Impacts of a Group-Based Career Counseling Model for Unskilled Adults in Crisis: A Case Study

  • Marcelo Afonso RibeiroEmail author
  • Guilherme de Oliveira Silva Fonçatti
  • Maria da Conceição Coropos Uvaldo


The career counseling field has been challenged by the current working world marked by heterogeneity and flexibility which have generated a disembedding experience associated with an identity crisis in most workers all over the world. This new working world frame led to the increase of mature people in search of career counseling, because of the continuum experience of non-expected crises, which do not qualify as expected transitions. To this extent, the objective of this chapter is to investigate and discriminate social and personal determinants that are present in search of career counseling, and what the impacts and effectiveness of a group-based career counseling model for adults are, regarding their specificity, as well as the possibility of psychosocial intervention that considers the inextricable relation between social and personal determinants. With this goal, we describe a case study of a group-based career counseling with unskilled adults in crisis. The proposed group-based career counseling model for adults is based on research and practices systematically developed in the Brazilian context in the recent decades, grounded on a psychodynamic approach inspired by the South American critical psychoanalysis and by the traditional psychodynamic approach in the career counseling field, which are articulated with the theories that have been produced around the world with similar and related purposes, as Life Design and Psychology of Working. This is a contextualized model of career counseling focused on the radicalization of the reflexivity and on the possibility of offer, at the same time, a subjective instrumentation (clinical function) and an objective instrumentation (operative function). On the one hand, this model enables clinical space of holding, identity reconstruction, and deconstruction of preconceived stereotyped ideas about themselves and the working world (societal metanarratives) for a subjective instrumentation, aiming the deconstruction, reconstruction, and co-construction of the working life project. On the other hand, it enables operative space for the construction of the career projects or action plans within a relational context through the constant negotiation with the working world. The effectiveness of the intervention was qualitatively evaluated by a non-structured method based on the participants’ life and working narrative changes throughout the group process, and the main results indicated an increased reflexivity and a clear process of narrative changes during the counseling. In conclusion, career counseling has much to contribute with unskilled adults in crisis and the qualitative non-structured method based on narrative changes has shown to be a reliable method to assess counseling effectiveness.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcelo Afonso Ribeiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guilherme de Oliveira Silva Fonçatti
    • 1
  • Maria da Conceição Coropos Uvaldo
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Psicologia da Universidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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