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Career intervention from a psychological perspective: Definition of the main ingredients of an ecological-developmental methodology

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Abstract

"If career guidance is far from real life let's bring life into it ".The experience and ideas we aim to share throughout this paper express the form according to which we organise and reflect upon our intervention, research and training experiences in the field of career guidance and counselling. This will be the synthesis — one among many possible ones — that guides and regulates our action and hence the content of this communication is above all useful to ourselves. The knowledge on the different ways of equating and solving the problem of career guidance is, as it is always, nothing else than the expression of our self-knowledge. This assertion can be associated to a constructivist conception, although constructivist perspectives say much more than this, as we shall see later on. This paper is the result of some twelve years of work on career guidance and counselling carried out at the Institute of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development, at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, (University of Porto) where our efforts have been concentrated on research, intervention and training of psychologists in this field. Our aim will be to present and discuss the systematization of a perspective on career psychological intervention focused on career guidance methodologies and practices, as well as on the psychological change processes involved. In Tampere, last year, in a symposium on career guidance of which the present one can be considered to a certain extent the second part, we have exposed the theoretical principles and conceptions of what can be called an ecological- -developmental approach we have been working on; that is, the issue was then the way of formulating the problem. Today our goal is the issue of how to solve it.
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Porto State University
Faculty of Psychology and Education
Institute of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development
Career Intervention from a Psychological Perspective:
Definition of the Main Ingredients of an Ecological-
developmental Methodology*
Joaquim Lu’s Coimbra**
B‡rtolo Paiva Campos ***
Lu’s Imagin‡rio****
July l994
* Paper presented at the 23rd International Congress of Applied Psychology, Madrid (17-22 July , l994) in the
Symposium on "Recent Evolutions and Contributions of/for the Practices of Career Psychological
Intervention" (Convener: J.L. Coimbra).
** Associate Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Porto (Portugal). Member of the
Institute of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development.
***Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Porto (Portugal). Director of the Institute
of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development.
**** Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Porto (Portugal).
Member of the Institute of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development.
Address: Rua do Campo Alegre, 1055 P-4150 Porto, Portugal. fax 02.6079727 e-mail : coimbra @ psi.up.pt
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If career guidance is far from real life let's bring life into it
The experience and ideas we aim to share throughout this paper express the form
according to which we organize and reflect upon our intervention, research and training
experiences in the field of career guidance. This will be the synthesis — one among many
possible ones — that guides and regulates our action and hence the content of this
communication is above all useful to ourselves. The knowledge on the different ways of equating
and solving the problem of career guidance is, as it is always, nothing else than the expression of
our self-knowledge. This assertion can be associated to a constructivist conception, although
constructivist perspectives say much more than this, as we shall see later on.
This paper is the result of some twelve years of work on career guidance carried out
at the Institute of Psychological Intervention, Education and Development, at the Faculty of
Psychology and Education, (University of Porto) where our efforts have been concentrated on
research, intervention and training of psychologists in this field. Our aim will be to present and
discuss the systematization of a perspective on career psychological intervention focused on
career guidance methodologies and practices, as well as on the change processes involved.
In Tampere, last year, in a symposium on career guidance of which the present one
can be considered to a certain extent the second part, we have exposed the theoretical principles
and conceptions of what can be called an ecological- -developmental approach we have
been working on; that is, the issue was then the way of formulating the problem. Today our goal
is the issue of how to solve it.
Theoretical principles and assumptions
Nevertheless it might be useful to remind briefly some of these principles and
conceptions, at least those who might have direct implications for the issue of career guidance
intervention:
(a) to envisage career guidance as a psychological intervention, stressing the psychological
dimension of career tasks and of the process of career development;
(b) to bring together the logic of career guidance intervention and the logic of
"spontaneous" development, i.e., under no systematic and intentional intervention. This means to
explore the possibilities of psychological development and intervention as a resource for
understanding the logic of the client's functioning, development, and transformation in order to
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identify the processes and mechanisms of psychological change, and to design isomorphous
strategies;
(c) to consider personal development, and specifically career development, as the general
aim of career guidance interventions;
(d) to understand the role of life contexts in the process of career personal
development and hence stress the necessity of complementary ecological interventions that
enable them to improve the quality of the experiences they provide to individuals so that they
might promote their personal and career development;
(e) to ascribe primacy to the relationship that is permanently being established between
the subject and the world of work over its terms (or parts);
(f) to conceptualize such a relationship as a commitment rather than a knowledge or
information one. That relationship is mainly dynamic and energetic, i.e., it can be described as
liking/disliking, feeling attracted/not attracted, preferring/rejecting, investing/not investing. To
sum up, knowledge (at last in its most common sense) is no more than a by-product and an
indicator of that relationship between the self and the world of work. Indeed the commitment
comes first: it is in the context of interactions with the world that the individual builds self and
world personal representations (both faces of the same coin), builds himself as a subject (of
meanings, affections, actions, and knowledge) to the extent that he(she) builds the instruments
(cognitive structures, self-organization) for interacting and knowing the world;
