Counseling Psychology encompasses research work and applied work in several broad domains: counseling process and outcome, career development, prevention and health.
In our work, we focus on assets and strengths, person-environment interactions, education and career development, training and developing individuals for positions and advancement.
Vocational counseling means different things to different people; – What does mean vocation? For some people is obtaining employment to pay the bills, and to others, is a gateway to reward a career. Employment mixes two important variables, economy and psychology. A job is the best chance a person has in achieving economic security and psychologically, a job let us to contribute to the society, providing us self-worth and a purpose in life.
Where does therapy meet economy?
Every human being needs a purpose in life. – What happens when a person is unable to find a job? To be economically independent, to keep a family, to pay for health attention, education and other needs. The answer is – Exclusion.
Therapy meets Economy in multiple points of the process. I truly believe that every human being has strengths and a value to offer, ability and competences. Unemployment can last for weeks, months, and even years and it has a very devastating impact on the person out of work, their families, and also in health.
How can be unemployment linked with health?
Unemployment can be associated with anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, eating disorders, decreased life-satisfaction, problems with drugs, and obvious changes in physical well-being. There are other multiple problems related as loss of health coverage, loss of routines, loss of self-worth, problems in marriage and family. The main problem is the dramatic change in daily activities, the solitude feeling, lack of schedule of activities and passiveness.
Who is our target population?
Currently we´re working with all ages, but mostly we are focus in youth and people with special needs/conditions. Our work consists in assisting the individual in finding a vocation in order to achieve independence, self-sufficiency and self-steam. It is also to train the person in order to get the goal, accompanying them throughout the learning process.
Additionally, we try to reduce the obstacles that the circumstances may present, by providing training and support for the individual´s education.
Which methodology we use in our work?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy has demonstrated to be effective in multiple scenarios, based on research findings. As Cognitive Psychologist, I focus on the current situation and possible solutions, rather than in the past. We try, in short to replace ways to living that do not work well, giving to the people more control over their lives.
Nevertheless, my formal education and field of research focus in learning disorders and cognition. The reality is that there are individuals who have experienced changes in their ability to function at work, other born with physical or cognitive impairments and these people have the same right to access to labor market and education opportunities.
Do they improve?
Definitely, yes; it is a challenge but when you get the goal it results amazingly self-rewarding.
Why are we talking about productivity?
Because we have been trained also in HR; productivity is important. The instruction must focus on workplace performance. An initial assessment starts thinking as a “recruiter”:
• Describe your work interests
• Determine physical conditions may limit performance
• Determine professions or positions would be suitable (education…)
• Help finding opportunities which are currently available
• Analyze the requirements for certain types of work
How does it work in case of special needs/conditions?
It is the same approach, adapting the process to the needs of the employee.
• Assessing interests and aptitudes
• Determining physical and cognitive abilities
• Incorporating adaptive equipment to meet vocational goals
• Accommodating or modifying environments
• Locating training/educational programs
• Assessing performance if needed
• Finding employment (and resources to find a job).
• Improve communication and interpersonal skills
• Making professional, evidence-based decisions
• Optimize productivity
Do people regard us as “teachers”?
Yes. In this moment I really enjoy writing educational programs, prepare students for the end of the school, in secondary education and young adult settings. As the people with who I work with, my professional future is still unknown.
The person who you are is not determined by your job position, but for the interests, vocation, abilities, passions you have, and the way how you understand life, challenge yourself and use these abilities each day, to help and make easier the other´s lives. This is my purpose, my goal.
(Readers have a huge impact on what a writer writes; if readers write wanting more, then writers tend to write those kind of articles. They want readers to be happy and enjoy. So, writers also write for readers. THANK YOU for reading, and do not hesitate to comment or contact me.)