Perspectives on Guidance and Counselling as Strategic Tools to Improve Lifelong Learning in Portugal

  • Maria Paula Paixão
  • José Tomás da Silva
  • Albertina L. Oliveira
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 19)


This chapter presents a critical reflection about guidance and counselling structures and services in Portugal as a central dimension for the implementation of the European Area of Lifelong Learning. Counselling in Portugal constitutes simultaneously an emergent and an already established field of intervention, both with adolescents as well as with adults. In fact, as an educational and psychological practice, it has contributed to create well-accepted models and practices, encompassing information interventions, psycho-pedagogical interventions and career guidance and life-designing counselling. Nevertheless, the emphasis on the lifelong learning and guidance paradigm highlights the importance to attempt to integrate different services which are already in place into a coordinated structure that takes into account both the normative and nonnormative transitions, voluntary or otherwise, that the citizens face throughout their entire lifespan. Service users must be empowered to act upon an ever-changing world by developing critical career management skills, although service providers must be very attentive to the diversity of career challenges across the lifespan, when factors like age, gender, health and position in the workforce are taken into consideration. The Commission of the European Communities underlines the fact that the main mission of guidance and counselling interventions is to help reframe the relations between education, school and the larger society, by targeting specific groups (e.g. unemployed adults, working adults and older adults); facilitating access to guidance and counselling services to potential clients, in general, and to underprivileged groups, in special; and promoting the quality of these services.


Vocational Training Lifelong Learning Counselling Service Adult Education Career Guidance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Paula Paixão
    • 1
  • José Tomás da Silva
    • 1
  • Albertina L. Oliveira
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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