(g) to formulate the exploration (questioning and transformation) of career commitment as
a more specific aim of career guidance intervention and as a way of translating the concept of
transformation of the subject-world relationship into psychological terms. It should be stressed
that the starting point is the present client's commitment, that is why exploration for the
commitment is not an adequate expression unlike exploration of career commitment;
(h) to consider that cognition, emotion and action are elements of the same continuum of
psychological functioning and that cleavages between them might be rational but artificial, i.e., non-
psychological, which means that knowledge and cognition should be understood in broader
terms so as to integrate emotion and action. Indeed emotion is as primitive as a powerful mode
of knowing as well as action is always an expression of concrete situational knowledge;
(i) to agree that the client's guidance need (namely of adolescents) is neither to be
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identified as lack of information on the social structure of training and occupational opportunities nor
its resolution as providing/transmission of career information. Therefore the mechanistic
metaphor of information processing does not help to understand how the client functions. It is
well known that instead of linear information processing the subject tends to distort and select it
according to affective valence, i.e., to his(her) present commitments. Besides research results are
conclusive: the main effect of the strategy of mere providing career information is cognitive
simplification. A second result, although needing more conclusive proof, is the inhibition of
further career exploration attitudes and actions;
(j) to emphasize the importance of meaning in career psychological functioning,
development and intervention. Not always has meaning been envisaged as a central dimension in
career guidance: the meaning the subject constructs for his(her) experience, the meaning of work
in his(her) existence, the meaning of choosing a certain life style. Not only should this semantic
dimension be explored and worked in career guidance, but psychological structures (e.g., cognitive
structures, self-organization, identity, ego, attachment structures, sense of personal competence,
social perspective taking, interpersonal negotiation strategies, vocational-cognitive constructs
system...) should also perhaps be taken as instruments for the construction of personal meanings,
not forgetting that the adaptive, operational quality of these constructions is not independent of
the developmental status of those psychological structures.
Analysis of the current structure of career guidance interventions
These are, in short, some of the main assumptions that have inspired our proposal
for solving the problem of career guidance, i.e., how to design, implement and evaluate career
psychological interventions. We will try to give an overview of how to turn it out in practice.
The task is perhaps too ambitious within the limits of a paper. Although we cannot
present and justify this experience on the whole we will try to give some glimpses that might
allow the understanding of its main characteristics. We will do this through the possible balance
between macro and microscopic dimensions of the intervention process which will be our
privileged object of analysis, conceptualized in dialectical terms through a helicoidal line where
different process dimensions get increasingly more integrated along its different stages. The
selected dimensions are: structuring principles and objectives, intervention strategies, and
processes of psychological change.
The project stems from the analysis of the structure of current career guidance
interventions, frequently based upon three content areas: the self -knowledge, the knowledge of
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education, training and work opportunities, and the knowledge of career decision making
methods. This structure can be questioned in many ways:
(a) the primacy of the client's rational functioning;
(b) the emphasis on contents instead of psychological change processes;
(c) the formulation of the guidance problem in strict terms of knowledge;
(d) the separation between the self and the world;
(e) the cleavage between knowledge and action;
(f) the neglect of affective, emotional, motivational, and semantic aspects of the
client's functioning;
(g) the informative-didactic approach;
(h) the non-consideration of the logic of functioning and transformation of the
client;
(i) the high level of activities structure;
(j) the frequent presentation of these interventions as standardized packages.
Our first démarche, aiming to explore and try to elaborate an alternative intervention
proposal based on the principles already mentioned was to examine the logic of designing,
implementing and evaluating group career guidance interventions.
Project
versus
programme
The notions of programme and project can be used do differenciate two perspectives
of approaching that task. The term programme is frequently associated with a more rigid,
structured and directive way of organizing career intervention. Frequently the latter is presented
as a pre-prepared package of objectives and activities to be implemented within any kind of
client. Sometimes, the prevalent logic of its elaboration is the distribution of the intervention
activities by the work time units (sessions). At the implementation level this option can lead to an
overestimation of activities and contents in relation to the means-ends articulation, generating
some forms of inconsequent activism or "taskism" from the part of the career guidance
professional, which has few decisions to make along the intervention unless those that are
directly related to its implementation within temporal limits (for instance, to finish the
programme after 10 or 15 weekly sessions). On the part of the clients, the connection between
their career problems and intervention activities is sometimes neglected and more clearly the
relation between this rate of evolution of the implementation of the programme and that of
client's changing and learning. In shout, the solution for the career guidance problem pre-exists
the counseling process.
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The alternative notion of project is, on the other hand, useful to imagine and develop
interventions in a more flexible way. In this case they tend to be focused on the dynamics of the
intervention process, on its intentionality, i.e., on the methods-objectives relations, on its fitness
to the client's status, problem and progressing rate and on the logic of his(her) functioning and
development. The intervention evolves in a dialectical way since the contribution that the client
brings to the session is crucial, leading to successive negotiations and reformulations. From the
point of view of the guidance professional the main skill is the management of the intervention
process. He will not be concerned with which precise activity will be implemented in session n? x
or y. The intervention process will develop according to the client's needs and progression. The
intervention will take shape on a dialectical and progressive basis.
