Introduction to the special issue: advancing career intervention for life design.

Author:Hartung, Paul J.
Position:Special Issue: Career Intervention for Life Design - Report

Life design has emerged as a new paradigm and practice for career intervention in the 21st century (M. L. Savickas, 2012). The creation of a multinational collaboration (Nota & Rossier, 2015; M. L. Savickas et al., 2009), the life-design paradigm and its practical uses amplify person-environment fit and developmental career models and methods that predominated during the 20th century. Life design does this by offering career development practitioners and researchers a contextualized approach and lifelong, holistic, contextual, and preventive counseling intervention framework that aims to increase (a) activity to shape interests, capacities, and aspirations; (b) career adaptability to cope with changes in self and situation; (c) narratability to articulate a clear identity and coherent personal life/career story; and (d) intentionality to give meaning to activities and experiences related to life career.

This special issue of The Career Development Quarterly showcases seven works that apply and advance the life-design paradigm and its practices, particularly through the lens of career construction counseling (M. L. Savickas, 2012). Leading off, Laura Nota, Sara Santilli, and Salvatore Soresi (2016) advance computer-assisted career guidance approaches by describing and providing empirical support for the efficacy of a life-design-based online intervention for middle-school-age students. J. G. (Kobus) Maree (2016) then applies career construction counseling to the case of a mid-career, Black, South African man to show how life-design methods assist clients across diverse contexts to reconstruct and redesign their lives during periods of instability and change. Responding to the need for life-design career intervention efficacy studies, Anna-maria Di Fabio (2016) describes a qualitative assessment tool for appraising client change based on life-design practices and offers initial empirical support for its utility. Revisiting the long-standing, if artificial, distinction between career counseling and personal counseling, Paulo Cardoso (2016) proposes an intervention framework for systematically infusing psychotherapy with life-design counseling practices. Next, Rubina Setlhare-Meltor and Lesley Wood (2016) show how multiple approaches, including interviews, card sorts, and genograms, can be used within a life-design framework and particularly to assist clients living within very marginalized and vulnerable circumstances. Suzanne Savickas and...

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