Therapist Journal, Thoughts on Therapy

Career Counseling: Ex-Offenders and Other Discounted Groups

Looking back at previous journal entries for this course I came across a particular statement that stood out to me that read, “I believe that Super’s idea about the key important attitudes and skills an individual needs play an important role in how an individual is able to select, adopt, and maintain a career.” This sentence stuck out to me because when looking at Super’s arch of determination you have to contend with your personal strategies and support system against your environment in order to develop a good self-concept. For ex-offenders and those who are in underrepresented groups in the United States career counseling becomes a challenge because not only are you helping the individual develop their career goals and career portfolio but you are having to help these individuals overcome barriers in their environment in order to be productive and effective members of the work force. The challenge starts with helping their self concept be strong enough to build off of their strengths that they can learn about through the use of StrengthsQuest or another strengths assessment. By recognizing their strengths and advocating for the idea of “No Discounts” that I have learned and helped teach at Vanderkamp Center. The idea takes unconditional positive regard and makes sure that you have unconditional positive regard for yourself and others by not discounting or valuing yourself or others less and focusing on your strengths. I believe that by helping teach the idea of No Discounts to ex-offenders as part of the process of helping them develop their career goals and career portfolio that they will be in a much stronger position to focus and build off of their strengths. By having conversation with the clients about their situation and helping advocate for programs that help them in these situations become more connected and supported in their employment opportunities I believe is the best way to go about helping individuals who are ex-offenders and are underrepresented. I believe this because I recognize that I highly value an individual’s self concept and ideology of self worth.


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