Intervention structuring principles or objectives
Our intervention experience is based on this second option where the solution of the
client's problem or demand is to be constructed both by the client and the psychologist within
and along the intervention process. This does not exempt the psychologist from intervention
planning. On the contrary, the task tends to appear as more complex and demanding. Instead of
following the temporal distribution of the activities as the main criterion, we tried to elaborate an
intervention project based on the definition of some great structuring principles from which the
intervention will progressively develop and take shape. These moments or principles will define
the basic framework of intervention and are no more than clusters of objectives that share some
functional aspects. The methods, activities and techniques will be defined according to these
clusters and presented as a menu from which the psychologist can select those that fit the specific
equation problem x client is characteristics x situation x context x client's evolution during the
intervention, etc.. That means that the psychologist has important decisions to make along the
intervention process for which he must have the necessary evaluation tools available. The
"programme" development ultimate phase is accomplished in the very intervention context. In
addition, it should be noticed that the structuring principles or intervention moments do not
represent a temporal sequence of phases but a set of recurrent cross-sectional clusters of
objectives.
There are, obviously, many different ways of defining these structuring principles and
their number is the less relevant issue. Nevertheless those we have used will be briefly presented.
l. Process objectives. The first moment deals with issues that may be considered as the
creation of conditions that are necessary for the intervention to take place. These pre-requisites
include the establishment of the psychologist-client relationship, among one of the most
important ones, besides the negotiation of the intervention contract, and the assessment of the
client's developmental status and of his(her) problem/demand.
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2. Preparation for the exploration process. The second principle concerns those
psychological changes that might enable the client to get involved and take advantage of
exploration experiences. For instance, the promotion of the complexity of vocational-cognitive
structures, the transformation of conceptions and beliefs about the career problem or the
removal of inhibitory effects coming from negative, and sometimes, intense emotions, such as
anxiety or confusion, and, finally, the learning and development of specific action skills and
competences.
3. Confrontation with the structure or social opportunities. This is the moment that is most
dedicated to the organization and integration of exploration experiences. It includes direct and
indirect exploration activities both of education and training, and occupational activities.
4. Action orientation and evaluation. The last moment deals with the preparation for the
commitment transformation. The changing of the client's present commitments is a process that
has taken place from the outset of the intervention and especially along these two last moments.
What some authors use to call decision making, will be here envisaged as an ongoing process of
choice through the exploration of the self-world relationship leading to new commitments. At
this stage it will be important to prepare the client for the involvement/implementation of the
immediate new commitment, helping him(her) to anticipate conditions, constraints, challenges,
and possible obstacles and ways of dealing with them. Other tasks concern the understanding
and coping with uncertainty that is implied in any career choice, making the client aware of the
need to explore the new commitment once he(she) is directly involved in it — the ultimate test to
know whether the choice is adequate or not is to implement it — and the relation between this
one and further choices, that is, the work on future time perspective.
After the formulation of general objectives, here clustered in four structuring
principles or moments, the description of the next steps of the presentation of the methodology
we have been following — from which an intervention guide was produced — include: (a) the
intervention strategies; (b) the process and nature of psychological change; (c) the relationship
between the logic of human functioning and development and the rationality of the methodology
used.
A proposal for categorizing intervention strategies
At this stage the problem can be formulated as the selection of strategies that fit the
structuring principles just mentioned and that match the logic of the client functioning and
change. The analysis and exploration of the various strategies used, not only in career guidance
but also in the domains of psychological counseling and psychotherapy, led us to the definition
of a set of categories:
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(a) programming
These are strategies issued from classical and operant behaviorist approaches. They
are interested in associations and dissociations between stimuli, stimuli and responses, and
responses and consequences. The analogy of computer programming might be suitable since the
psychologist merely manipulates variables supposed to have a direct effect on the client's
behavior. In other words, the manipulation of contingencies can be seen as the alteration of the
client's behavioral programme. For obvious reasons these strategies cannot be considered
especially useful from the point of view of career guidance intervention: they ascribe the client a
passive role and do not account for the complexity of human functioning.
(b) information.
Underlying these strategies is the assumption that learning and change can be
achieved through the acquisition of information. This kind of strategies is widely used in career
guidance interventions where not only information about education, training, and occupations is
provided but also about the client. We should bear in mind that tests results represent also
information that is provided to the client. They are usually based on functionalist cognitive
information processing models besides common sense. Contrarily to its users expectations clients
do not process information linearly and they do not examine its content in a rational way so as to
make a decision. The effects are even less flattering: decrease of cognitive complexity and
tendency to less initiatives of further career exploration.
(c) instruction.
More sophisticated than the latter, the instructive strategies aim to teach/instruct the
client specific courses of thinking and behaving. It is in this category that we can find the various
approaches commonly designated as skills training. In theoretical terms these strategies can be
identified with the social learning model and with classic cognitivistic approaches, from self-
control to cognitive restructuring. Besides rationalism, the common feature is the didactic and
prescriptive approach which entails the tendency to impose the client a framework of meanings
for his(her) career experiences. In any case these strategies do not stimulate the autonomous
search and construction of personal frameworks and meanings for life experiences. A second
common characteristic entailed by the structured and prescriptive orientation is the definition of
criteria for "good" psychological functioning: rationality, social adjustment, cognitive clarity,
functionality... In the career guidance domain this kind of strategies can be exemplified by the
training of functional problem-solving information processing skills for career decision making.
