CASE ANALYSIS AND COUNSELING
THE CASE OF JANE
Jane is an able-bodied teenager who needs motivation in pursuing her high school studies while keeping up with her interests. She is a productive individual with a background of volunteer work at the seniors’ home in her town. She finds fulfillment in this engagement since she enjoys talking to old people and making crafts. The volunteer work is Jane’s primary avenue for pursuing her interest in working with people and doing things with them. The seniors’ home also gives her a chance to work on her craftsmanship and creativity. Jane is hardworking and would not mind working on weekends or long hours as long as she’s working on something she enjoys. She is an above-average student in the areas of manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination and spatial ability as revealed by her aptitude tests results. These mean that her greatest strengths lie on her hands and eyes.
The teenager is losing interest in school primarily because high schools are more on academic and does not offer much on arts. She is encountering difficulty in geometry which is a common subject in high school. Jane’s interests run contrary to the school’s academic focus which creates the present problem. The teenager is having difficulty passing her academic subjects and is likely to repeat tenth grade.
Intervention in this case may start in having an intimate dialogue with the client. The dialogue would include discussions on the client’s problems, strengths, interests and plans. The counselor can ask the client on her motivations for going to school and if graduating is important for her. It is necessary to consider that the client was able to pass kindergarten until ninth grade so there is an innate drive to be educated and to do well. The client must be motivated to set goals for high school without sacrificing her personal interests. The counselor’s role is to explain to the client that she is not a bad student and should back this up by explaining her strengths and placing value on her interests especially her volunteer work. The client should also be consulted on her plans if ever she quits school. The counselor’s stance is to make the client realize the importance of having a diploma in finding the most rewarding job that she would dream of.
The Career Area Interest Checklist (CAIC) would be a helpful tool in this case. CAIC is a career guidance instrument which would help increase the student’s awareness of the types of jobs in his or her career area of interest and will let the student describe five jobs in that area, including the type of education or training needed. The student will have to complete the checklist to discover her main area of interest in careers. After determining which area best matches her interests, the student will review sources and materials (books, brochures, videos, Internet etc.) concerning that career area and choose five specific jobs in that area to learn about (University of North Florida 2006). From the result of the checklist Jane can formulate her future goals and the steps she would do to achieve them.
A need to engage the client in Self-Directed Search assessment is seen in this case. The test would determine her personality, personal characteristics and the specific occupations applicable to her characteristics. This would help Jane choose the kinds of jobs that she thinks would make her effective without taking leadership since she doesn’t see herself as a leader material. Or the result can help her change her self-image as a follower.
THE CASE OF ALTHEA
Althea‘s primary concern in asking for help with career guidance is on the specific job that would be appropriate for her and she would enjoy at the same time. She is a smart teenager and can handle anything when she puts her mind into it. This is a strength which would come in handy when she finally gets employed. The first months on the job are adjustment periods. Althea’s capability to do anything as long as her mind is into it would make her get through the adjustment period, considering that other factors which she finds stimulating like a conducive working condition, are present. The result of the Self-Directed Search revealed that her personality is a combination of the R and A occupations. “R” occupations include carpenter, cook, electrician, industrial arts, teacher, materials engineer, mechanical engineer, metal shop supervisor, and paramedic; while “A” occupations range from advertising executive, architect, author, English teacher, film editor, interior designer, musician, and photographer (Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. 2001). Althea loves writing and likes to use her writing abilities as much as she can. She finds humor in things around her which also happens to be the usual theme in her articles. She said that she doesn’t want to work in damp and noisy conditions and in occupations which requires physical strength like lifting heavy objects or using her hands since she is physically challenged. She wants a comfortable working environment with just a computer for all her writing activities. Althea also aspires for a job that would give her many challenges and diverse things to do because she gets bored easily.
The Self-Directed Search result is an immense help since some of the results coincide with the client’s personality. The test shows that Althea is a combination of two personalities and one of those personalities actually correspond to her traits. The “A’ personality speaks more of Althea’s fun loving nature and love for writing. The counselor should discuss with the client the result of the test and should emphasize that though the result is a combination it would still help her determine her career path. This would ease the worry of the client that no occupations would really match her.
Career Area Interest Checklist can be a helpful intervention tool in this situation as well. The checklist would give the client a chance to widen her options on the main interest points of her career. It can also provide her a basis for comparison between the two tests. The results can be compared in order to obtain the most precise result which would determine the most compatible job for the client.
