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Career Counseling for Couples and Families: Major Issues and Techniques. Melinda M. Gibbons University of Tennessee. Career Development and Young Couples. Newly married couples report work-family balance, financial issues, and partner employment among top overall relationship problems

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Career counseling for couples and families major issues and techniques

Career Counseling for Couples and Families: Major Issues and Techniques

Melinda M. Gibbons

University of Tennessee


Career development and young couples
Career Development and Young Couples

  • Newly married couples report work-family balance, financial issues, and partner employment among top overall relationship problems

  • Primary issues for young couples will be career-related

  • Partners often have different views about household responsibilities

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Career development issues for young couples
Career Development Issues for Young Couples

  • Family-of-origin pressures

  • Future career planning

  • Role expectations

  • Lack of understanding between career and relationships

  • Unrealistic expectations about stress levels in dual-career marriages

  • Egalitarian responsibilities for child rearing

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Dual career couples
Dual-Career Couples

  • 60-70% of the workforce

  • Couples counselors report about 1/3 of their caseload have issues related to work-family balance

  • Divergent career paths can be very stressful

  • Dual career couples with children report the following help with balance: flexible work schedules, professional autonomy, supportive supervisors, and firm work boundaries

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Work family balance
Work-Family Balance

  • Family stressors vs. work stressors

  • Role of childcare

  • Work-family spillover

  • Need for family-friendly workplace policies

  • Stress at work can affect

    • Self-esteem

    • Motivation

    • Work relationships

    • Psychological problems

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Retiring couples
Retiring Couples

  • Planning for non-career futures

  • Well-being after a transition

  • New meaning of balance

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Lgb couples
LGB Couples

  • Deal wit hall of the above issues plus other issues

  • Levels of outness at work

  • Family leave

  • Workplace homophobia

  • How to introduce one’s partner

  • Dealing with social events

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Conjoint career counseling
Conjoint Career Counseling

  • Career counseling for couples

  • Combination of personal and career issues

  • Focus on process

  • Allows for interpersonal growth

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Narrative counseling techniques
Narrative Counseling Techniques

  • Postmodern approach to career counseling

  • Focuses on unique context and meaning-making

  • Co-constructing a future narrative

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Couples lifeline
Couples Lifeline

  • Two separate lifelines, birth to today

  • Indicate important life events

  • Describe to partner

  • Title each event

  • 1-2 sentence description and feelings related to event

  • Discuss what was learned

  • Acknowledge similarities and differences

  • Create next chapters together

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Career related values card sort
Career-Related Values Card Sort

  • Clients sort into piles related to importance

  • Attend to differences and similarities

  • How values affect partnership

  • Relationship of values to current issues

  • Consideration of potential future issues

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Career genogram
Career Genogram

  • Three generations

  • Careers for all family members

  • Hidden messages about the world of work

  • Gender and cultural differences

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Case example
Case Example

  • Jill comes to counseling because she is unhappy with her partner, John. Jill feels like John never listens to her and that he is always working. Jill explains that she has a job, too, but that John’s job always comes first, ahead of her and their two children. Jill is the one who has to rearrange her schedule if their son is sick or their daughter has an afterschool activity. She says she has tried explaining to John that both of them have jobs that are important, but says that John insists that childcare is part of her role in the family, and that his primary role is providing for the family.

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Case example1
Case Example

  • Brian and Lucas have been in a committed relationship for eight years. Both come from families that support their relationship, but Lucas works for a conservative company where he has not shared his sexual orientation with co-workers. Brian is out at work and often brings Lucas with him to social engagements with co-workers. Brian is frustrated that Lucas will not be open about their relationship with his co-workers and says he feels that Lucas is hiding his true self from everyone at work. Lucas also recently received a promotion at work, and is now working longer hours and has an increased travel commitment. As a result, Brian’s frustration has grown to the point that they are seeking counseling to help address Brian’s concerns.

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


Case example2
Case Example

  • Carl, a salesperson, and Lisa, a nurse, have been dating for two years, and recently became engaged after finishing college. Two months before their wedding, Carl tells Lisa that he has a job offer in another state, and that they will be moving immediately after the wedding. Lisa, who has lived in her hometown her entire life, seeks counseling because she is very upset and does not know if she can still marry Carl. She explains that Carl does not understand why being close to family is so important, and is upset that he made this career decision without her.

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


References
References

Brott, P. E. (2004). Constructivist assessment in career counseling. Journal of Career

Development, 30, 189–200.

Deutsch, F. M., Kokot, A. P., & Binder, K. S. (2007). College women’s plans for different types

of egalitarian marriages. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 916–929.

Doumas, D. M., Margolin, G., & John, R. S. (2008). Spillover patterns in single-earner couples:

Work, self-care, and the marital relationship. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29,

55–73.

Gibbons, M. M., & Shurts, W. M. (2010). Combining career and couples counseling for college

students: A narrative approach. Journal of College Counseling, 13, 169-181.

Kurdek, L. A. (1999). More differences about gender differences in marriage: A reply to Beach,

Davey, and Fincham (1999). Journal of Family Psychology, 13, 669–674.

Oggins, J. (2003). Topics of marital disagreement among African-American and Euro-American

newlyweds. Psychological Reports, 92, 419–425.

O’Ryan, L. W., & McFarland, W. P. (2010). A phenomenological exploration of the experiences

of dual-career lesbian and gay couples. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88, 71-

79.

Risch, G. S., Riley, L. A., & Lawler, M. G. (2003). Problematic issues in the early years of

marriage: Content for premarital education. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 31,

253–269.

Gibbons, TCDA 2014


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