Special Populations Intervention Paper
Arguably, there is no single career counseling theory that would work for every group. Personal differences, environment, and choice are just a few of the variables that add to the complexity of career-related decisions. Throughout the years, researchers have continued to improve on earlier theories as new, more inclusive approaches to counseling are presented. As Niles and Harris-Bowlsbey (2017) note, “In an extensive study of occupational population trends within the U.S. labor force, Byars-Winston et al. (2015) found that despite growing demographic diversity in the overall U.S. population, the labor force continues to reveal racialized and gendered disparities” (p. 99).
Despite legislation aimed at protecting their rights, Americans with disabilities unfortunately have not fared any better. Results show that many women, racial/ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender individuals regularly experience discriminatory practices in the career process. Thus, traditional approaches have been found to be inadequate and/or inappropriate for assisting members of such diverse groups in their career development. According to Lee (2013), “The past two decades have seen a growing realization that career counseling services often do not have broad applicability across the range of cultural backgrounds represented by clients” (p. 7). Thus, the values inherent in career counseling and those of culturally diverse clients often come into conflict during the career exploration and decision process. Lee (2013) provided a conceptual framework to ensure that clients from culturally diverse backgrounds have access to competent career services.
Using Lee’s (2013) framework, evaluate his model for strengths and weaknesses with individuals with a disability or from diverse backgrounds (select your own population) (i.e., women, minorities, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (GLBTQ), individuals who identify English as a second language, youth and elderly, and those from various cultural backgrounds). Then, select one of the career theories discussed earlier in this course and compare and contrast it to Lee’s (2013) proposed theory. Are there any theories, such as the social cognitive career theory, gender identity theories, etc. that might provide more applicable approaches to career counseling with individuals with diverse backgrounds? If the theory could be modified, what component would you add? Include a critique regarding how the added component would strengthen or weaken the modified theory. Would the added component benefit individuals from both diverse backgrounds and with a disability?