As it is well known, this methodology proposes a sequence of steps the client is supposed to
learn and follow when he(she) is confronted with career decision making tasks. Among others,
the problem is that this sequence is applied to any kind of client regardless of his(her)
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developmental status. Young adults or adults tend to resist to such a structured and rationalist
proposal preferring to follow his(her) own idiosyncratic method. Naturally these strategies do not
work with clients with a high developmental status. On the other hand, in spite of the
preponderance of the self-control rationalist ideology, they might be useful in various situations,
mainly with younger clients who might not have had the opportunity of learning some basic
routines and those in need of a high level of activities structure which matches best with low
levels of conceptual development. With regard to what respect effectiveness the instructive
strategies prove to be able to produce change but are powerless concerning the maintenance and
generalization of acquisitions (easy comes easy goes...).
(d) re-constructive exploration.
This last group of strategies results from the convergence of different psychological
intervention approaches including constructivist cognitivism, psychoanalytical orientations, and
the systemic or the genetic constructivist models. All these approaches share a structural and
developmental conception of the psychological subject. At the intervention level the consequence
is the evolution from a short term to a long term benefits perspective. Of course we are referring
to deeper changes, i.e., more ambitious objectives that take much more time to be accomplished.
The developmental feature is central for these strategies and reinforces their psychological
essence. Indeed the analysis of the process of development as a change through time allowed the
identification of the main elements of "spontaneous" psychological change. The aim of
exploration approaches is the re-creation of these elements or processes in the context of
psychological intervention in order to activate them. In addition the process of change is
conceptualized in dialectical and dynamic terms. The resolution of the present situation of the
client occurs through its overcoming realized in a new synthesis between individual and milieu
(including significant others) structures, leading to the re-organization of both.
That is what we call exploration of career commitment. As exposed, these strategies
direct their intentionality to the processes of change and development rather than to the contents
as it was the case with the latter. The intervention content or its raw material is life (life
experiences): their experiencing, expression and integration. The instructive strategies tend to use
simulation and role playing activities. On the contrary, the exploration strategies prefer reality live
experiences, the so-called role taking opportunities in order to stimulate the "natural" logic of
human development. It is from this point of view that it might make sense to claim the idea of
bringing life into career guidance interventions instead of tests, information, and discrete skills
training. So far, this argumentation has been developed inside the limits of the discussion on
methodology of psychological intervention but it will be certainly reinforced if we consider the
rapid and dramatic changes that are occurring in the training and labour markets in our societies.
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Components of re-constructive exploration strategies
Finally which are the main ingredients of this re-constructive exploration approach?
(a) The first of all is action experience.
It is important that the client has the opportunity to get involved in significant life
experiences. If we think of adolescents and youngsters we will agree on the conclusion that
quality experiences of direct confrontation with the world of work are unusual, which is reflected
on the quality of their career commitments. These life experiences should obey to certain
conditions.
They should contain some elements of novelty, which is the essence of the process
of career exploration. The adolescent should be given the opportunity to go out of his(her) usual
ghettos. In fact, the family, the school, the neighborhood, the social class, the ethnic group, the
peer group, not forgetting the age and gender groups, provide some exploration possibilities but
obstruct many others. If the adolescent is limited to these opportunities the tendency is the
repetion and reproduction of social influences and determinations. On the contrary, the variation
of ghettos, i.e., the opportunity of getting involved in new experiences, interactions and
encounters may contribute to the opposite effect. The same happens at the individual level: the
adolescent representation of the world of work — in what respects both content and process —
allows some exploration and action initiatives but prevents many others. Again the adolescent is
locked in his(her) constructions and limited in his development. It is well known how these
adolescents` representations of the world of work are simplistic and stereotyped. It is through the
confrontation with the vocational world that they might have the opportunity to transform their
relationship with the vocational domain and re-organize their cognitive representations and
structures, opening new avenues for richer career commitments.
Secondly these experiences should be challenging, imply effort and emotional
involvement and be articulated with the accomplishment of a personal goal. It should be noticed
that the extension of challenge has an optimum level beneath and beyond which the experience
loses developmental quality.
This global formulation allows for calling for a variety of situations and life
experiences such as work experiences, visits to enterprises and companies, work shadowing,
interviews to professionals, which may be considered as common experiences. The point is that
they should satisfy the requisites just mentioned: novelty, personal meaning, challenge, emotional
involvement, effort and compromise. Preferably these experiences should include real actions in
natural contexts, that is, the performance of real roles in real contexts (role taking).