The whole encounter with the client is an ideal chance for the counselor to figure out the client’s skills. The client may be asked to enumerate any work experiences she’s had, whether paid or voluntary, in order for the counselor to know her other skills. All the results from the tests and interviews with the client can be arranged, matched, compared and analyzed until a specific description of the client is derived which would be the basis for determining the best job for her.
THE CASE OF JIM
Jim’s idea of a perfect job is in a place where he is in charge of everything; people look up to him both for advice and admiration; all his achievements are visible in the organization and in the people that he work with; and his expertise helps his colleagues in the performance of their tasks. All these conceptualizations make Jim admire his father who is a local university professor and aspire just to be like him. The client thinks he would enjoy the teaching function of being a professor, the imparting of knowledge to students. However, he knows that being a professor requires research and he finds this other aspect boring. Generally, he wants a job that challenges him to make sound decisions on his own and would not require him to tire his feet all day.
Intervention in this case would comprise mostly of tests that would help the client know his inner abilities and motivations which would be matched with his aspirations. An aptitude test would be a good thing to begin with. Aptitude tests are structured systematic ways of evaluating how people perform on tasks or react to different situations. They are characterized by standardized methods of administration and scoring with the results quantified and compared with how others have done at the same tests. They are increasingly administered on a computer (University of Kent 2006). The results are helpful to determine the characteristics of the client toward having a job and his ability to handle pressure. Since the client views himself as a future boss, these areas need to be determined as early as now.
The Self-Directed Search might work in this case too. This test on the other hand, would determine the type of personality of the client and specific jobs that would apply to that personality. The result of this test can be used by the counselor to assist the client in finding a definite career path that would make him realize all his ideals of a perfect job. The result may also prove that not all his ideas might work for him and it is the responsibility of the counselor to assist him in this realization. The client may be able to alter some of his requirements of a perfect job and be able to come up with more realistic ones which might satisfy him more in the end.
There is another tool that would assist Jim in his career endeavors. A Roadmap specifies the activities that the client would undertake for a certain period of time until he reaches his dream job. This can start at his freshman year in college until graduation or after graduation when he is to actually apply for employment.
Jim is an ambitious teenager. He has this drive within him to succeed and as early as now he already knows what he wants. The counselor can build on these attributes and be there consistently until Jim fully realizes what he really wants to achieve in his life.
THE CASE OF LOGAN
Logan is a very bright and active ninth grader who loves Math and Chemistry. He delights in the two subjects because they are reality-based, with quick results that can be proven anytime. Despite these admirable things in him, the school’s Guidance Department thinks he is bored. Interviews with the client revealed that he hates explaining things to other people. Logan wants to be always right and has a flair for problem solving. He is mechanical and loves boggling his mind with electronic gadgets. He is also musical and plays the flute really well. He is thinking of becoming a musician but he values money and thinks that being a musician would not pay off well.
The client has no academic difficulties in this case. He is doing okay in school but the Guidance Department is concerned that he is becoming bored with his everyday school routine. The guidance department thinks that Logan can do more than what he is capable of achieving right now.
The guidance counselor did a good start in intervening with the client’s situation. The conversation with Logan disclosed a lot of personal information which can be used as the intervention progresses. Since the client has no definite set of aspirations on his future career, the counselor can assist him in making plans and goals. The client must be able to identify the things he loves to do and what he envisions himself doing in the future. The intervention can include discovering the work history of the client. Logan may have taken apprenticeship, summer job or part-time jobs before. The employment history of the client would provide data on the types of tasks that the client is capable of handling. This would give the counselor a basic idea on what the client wants and is able to do. The result of this activity may be used with the Self-Directed Search tool. The tool would determine the client’s personality as well as the compatible jobs that would complement the particular personality type. Whatever Logan identified as his ideas of himself can serve as basis for the result of the self-directed search test which has a more scientific orientation. The client can see the result and can discuss with the counselor what he thinks of it.
It is important that the counselor considers the interests of the client, that is, music and electronic gadgets. The apprehension of the client that being a musician would not be a good ambition because it would not bring in money should be addressed. The counselor must emphasize that monetary fulfillment counts less than having a passion for something and excelling at it. The client personally disclosed the two hobbies and the whole intervention should consider these two things in order to keep the interest of the client throughout the intervention process.