of culture is the personal dimension, which is reflected in the individual’s worldview and is based on the extent to which the general cultural values and worldview have been adopted by the individual. The process by which this occurs is called enculturation, and the result is racial/ethnic identity development, a continuous process that results in a worldview.

An individual’s worldview is the basis for his or her perception of reality (Ivey, D’Andrea, Ivey, & Simek-Morgan, 2009). Cultural generalization—that is, the assumption that the individual’s characteristics resemble those of the broader group—is stereotyping and must be avoided (Ho, 1995). Skin color, dress, ethnicity, religious beliefs, customs, or traditions honored are not proxies for personal culture.

As was discussed in Chapter 6, there are two broad philosophical bases for our theories and approaches: logical positivism and postmodernism. Ivey and his colleagues (2009) adopted a postmodern underpinning for their general approach to multicultural counseling, because it accommodates a “multiplicity of points of views” (p. 7). In fact, postmodernism accommodates an infinite number of points of view, because each person is perceived as having a unique worldview. Not surprisingly, given the relative perspective of postmodernism, there are no guiding truths, because truth is unknowable. Because there are no guiding truths, values are situational, not universal. It was this valueless perspective that led Prilleltensky (1997) to reject postmodernism as a philosophical basis for the practice of psychology.

The assertion here is that career counseling should proceed based on the client’s worldview, which is primarily based on the client’s cultural values unless those value collide with the laws of the dominant culture. If advocacy is incorporated into the career counseling process, then it should also be based on the client’s values. However, career counselors may also engage in advocacy aimed at legislative, community, and/or organizational change outside of the career counseling process based on their own values system.

Recently, I was confronted with a situation in which a young Chinese American high school student was being kept out of school to work in the family restaurant. Her parents believed that their action was perfectly congruent with their worldview, but their behavior was in conflict with the laws of the state of North Carolina. Career counseling cannot be a value-free enterprise. For example, if I take the relativity perspective on values in postmodern approaches into a career counseling session with an unacculturated American Indian male and help him build a career plan based on his worldview, then the plan must be implemented in a culture dominated by a totally different worldview. I may advocate for the client with prospective employers, but I may also find myself interpreting the employer’s values and helping the client continue to prize his own views while adapting to those in the workplace so that he can find meaningful employment.

Chapter 9 Career Counseling for Clients with Unique Concerns: The Disabled, Economically Disadvantaged, Veterans, and Older Workers

Things to Remember

How the career counseling approaches discussed in earlier chapters apply to the groups highlighted in this chapter

The groups that may require special consideration in the career counseling process and the issues they bring to the counselor

One or two strategies that may be used in career counseling and career development programming for each group discussed

The two previous chapters were devoted to providing career counseling to women, GLBT individuals (sexual minorities), and cultural and ethnic minorities. At this point, readers may be wondering if they need to develop an unlimited number of approaches to help in the career development process. Career counselors with a postmodern perspective might subscribe to that point of view; I do not. However, this chapter supports their position to some degree, particularly as it concerns counseling disabled persons, because much of the process of helping disabled clients deals with the historical context and the current impact of educational and work environments on their functioning. However, Fabian and Perdani’s (2013) position that none of the theories that have been advanced are adequate to explain either the career counseling process or the career development of the disabled because of the heterogeneity of this group is undoubtedly correct.

One aspect of career counseling simply involves the application of sound counseling techniques. Another deals with cultural sensitivity and the importance of self-efficacy in occupational choice and implementation (Lent, 2013). Specific knowledge of a client, his or her unique needs, and their context is also required for success. Nowhere is this latter point more obvious than when dealing with the client groups addressed in this chapter. However, after reading this chapter you will not be an expert in providing career counseling to the vast array of clients who request career counseling. If you expect to be successful, you will need additional study and supervised practice. Hopefully, this chapter will whet your appetite for more study in order to work with clients with different backgrounds. The client groups discussed in this chapter include:

Disabled individuals, including those with physical and mental disabilities

Workers who have been displaced because of economic conditions or other factors

Economically disadvantaged workers

Delayed entrants to the workforce, including retirees who return to work, military personnel transitioning to the civilian workforce, and ex-offenders

Older workers, including people who prefer work to retirement because of personal satisfaction and financial need

The primary objective of the discussion in each section is to develop increased sensitivity to the special needs that clients bring to the career counseling process. A second objective of each section is to raise readers’ awareness of the distinct characteristics that influence the career development process. Some of these characteristics, such as physical limitations, may be quite obvious. Others, such as learning disabilities and mental health, may be hidden from superficial observation. Although few well-trained career counselors and career development specialists would assume that all clients are alike, they might overlook some subtle details that determine success or failure in career counseling.

Individuals with Disabilities

The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the following definition of disability: “A disability is any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in a manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.” Most contemporary organizations have adopted a similar definition, but many elaborate it by including terms such physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and some types of chronic, disabling diseases, such as fibromyalgia. The WHO definition and the extensions listed here have been adopted for this discussion.