(b) The second ingredient is integration of such experiences. In this moment the
intervention process proceeds to the expression, discussion and reflection through the analysis
11
and differentiation of aspects and perspectives on those experiences, exploration of beliefs,
expectations, perceptions, feelings, fears, modes of coping with difficult situations, according to
the different dimensions of psychological functioning: cognitive, emotional-affective, and
behavioral. There are diversified ways of realizing the integration: peer group discussion guided
by the psychologist, socratic dialogue between the client and the psychologist or the elaboration
of reports or diaries. Actually, the discussion, the dialogue or the writing activity, offer the
adolescent privileged occasions of reflection, self-world exploration, and production of personal
meanings. This second component appears to be a structuring moment of the intervention
strategy where conditions can be created for successive restructurations and re-equilibrations of
his (her) relationship with the vocational reality. Other significant life experiences, besides those
directly provided by the intervention, can and should also be explored and integrated during
these occasions. In developmental terms this is the moment where events can be transformed
into structure. Research has demonstrated unambiguously the indispensable nature of the
integration component. In fact the mere accumulation of experiences proved to be so
unproductive, in developmental terms, as their scarcity if they are not the object of psychological
work that might allow for richer, more complex and flexible constructions from the part of the
client. The same is true for exclusively reflexive methodologies which show to be powerless
concerning the promotion of personal career development in the absence of significant life
experiences. It is therefore necessary a balance between action experiences and their integration.
This balance is also important at the temporal level, i.e., the intervention should alternate between
moments of action and moments of integration, for instance on a weekly basis.
(c) The third component of these strategies is the relationship. It is generally
considered that the quality of the psychologist-client relationship is a determinant element of the
client's change and development. From this point of view the relationship provides not only the
intervention context but also an intervention strategy. The underlying assumption is the
essentially interactive nature of the process of psychological construction, including the self, since
its earliest phases of development. In fact the developmental process requires interpersonal
significant relationships, emotionally invested, where safety, trust and support is perceived and
felt by the client. It is in the context of an attachment with these characteristics that he(she) finds
the favourable conditions for expression, exploration and integration of his(her) ongoing
experiences and the necessary support for the risks involved in the trial of new alternatives of
thinking, feeling, and acting. However support is not enough. The exclusive supplying of support
may facilitate the client's passive accommodation to the present, and often comfortable situation,
and for that very reason decrease his(her) motivation for exploration and change. Here the
balance is between support and challenge as a function of the different objectives and tasks of
the psychological intervention process.
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(d) the last component is temporal continuity. The re-constructive exploration strategy
points, as we could see, to deep changes in the client's personal system, combining experience
and integration in the context of significant relationships. Being the objectives so ambitious it is
not surprising that the interventions require time for their effectiveness. The effectiveness
evaluations have shown that interventions lasting six months or less do not prove to be able to
produce evident developmental outcomes. The logic is not one of adding information, behaviors
or skills to the client's actual repertoire but one of transforming his(her) self-organization and
his(her) rules of functioning.
As exposed the re-constructive exploration strategies are those that best fit the goal
of promoting the exploration of the client's career commitment.
Processes of psychological change
The last dimension that will be referred to regards the point of convergence between
objectives and strategies within the general intervention methodology that illustrates this
approach. The question is: how does the change operates in the client's personal system and
which is its nature?
Briefly our reflection allowed for the development of a theory of psychological
change where two main perspectives can be differentiated:
(a) the first one follows a positive, continuous and quantitative heuristics (increase of
behaviors or skills repertoire, the strengthening or weakening of a behavior — in terms of
intensity, frequency or duration —, acquisition of information, substitution of dysfunctional
behaviors or cognitions by more adaptive ones, etc.);
(b) the second perspective follows a negative, discontinuous heuristics, stressing
qualitative changes, claiming that psychological change, learning, and development occur via the
error, the conflict, the epistemological obstacle, the disequilibrium, the risk. In this case the
processes of psychological change are not formulated in terms of conditioning, extinction, skills
training, information processing, persuasion, etc., as in the latter case, but in terms of dialectical
processes: exploration/commitment, cognitive-emotional conflict/re- -
equilibration, decentration/compensation, differentiation/integration, random variation/selective
retention and elimination, crisis/re-organization, or thesis/antithesis/synthesis.
The articulation of the second group of psychological change processes with the
objective of exploration of career commitment and with the strategy of re-constructive
exploration is quite obvious. The nature of change can be qualified as deep or second-order
contrasting with first order or peripheral change. The former implies the transformation of the
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client's idiosyncratic structure and is associated with middle and long term changes. Contrarily to
the first order changes, the second order ones do not result from the direct intervention in what
is supposed to be modified. As stated earlier they result from an intervention on the processes
involved in the "natural" logic of development without directing it, using the strategy of action-
integration- -relation as a means to stimulate the client's self-constructor potential.
Putting the issue in a different way, the client’s psychological logic is envisaged as a cosmos, i.e.,
natural, self-organized order that the intervention strategy respects, considers and attempts to
activate. When an intervention strategy behaves as a taxis, i.e., artificial hetero-produced order as a
result of rational planning, the intervention tends to be impositive, prescriptive and corrective,
suggesting modes of functioning strange to the client's natural organization.
Conclusion
Concluding, our goal was to share our general methodology of organizing career
psychological interventions, attempting to differentiate the main dimensions of the intervention
process, and articulating them in a consistent way, that is, discussing relationships between the
general objective of exploration of career commitment, the structuring moments of the
intervention process, the strategies of re-constructive exploration and the discontinuous
processes of psychological change, from the point of view of matching the logic of the
intervention with the logic of psychological functioning and development. The next step is the
work with the client.
