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Career Assistance Interventions. Natalia Stambulova, PhD The Centre for Welfare , Health & Sport Research Halmstad University, Sweden. Florianopolis, Brazil* June 2, 2010. Overview. Career assistance and related theoretical frameworks and research: A brief overview

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career assistance interventions

Career Assistance Interventions

Natalia Stambulova, PhD

The Centre for Welfare, Health & Sport Research

Halmstad University, Sweden

Florianopolis, Brazil* June 2, 2010

  • Career assistance and related theoretical frameworks and research: A brief overview
  • Seven major types of career assistance interventions
  • Future for career assistance
career assistance ca
Career assistance (CA) is a rapidly developing discourse in applied sport psychology focused on helping athletes with various issues related to their careers in and outside of sport

CA is provided by private (educational and clinical) consultants and within the Career Assistance Programs (CAPs)

Career Assistance (CA)
helping athletes in career transitions
Helping Athletes in Career Transitions

One specific area in career assistance relates to helping athletes to cope with:

  • Normative (predictable) athletic transitions, such as from junior to senior sports or from sport to the post-sport career
  • Normative transitions outside of sport, such as from high school to college/university or to the workplace
  • Non-normative (less predictable) transitions, such as injury or adaptation to the new culture

Based on career development & transition (CDT) research, e.g., Petitpas, Brewer & Van Raalte, 2002; Stambulova, 2000; 2010; Wylleman & Lavallee, 2004.

evolution of cdt topic in sport psychology
Evolution of CDT Topic in Sport Psychology
  • 1960-70ss:very first publications
  • 1980-90ss:several shifts in research
    • Stages transitions
    • Event process
    • Athletic retirement “A whole career” perspective
    • FEPSAC PS (1995, 1997); CA and CAPs
  • 2000s:
    • “A whole person” lifespan perspective
    • Role of macro-social factors in CDT, e.g., culture and sport system; cross-cultural studies
    • ISSP PS: Career development and transitions of athletes(Stambulova, Alfermann, Statler, & Côté, 2009, IJSEP)
developmental model of transitions faced by athletes wylleman lavallee 2004

Developmental Model of Transitions faced by Athletes(Wylleman & Lavallee, 2004)

seven major types of ca interventions
Seven Major Types of CA Interventions

Content – Theory-research relevance – Approaches used - Outcomes

career planning cp
Career Planning (CP)
  • CP is aimed at helping athletes to set realistic career goals bridging their past, present and future, and to prepare in advance for the forthcoming transitions. CP also helps athletes in self-exploration and self-awareness
  • CP is based on CDT models in work psychology and sport psychology
  • Athlete’s guide for career planning (Petitpas, Champagne, Chartland, Danish, & Murphy, 1997)
  • 5-SCP (Stambulova, 2007; 2009)
  • Reported effectiveness for increasing athletes’ self-awareness and decision making (Petitpas, Brewer, & Van Raalte, 2009; Stambulova, in press)
lifestyle management lsm
Lifestyle Management (LSM)
  • LSM is aimed at helping athletes to combine sport and other activities in life, to prioritize between them, to manage time and energy in a way that helps athletes to maintain good health and wellbeing
  • LSM is based on a holistic lifespan perspective in CDT research, as well as research findings on preparation for athletic retirement
  • Dual career programs, “shadow” programs, etc.
  • Reported improvement in readiness to athletic retirement. LSM helps athletes to see their sport project as a part of the life project.

Wylleman, 2004a; 2004b; Wylleman, Theeboom, & Lavallee, 2004;Reints & Wylleman, 2009a; 2009b.

life development skills training ldi
LDI programs involve teaching life skills, which can be applied in various spheres of life, e.g.,managing stress, setting reachable goals, communicating effectively, overcoming roadblocks, handling success and failure, etc.