According to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; 2013), based on the 2012 Current Population Survey, the U.S. workforce totaled about 135 million workers, of whom approximately 5.2 million were classified as disabled. The report also notes that nearly 80 percent of the disabled population were not in the workforce, and, of those who were counted as workers, over 13 percent were unemployed. The bottom line is that over 80 percent of disabled people are either not in the workforce or are unemployed. Before going further into what is a daunting situation for career counselors, particularly those who spend much of their time providing services to this group, some clarification of terminology will be presented.

The term rehabilitation—the process by which people with disabilities are prepared for work and life in general—has gradually been broadened in concept to apply to overcoming many kinds of disabling problems, including physical disability, mental illness, mental retardation, alcoholism, drug addiction, delinquency, and chronic involvement in criminal activity. Rehabilitation may involve services such as education, improvement of physical functioning through physical therapy, enhancing psychological adjustment, increasing social adaptation, improving vocational capabilities, and/or identifying recreational activities.

Vocational rehabilitation traditionally has been referred to as the process of returning a disabled worker to a state of reemployability. However, when defined in this manner the conceptualization of vocational rehabilitation is unnecessarily narrow. The concept that employability is supposed to be a product of rehabilitation services would make some clients who are unlikely to join the workforce regardless of the services provided ineligible for other rehabilitation services that might deal with health or psychological issues. Fortunately, there has been movement toward eliminating the idea that rehabilitative services are aimed solely at the development of employability skills as the aforementioned definition suggests. For example, disabled people who have never worked may qualify for rehabilitation services. In addition, individuals for whom assistance may result in greater self-esteem and self-satisfaction without clear certainty of employment may receive rehabilitation services.

People who have disabilities are often seen by rehabilitation counselors—particularly if they are severely or moderately disabled—because of the expertise required to deal with their concerns. However, school counselors, community college counselors, and counselors and psychologists who work in four-year colleges and universities are likely to encounter disabled persons as well. Of these groups, school counselors are probably the most likely to encounter the disabled because of the vast numbers of students enrolled in special education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), passed initially in 1975 and last amended in 2004, requires not only that nearly 6.5 million special education students receive the benefit of what is termed the least-restrictive education by qualified teachers but also that students over the age of 16 be prepared to pursue postsecondary education and work. The implication of this requirement is that students need a plan and a course of study to support their transition to their postsecondary life. It is already the case that some school counselors are included in the transitional portion of students’ Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) and are thus partially responsible for their career and educational planning and transitional plans.

School counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and others need to be aware of Public Law 101-476, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against disabled clients in the hiring and worker-retention processes. Moreover, it requires employers to make reasonable workplace accommodations for workers who have disabilities. Other legislation—including the Workforce Investment Act and the Ticket to Work program, which establishes employment networks (ENs)—will also be invaluable. Under the Ticket to Work program, a department in the Social Security Administration (SSA), a “ticket” is provided to disabled beneficiaries of Social Security so that they may use to secure jobs from these networks. This program was designed to facilitate the movement of persons with disabilities into the labor force without fear of losing their federally funded health insurance. Social Security beneficiaries who wish to work make an application to SSA, are given a ticket if qualified by SSA, and are provided with a telephone number or website address that enables them to identify ENs in their area. In-depth knowledge of legislation, such as Public Law 93-112, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Public Law 95-602, the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, will also be useful.

Rehabilitation services are provided by a number of professions: psychology, counseling, medical, nursing, social work, and others. Career counseling services are most frequently provided by rehabilitation counselors, whose counseling preparation has also usually included the medical and social aspects of various disabilities and their relationship to work. In 2012, there were 129,800 rehabilitation counselors in the United States, according to the most recent version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS, 2012a). These counselors are employed by state-level rehabilitation offices as well as a number of national, state, and local public and private social agencies. Among the well-known organizations involved in rehabilitation are Goodwill Industries, Jewish Vocational Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Some rehabilitation counselors are assigned to work in public schools, community colleges, and postsecondary institutions to provide counseling and various educational services.

After Reading Chapters 7-9, respond in the Discussion Board.

Required Question: What are the resources available in YOUR city/state for helping individuals with special needs? What are the major cultural groups in the United States? What are the particular problems facing each group?

Select 2 Additional Questions from Below:

1. Identify three occupations of interest to you personally. Research the salaries for entry-level, mid-career, and late-career workers focusing on gender as an issue.

2. Of the activities you have participated in today, which would have been difficult or impossible if you 1) were in a wheelchair, 2) had a physical impairment such as visual impairment or hearing impairment, 3) could not speak or read English, 4) had to carry a supplemental tank of oxygen, 5) were learning disabled.

3. What are the myths about older workers? Women? Workers from minority groups? How did the class discover that these were myths?

4. What are the problems associated with involuntary job change?


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