... While implementing this activity, counselors are expected (a) to have become aware of how counselors can approach career counseling from the (joint) project perspective and understand how counselor and client jointly engage in the process of helping clients recognize and depict career-related actions, making their sequencing and underlying intentionality clear and easily accessible (e.g., Valach & Young, 2002); (b) to be able to envisage the activity proposed as being more than just an end in itself but, instead, as a means to an end and guarantee that its implementation is guided by the following three stages: preparation, execution, and integration (Coimbra et al., 1994). ...
... This activity is based on the Contextual Action Theory (Young & Valach, 2008) and the Reconstructive Exploration of Commitments approach (Coimbra, Campos & Imaginário, 1994). ...
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... 3. ensure a minimum of time continuity to the exploration and integration processes, so that the sociocognitive and emotional structures and processes can effectively transform, and, therefore, it might be possible to differentiate changes attributed to spontaneous psychological development from those arising from an intentional educational-psychological intervention based in these principles (Campos & Coimbra, 1991;Coimbra, 1991;Coimbra et al., 1994). ...
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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity, learning, and technology became guiding lights for the debate on transforming conceptions and practices within education systems around the world. Given creativity’s intersubjective and agentic nature, it can work as an invaluable resource when promoting learning in formal and informal educational settings. Notwithstanding, these same features make it a challenge to know the conditions under which creativity development can be propelled through technology in educational contexts. Moreover, the technological revolution seems to have accelerated the pace of contemporary societies, often demanding rapid responses to creative challenges. Yet, from a developmental and constructivist standpoint, creativity is embedded in an intricate matrix where individual and sociocultural influences interact to help construct new ways of “worldmaking”. Thus, it can be envisioned as an attribute of the complexity of a psychological subject’s sociocognitive-emotional structures, whose development occurs in the interstitial space between self, others and the world, requiring time to manifest. Considering that technology modifies the person’s relation, action, construction of world(s), of others and self, we intend to discuss the mode and extent to which it can effectively be inscribed into education to promote the development of creativity. In this conceptual paper, we explore the impact on the continuous process of worldmaking (from where creativity blooms) of moving towards an ever-growing technological society, capable of innovative answers to the pandemic (e.g., distance learning) and other unpredictable challenges. We conclude by discussing how the so-called (re)constructive exploration pedagogies can be aligned with technology-based educational programs – capitalizing on their potential to transform human thinking, (inter)acting, and experiencing-, to nurture the development of creativity in education.
... Daqui se depreende que a capacidade das pessoas para se confrontarem eficazmente com os acontecimentos de vida não depende apenas dos seus recursos pessoais, mas também dos recursos sociais disponíveis, ou seja da qualidade dos contextos de vida em que se inserem (Bronfebrenner, 1979; Campos, 1993; Campos, Costa & Menezes, 1993). Campos & Coimbra, 1991; Coimbra, Campos & Imaginário, 1994Azevedo, 1999; Beck, 1992; Blustein, 1995; Bynner & Parsosn, 2002; Heckausen & Tomasik, 2002; Heinz, 2002; Mortimer, ZimmerGembeck, Holmes & Shanahan, 2002; Worthington & Juntunen, 1997; Wyn & White, 2000). Simultaneamente, assiste-se ao acentuar de todo um discurso social assente na ideia de que as pessoas, até certo ponto, podem e devem, deliberadamente, influenciar as suas trajectórias (de vida, de carreira). ...
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A percepção que cada indivíduo tem da sua capacidade para atingir as metas pretendidas e levar a cabo as tarefas propostas influencia o seu potencial de acção, pelo que é objectivo do presente trabalho compreender e caracterizar, sob um ponto de vista psicológico, o processo de transição dos jovens para a vida profissionalmente activa. Subjacente à perspectiva adoptada está, por um lado, o reconhecimento de que, ao longo da vida e independentemente dos motivos que as originam, são múltiplas as ocasiões favoráveis à exploração dos investimentos (Campos & Coimbra, 1991) - sendo a transição para a vida profissionalmente activa uma dessas ocasiões - e, por outro, a admissão de que, ao propiciar o questionamento e a exploração facilitadores da adopção de uma posição crítica face aos investimentos realizados, tal transição, perante determinadas condições, poderá ajudar a promover um maior controlo dos indivíduos sobre as suas trajectórias profissionais. Neste sentido, problematizar-se-á, respectivamente, a centralidade assumida pelo trabalho nas nossas sociedades e as actuais condições de turbulência e imprevisibilidade em que a transição da escola para o mudo do trabalho ocorre, alguns conceitos-chave que lhe estão subjacentes e que enformam os pressupostos da presente discussão, bem como algumas das dimensões a ter em atenção no decurso desse processo.
