Holistic Approach to Career Counseling

Holistic Approach to Career Counseling





Career counseling is a vital component of the modern working life. Several strategies and approaches have been used over the years in dealing with career related issues.

Career counseling can be broadly defined as the counseling activities that are associated or related with the career choices of an individual. This is normally spread throughout the life span of an individual. Career counseling is involved with matters such as the work of the individual, the family, his or her leisure activities as well as the personal concerns of the person in question(Amundsen, 2003).

Over the years, career counselors have realized that the work like of an individual cannot be separated from other aspects of his or her life. This realization has made the counselors come up with strategies and approaches that tend to integrate all the aspects of one’s life when career counseling is being done. This strategy or approach has been commonly referred to as the Holistic Approach to career counseling. Holistic approach to career counseling is defined as a career counseling tactic that that is interested in engaging and well as developing a person as a whole over his or her life span. Holistic Approach is involved with the physical and emotional aspects of an individual(Amundsen, 2003).In addition, it tackles the mental and spiritual aspects.

Strategies in Holistic Approach of Career counseling

Holistic approach to career counseling can be divided into five subsections, each dealing with a specific aspect of the client’s life over his or her life span.

Individual Case

The first stage in every career counseling session or approach normally understands an individual. This is no different from the holistic approach to career counseling. In order to achieve the objective of carrying out career counseling holistically, which is to develop an individual wholesomely, it is important to understand the individual. The holistic approach requires that every individual is treated as a unique person. Historically, career counseling has used only the traits, values and capabilities of an individual to understand an individual and to help them in making various career decisions. However, this is different from the holistic approach. The holistic approach involves taking into account factors such as an individual’s family, leisure and even social status in understanding an individual. When these aspects of an individual’s life are taken into consideration when understanding an individual, it helps in determining the direction that the counseling process will take and the depth of the process. This will help in fully understanding the individual and coming up with unique solutions for each individual client.

Therefore, holistic approach involves understanding an individual as unique and taking consideration of all the aspects of his or her life in order to understand his unique problems and develop unique solutions to tackle the problems.

Career Life Perspective

The other step or stage that is involved in the holistic approach to career counseling is the career perspectives of an individual. These are the developments that come into play during the career life of an individual (Amundsen, 2003). The essential of taking career life perspectives, in consideration in carrying out the holistic approach is to understanding an individual. Some of the things that are considered here include family life, the individuals journey to attain a given social status as well as the voluntary work that the individual by be carrying out.

Career life perspectives help in integrating the life developments of an individual and his career or work life.

Career Choices

In the holistic approach, values, interests, work experience are some of the factors that are noted to influence the career choices of an individual.

Apart from the above stated factors, the approach involves determining how contextual issues and other interacting factors may affect the career life of an individual. An example of an interacting factor that may affect the career life of an individual is the kind of work environment. Contextual issues such as a change in the economy of a country may affect the career of an individual. This may be for example through layoffs or salary cuts. This approach therefore takes into consideration such contextual issues in order to come up with best solutions an advice (Zunker, 2012).

Life Long Learning

This emphasizes on the fact that career life is a lifelong journey and a learning process. Holistic approach tries to let individuals or clients understand that career development is a lifelong process and it appreciate the fact that some attributes and qualities such as decision making and survival skills are things that are developed with time. The holistic approach strives to provide the client with knowledge base that he or she will use for current and future concerns and needs (Zunker, 2012).

The holistic approach further more helps the client in continually evaluating his or her career development.

Counseling occurring in a society that is culturally diverse

The holistic approach involves the understanding that each society is culturally different. It further appreciates the fact that each individual has his own view of the universe. Because of the cultural differences each individual has his or her set of values of career needs. Therefore this understanding of cultural biases and stereotypes helps in developing individuals wholesomely. The holistic approach moreover seeks to understand the influence of religion in on the career choices and development of an individual.


This approach of career counseling appreciate the fact that all the aspects of an individual’s life such as religion, culture, spirituality, family and lifestyle impacts heavily on one’s career choice. It therefore analyses all these aspects when developing an individual wholesomely.


Amundsen, N. E. (2003). Active engagement: Enhancing the career counseling process. Richmond, British Columbia, Canada: Ergon Communications.

Zunker,V.(2012).Counseling: A Holistic Approach. New York: Cengage Learning