Assessment of the client’s personal and professional background

Reference Book: Niles, S. G., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. (2017). Career development interventions (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 9780134286303.


This module/week’s forum centers on the presentation “Career Counseling – Skills for Guided Discovery and Career Assessment.” In addition to foundational counseling skills, this presentation demonstrates 5 common interventions used in career counseling including:

· Assessment of the client’s personal and professional background

· Assessment of the client’s decision-making skills

· Assessment of the client’s social roles and life experiences

· Use of career visualization activities

· Use of career assessment inventories

After viewing the presentation, choose 1 question below to answer in this Discussion Board Forum.

· What are some of the basic counseling skills that you learned in COUN 505 that you see applied in this video? Give specific examples.

Skills include:

· active listening

· being aware of nonverbal communication

· building rapport

· 1. Attending

· Attending in counselling means being in the company of someone else and giving that person your full attention, to what they are saying or doing, valuing them as worthy individuals.

· 2. Silence

· Silence in counselling gives the client control of the content, pace and objectives.

· This includes the counsellor listening to silences as well as words, sitting with them and recognising that the silences may facilitate the counselling process.

· 3. Reflecting and Paraphrasing

· Reflecting in counselling is part of the ‘art of listening’. It is making sure that the client knows their story is being listened to.

· This is achieved by the helper/counsellor by both repeating and feeding a shorter version of their story back to the client. This known as ‘paraphrasing‘.

· 4. Clarifying and the Use of Questions

· Questions in counselling are classed as a basic skill. The counsellor uses open questions to clarify his or her understanding of what the client is feeling.

· Leading questions are to be avoided as they can impair the counselling relationship.

· 5. Focusing

· Focusing in counselling involves making decisions about what issues the client wants to deal with.

· The client may have mentioned a range of issues and problems and focusing allows the counsellor and client together to clear away some of the less important surrounding material and concentrate on the central issues of concern.

· 6. Building Rapport

· Building rapport with clients in counselling is important, whatever model of counselling the counsellor is working with.

· Rapport means a sense of having a connection with the person.

· 7. Summarising

· Summaries in counselling are longer paraphrases. They condense or crystallise the essence of what the client is saying and feeling.

· The summary ‘sums up’ the main themes that are emerging.

· 8. Immediacy

· Using immediacy means that the therapist reveals how they themselves are feeling in response to the client.

· According to Feltham and Dryden (1993: 88), immediacy is ‘the key skill of focusing attention on the here and now relationship of counsellor and client with helpful timing, in order to challenge defensiveness and/or heighten awareness’.


· How might understanding the client’s past decision-making experiences inform your work as a career counselor? Why?

· What are some potential next directions that a counselor might consider when working with a client similar to Erika? What is the rational for the direction you are considering?



Presentation: Christian Approaches to Vocation

Presentation: Trait-and-Factor and Developmental Theories of Counseling

Presentation: Basic Career Counseling Interventions








Respond to at least 1 reply of 200–250 words to a classmate’s thread. Each thread must include at least 1 citation in current APA format.


Discussion Board

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What are some potential next directions that a counselor might consider when working with a client similar to Erika? What is the rationale for the direction you are considering?

It is very important to understand a client’s background in order to help them determine a career path. Knowing the experiences from childhood on through adulthood that helped shape a person into who he or she is, gives you information on the things that are most important to the client and their wellbeing. In the case of Erika, she grew up in a loving family where education was valued. These principles were ingrained into her life because her father grew up poor and valued financial security. Therefore Erika values financial security and proper education. When you have important information like where and how a client grew up you can decide which assessments would be most appropriate to administer to give you both ideas about which careers would be the best fit for the client. Taking a Salience Inventory could have a” relative importance of five life roles (student, worker, citizen, homemaker, and leisure) in three dimensions, one behavioral and two affective” (Niles 2017) This will help Erika understand how she feels about a certain life role. This inventory offers information on how and to what degree Erika feels about possibilities are for her now and in her future. She can complete an exercise in the week prior to your next meeting called “The Pie of Life, in which clients divide a circle into slices symbolizing the amount of time they spend doing different things during the week.” (Niles 2017). During the next visit, you can examine her work and make suggestions about each and how she feels about how she spent her time. Another assessment to consider is Roe’s Theory. This would be excellent for looking into Erika’s history because it is based on how childhood experiences can help someone like Erika to be either outgoing or withdrawn toward people. There are other tests and studies that could be done, all accumulating information that could give Erika the answers she needs when choosing a career.


Niles, Spencer G., Harris-Bowlsbey, J.( 2017) Career Development Interventions (5th ed.) Pearson

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