... Especificamente, no domínio vocacional, o objectivo será o de capacitar os indivíduos para, ao longo das suas vidas, de uma forma mais integrada e complexa, compreenderem e agirem sobre o meio envolvente, em particular sobre o mundo das formações e das profissões. Para isso, importa apoiálos no processo de construção e de implementação de projectos (a médio e longo prazo) alicerçados numa sucessão de escolhas (cuja face visível são os investimentos) resultantes da exploração de diferentes aspectos que os levam a tomar uma posição quanto ao que gostam (ou não) de fazer, ao que são ou não capazes de fazer, bem como a considerar as várias opções à sua disposição e o seu nível de acessibilidade (Campos & Coimbra, 1991; Coimbra, Campos & Imaginário, 1994, no prelo). Em consonância com esta linha de raciocínio está a proposta de Nancy Scholssberg (1981). ...
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Resumo A percepção que cada indivíduo tem da sua capacidade para atingir as metas pretendidas e levar a cabo as tarefas propostas influencia o seu potencial de acção, pelo que é objectivo do presente trabalho compreender e caracterizar, sob um ponto de vista psicológico, o processo de transição dos jovens para a vida profissionalmente activa. Subjacente à perspectiva adoptada está, por um lado, o reconhecimento de que, ao longo da vida e independentemente dos motivos que as originam, são múltiplas as ocasiões favoráveis à exploração dos investimentos (Campos & Coimbra, 1991)  sendo a transição para a vida profissionalmente activa uma dessas ocasiões  e, por outro, a admissão de que, ao propiciar o questionamento e a exploração facilitadores da adopção de uma posição crítica face aos investimentos realizados, tal transição, perante determinadas condições, poderá ajudar a promover um maior controlo dos indivíduos sobre as suas trajectórias profissionais. Neste sentido, problematizar-se-á, respectivamente, a centralidade assumida pelo trabalho nas nossas sociedades e as actuais condições de turbulência e imprevisibilidade em que transição da escola para o mudo do trabalho ocorre, alguns conceitos-chave que lhe estão subjacentes e que enformam os pressupostos da presente discussão, bem como algumas das dimensões a ter em atenção no decurso desse processo. É objectivo do presente trabalho explorar, de um ponto de vista psicológico, as várias dimensões associadas ao processo de transição para a vida profissionalmente activa dos jovens, em particular no que se refere ao processo de construção de uma trajectória profissional, facilitadora da atribuição de um sentido e um significado contínuo e coerente sobre si próprio, o mundo envolvente e a relação entre ambos mantida. Contudo, tal reflexão não pode ser dissociada, quer centralidade assumida pelo trabalho nas nossas sociedades (logo, na vida das pessoas que delas fazem parte) quer das actuais condições de turbulência e imprevisibilidade em que essa transição ocorre, pelo que, num primeiro momento, proceder-se-á a uma breve caracterização do actual momento de evolução histórica das nossas sociedades tendo como pano de fundo os reptos, por si, lançados aos indivíduos nelas inseridos. Seguidamente, serão abordados alguns conceitos-chave (e.g., desenvolvimento vocacional, transição de carreira) que subjazem aos pressupostos orientadores da presente discussão do processo de transição da escola para o mundo do trabalho, por parte dos jovens, nos nossos dias. Aqui, serão sobretudo focados algumas das dimensões a ter em atenção no decurso desse processo. Trabalho e condições de vida nas sociedades contemporâneas Nas culturas ocidentais o acto de trabalhar assume uma função primordial na existência humana  e, por inerência, nas estruturas e modos de organização
... Por estas razões, dificilmente se pode considerar este período etário como aquele em que o indivíduo está mais liberto de normas, constrangimentos e regulações sociais na construção de uma identidade, podendo-se afirmar que as trajectórias biográficas correspondem às escolhas possíveis no seio das oportunidades estruturais. Utilizando uma perspectiva ecológica e sistémica do desenvolvimento, os guetos em que cada um se insere determinam a capacidade para construir e imaginar selves possíveis em futuros possíveis (Law, 1991), sendo que o papel da Psicologia procura centrar-se no alargamento desse conjunto de selves através de uma exploração reconstrutiva do investimento da relação com o mundo (Coimbra, Campos, & Imaginário, 1994). Capacitar os jovens para construir um sentido de self flexível num mundo contraditório, ambíguo e imprevisível pretende evitar leituras genéricas e simplistas que traduzem políticas de culpabilização das vítimas. ...
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In late modern societies, the normative regulation of life courses in the transition to adulthood has become more lenient, delaying the fulfillment of adult roles up to the end of the third decade of life, and thus creating the conditions for more flexible and private life trajectories. The transformations occurred in post-industrial societies lead to the emergence of new concepts and theories in the realm of Developmental Psychology, from which we selected the theory of emerging adulthood for further exploration and discussion. In this article, the importance and utility of emerging adulthood as a new developmental period is discussed, considering the dynamic interactions between personal agency and the macro-structures that allow a better understanding of young people’s status in post-modern societies. The characteristics of this theory are also explored in the light of Portuguese society, since emerging adulthood is mainly experienced inside the parental home, as family is the main source of support in an increasingly precarious environment. Finally, a comparison between the Portuguese and Brazilian reality is established, discussing the similarities and differences between both countries.