Target groups: young athletes, student-athletes

Principles of effective teaching:concept, examples, practice, reflections

Life Development/Skills Training (LDI)

Danish, Petitpas, & Hale, 1993; Danish, 2001; Lavallee, 2005; Mayocchi,& Hanrahan, 2000;Petitpas et al., 2009; Ahlgren-Bedics & Monda, 2009; Van Aken et al., 2008

identity development interventions idi
Identity Development Interventions (IDI)
  • IDI are aimed at helping athletes in self-exploration and development of multidimensional personal identity. More specifically, IDI stimulate athletes to get rid of a high and exclusive athletic identity (AI) and prevent AI foreclosure.
  • IDI are based on AI and athletic retirement research, as well as health related career research
  • Counseling stimulating athletes’ identity exploration and awareness
  • Reported effectiveness in terms of facilitating adaptation to the post-sports career.

Lally, 2007; Lavallee, 2005; Lavallee, Gordon, & Grove, 1997;Petitpas et al., 2009; Petitpas & France, in press; Stephan & Brewer, 2007; Warriner & Lavallee, 2008.

cultural adaptation interventions cai
Cultural Adaptation Interventions (CAI)
  • New type of interventions aimed at helping athletes to adjust to the new socio-cultural environment when moving to the other country to play sports or doing both sports and studies
  • Based on Fiske’s (2004) 5 core motives as the vehicles to adaptation: belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancement and trusting
  • Cultural praxis approach (Ryba, 2009; 2010): Adaptation is a dynamic process of negotiation between maintaining a psychological homeostasis and engagement in socio-cultural everyday practices of the host site
  • Two potential outcomes: psychological(affective) and sociocultural (behavioral) adaptation

See more in: Schinke & Hanrahan (Eds), 2009; Schinke, Gauthier, Dibuk, & Crowder, 2007; Tenenbaum, Jones et al., 2003.

crisis coping educational interventions ccei
Crisis Coping Educational Interventions (CCEI)
  • A crisis is conceptualized as normative or non-normative transition, which athletes face but are unable to cope with independently and therefore need psychological assistance (Stambulova, 2000)
  • Information-processing approach based on the theoretical conception of account making in response to stress (Lavallee, Nesti et al., 2000; Perna at al., 1996)
  • The “Mobilization” model of counseling athletes in crisis-transitions (Stambulova, 2000; 2005)
  • Reported outcomes: Increased awareness and self-efficacy to cope with the crisis-transition; stress reduction.
clinical interventions ci
CI in career assistance deal with overtraining, neuroses, psycho-somatic illnesses, alcohol/drug use, negative identities, sexual orientation issues and homophobia, eating disorders, anger and aggression, grieving, clinical depression, and suicidal thoughts, etc.

Various psycho-therapeutic approaches: psychoanalysis, existential therapy, KBT

Clinical Interventions (CI)

Alfermann & Stambulova, 2007; Andersen, 2001; Barney & Andersen, 2000; Cogan, 2000; Eyal, 2001; Maniar & Sommers-Flanagan, 2009; Petrie & Sherman, 2000.

ca interventions overlaps
CA Interventions Overlaps





Athlete as a whole person




career assistance and cultural contexts
Career Assistance and Cultural Contexts
  • Today CA is considered as culturally situated practices that are informed by the socio-cultural contexts in which athletes and their consultants are embedded - Cultural approach in CA
  • Multicultural approach that is“the ability to work effectively with individuals who are of a different culture” (Gill, 2007) with the basic multicultural competencies, such as the awareness of one’s own cultural values and biases, understanding of the client’s worldview, and the culturally appropriate intervention strategies (Mio et al., 2006).

Mio, Barker-Hackett,& Tumambing, 2006;Ryba & Wright, 2005; 2010; Ryba (Ed.), 2010; Stambulova, 2010; Stambulova & Alfermann, 2009.

new challenges for career assistance
New Challenges for Career Assistance
  • To promote CA as a distinct discourse in applied sport psychology and get more visibility
  • Increased awareness and reflexivity of the professional culture of CA that is a system of related concepts, underlying theoretical frameworks and research, consultants’ shared values, principles and ethical norms, as well as the typical working issues and professional strategies/tools used in consultants’ work with athlete-clients
  • Quality of career services
  • Professional identification
  • ASP education involving a career perspective