Career Orientation

Career Orientation Case Study (Part 1): Application of Various Theories and Approaches

Case study

Jane is a 37 years old female who currently works as an executive co-ordinator/assistant to the director of a large insurance company. She has been on medical leave from work for the past three weeks because she had been feeling overwhelmed with her workload. She also reported intrapersonal difficulties with a fellow, subordinate, female co-worker who she reports is a large part of the reason she is overloaded with work. Jane consulted due to symptoms such as: irritability, frustration, decreased motivation, decreased pleasure, excessive worry, fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Based on her doctor’s recommendation she decided to consult a counsellor, she is not sure if she wishes to stay or find new employment

During the intake session, Jane reported that very often she feels bad about herself (decreased self-esteem coupled with guilt) when she upsets others or causes conflict with others, which also leaves her with much anxiety. She also reported a significant fear of criticism and rejection. Due to such fears, Jane very often finds herself catastrophizing (if I make a mistake, my boss will criticize me, and I will lose my job). Jane also struggles to speak her opinion and struggles to say no to demands which are beyond her personal limits.


Analysis of personal projects (APP)

Little’s’ approach is based on four fundamental premises: I) Personal projects are personal constructions 2) Personal projects are realized in a social environment 3) Personal projects form  an intentional action system, and 4) personal projects as a structure of integration. Little uses an evaluation framework, referred to as modular methodology (there are 5 modules-for a full descriptions of the modules see p. 160-172). Each module is geared to help clinicians discover the nature and feasibility of their client’s personal projects, with the overall goal of helping client’s move towards self-actualization and therefore towards a more satisfactory life.

Module 1, a counsellor would ask Jane to enumerate as many projects  as possible within a span of 10 to 30 minutes. Each project has diagnostic significance for personality assessment and intervention. For example, let us assume that some of Jane’s projects were as follows: learn to say no, make less mistakes, learn to speak my opinion, have a better relationship with Mary-co-worker- a counsellor might already recognize some possible interventions, such as working on assertiveness. Assertiveness enables an individual to act in their own best interests, without undue anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably and to express personal rights without denying the rights of others (Bourne, 2005).  As an intervention, we will use assertiveness again, and then proceed to help our client progress through corresponding stages (see p, 183 for detailed description)

Little, B., & Chambers, N. (2000). Analyse des projets personnels : un cadre intégratif pour la psychologie clinique et le counselling. Revue québécoise de psychologie, 21(1), 153-189.


           Contact Us