... Também esta última deve ser entendida muito para além do momento de escolha de uma qualificação inicial, como desenrolando-se ao longo de toda a existência e englobando todas as dimensões de vida do sujeito (Coimbra, 1995;Imaginário & Campos, 1987). Para além disso, deve ser enquadrada numa perspetiva construtivista e ecológica-desenvolvimental (Coimbra, Campos & Imaginário, 1994), percebendo os indivíduos e as suas trajetórias, simultaneamente, como produtos e produtores dos contextos em que se movem e dos sistemas sociais em que vivem-um ponto de vista muito distante das práticas atuais inerentes aos dispositivos de educação e formação de adultos, onde se propicia a execução de rotinas e processos estandardizados em função de problemas previamente diagnosticados, numa lógica de encaminhamentos que emparelham necessidades (muitas vezes situadas a um nível periférico) com ofertas disponíveis; enfim: um cenário onde a orientação ao longo da vida é o estranho e insustentável ausente. ...
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Não há como negar, hoje em dia, a evidência de um discurso disseminado e globalizante, que afi rma a importância central da promoção da aprendizagem ao longo da vida. Em Portugal, este discurso tem tomado forma numa aposta política estratégica na qualifi cação dos cidadãos portugueses adultos, a qual acarreta um, também inegavelmente elevado, investimento fi nanceiro das políticas atuais no Programa Operacional Potencial Humano, concretizadas na Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades (INO). Os primeiros estudos da avaliação externa, desenvolvidos pela Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Valente, Carvalho & Carvalho, 2009), demonstraram, contudo, que, apesar de a participação na INO promover uma maior disponibilidade e capacidade para a aprendizagem ao longo da vida, os ganhos são mais signifi cativos na motivação dos adultos do que na sua participação efetiva em ações de educação e formação. Na análise dos fatores potenciadores ou inibidores desta participação, propõe-se a necessidade de desenvolver uma teoria integradora das infl uências multidirecionais de diversas variáveis, capaz de se distanciar de uma abordagem unicamente responsabilizadora do indivíduo pela não participação. Sugere-se ainda a importância de promover respostas de orientação vocacional com vista a apoiar o sujeito na gestão das suas trajetórias de aprendizagem e ao nível da construção de signifi cados.
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After the social and political transformation, followed by a process of deindustrialisation and a very high mobility of young people, the working shortage and demographic change is having an impact on the development of communities in East Germany. Young person leaving their home regions for educational reasons or job opportunities. Like all brain drain regions, East Germany is loosing their high potentials to the big cities. Almost paradoxally in certain branches of industry and especially in services in this regions is a lack of qualified employees. Young people are seen as the future for regional development not only as the parents of the next generation but formost as innovative agents of changes. The following article is focused on the question which kind of impact open adult education could have on innovative rural development to improve the attractiveness of such areas. This contribution presents the challenges of rural adult education, describes the demographic change in East Germany and provides research results from the perspective of the “missing” people in order to regard practical approaches for local development. In a wider perspective regional development emphasises more than the possibility to work. Keywords: adult education, rural development, demographic change, East Germany
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This article presents and describes an intervention project in the field of vocational psychology named Keep-on-Going. This intervention aims to support young people in the final stage of the training process, in the strategic choice of the context of curricular internship. Its theoretical basis is the Reconstructive Exploitation Model of Vocational Investment, and it is structured into six key moments in a total of 10 sessions with two to three hours each. Five female students participated in the first edition of the 1st year of the Master's in Educational Psychology. The results of the continuous evaluation point to average values of six on a scale of 1 to 7, in terms of the overall quality of the project. In the follow-up assessment, the dimensions "Evolution in the ability to choose" and "Project usefulness" are the highest scores confirming that participation in the project has proved to be a valuable experience for the students.
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As transformações das sociedades nos últimos anos remetem para a necessidade de ajustamentos e novas dinâmicas de acção nos sistemas educativos e nas relações entre os seus agentes. À educação e formação de cidadãos têm-se vindo a associar novos profissionais, designadamente os psicólogos, de quem se espera um contributo para a eficácia dos sistemas educativos no cumprimento da sua missão. Defende-se, porém, que essa intervenção seja desenvolvida de um modo específico e marcada pela integração na comunidade educativa, pela colaboração e pela prevenção. Aborda-se, assim, a intervenção do psicólogo na escola, identificando algumas dinâmicas da sua intervenção e sugerindo alguns aspectos que a devem caracterizar.
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As transformações das sociedades nos últimos anos remetem para a necessidade de ajustamentos e novas dinâmicas de acção nos sistemas educativos e nas relações entre os seus agentes. À educação e formação de cidadãos têm-se vindo a associar novos profissionais, designadamente os psicólogos, de quem se espera um contributo para a eficácia dos sistemas educativos no cumprimento da sua missão. Defende-se, porém, que essa intervenção seja desenvolvida de um modo específico e marcada pela integração na comunidade educativa, pela colaboração e pela prevenção. Aborda-se, assim, a intervenção do psicólogo na escola, identificando algumas dinâmicas da sua intervenção e sugerindo alguns aspectos que a devem caracterizar.
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