Assignment: Career Private Counselors

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Assignment: Career Private Counselors

Assignment: Career Private Counselors


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Assignment: Career Counselors in Private Practice: Counseling, Coaching and Consulting


Unlike mental health counseling, which is often at least partially paid for by health insurance, the client must underwrite the entire cost of career counseling unless there is a coexisting mental health problem.

Private Practice is about offering career development services to earn money.

Most career development practitioners work in educational or governmental agencies for a salary. Career Counselors who choose private practice do so for a variety reasons including the opportunity to manage their own careers and increase their earnings.

According to estimates of leaders in the field of career counseling and vocational psychology, the demand for career counseling is at an all time high.

Qualifications—all states have licensure, certifications and/or registry laws that regulate the practice of psychologists and counselors. Some states have laws that limit both the title and practice. Some states have included career counseling as a service that should be offered only by licensed professionals counselor

Guidelines for consumers: caveat emptor or “let the consumer beware” since the practice of career counseling is not sufficiently regulated. The National Career Development Association (NCDA) and the Society of Vocational Psychologists are at the forefront of establishing professional standards for private practitioners and in consumer protection.

Credentials: Career counselors should have earned graduate degrees. They should have knowledge about career development, assessment, occupational information, employability skills, the integration of life roles and stresses of working, job loss and/or career transitions.

Ethics: licensed career counselors follow the ethical codes adopted by the APA, the American Counseling Association or other professional organizations.

Career Coaching—solution-oriented approach which involves working with clients to see what concrete steps they can take to achieve career objectives. It is not therapy and should not address mental health problems.

Establishing a Private Practice

Several questions must be answered prior to establishing a practice:

What skills do I have that I can market?

Who are the people who might purchase my services, my target audience?

How will I reach my target audience—that is, what is my marketing plan?

Where will the services be offered?

Before moving on, work in pairs to make a list of services that a private practitioner might offer the public.

Types of Services that can be offered:

Career counseling with individuals and groups


Job placement



Resume development

Development of other employability skills

Career coaching

Retirement planning

Career/life-role integration counseling

Spousal relocation


Program evaluation

Work adjustment counseling

Vocational appraisal services

Location of the office

Some use portions of their residences for their office. This eliminates commuting, rental fees, janitorial services, etc. Might not work in some areas due to zoning restrictions.

Image – an office located in a professional office building helps project the professional image that many career counselors desire.

Once the decision has been made and practice is open, customers are wanted and advertising is key—a well placed article in the business section of the local newspaper; a well-designed website is a must; provide free speeches, workshops, and seminars; social media; networking by attending and participating in local professional meetings.

Marketing—advertising; networking; direct solicitation by mail or telephone; developing a newsletter, etc. Marketing never stops.


Hiring a knowledgeable accountant may be the first step in setting up a private practice.

Utilize a software package to budget expenses and maintain records.

Keep careful logs of expenses. Entertainment, travel, meals, equipment purchases, furniture, malpractice insurance and continuing education are all legitimate expenses.

Fees and Billing

Have established fees and allow clients to choose the services they need, terminate whenever they deem it appropriate and pay for only those services that have been provided.

Look at the fees of competitors. Charge less for group counseling than for individual counseling. Fees may range from $75 to $200 an hour.

Consider how to collect fees—credit card, check

Other Business Details

Other details include establishing a record keeping system, considering the possibility of using an answering service (versus an answering machine), hiring assistants and/or clerical workers, choosing an appropriate liability insurance policy and selecting an accountant.

Chapter 20

Trends in the Labor Market, Factors That Shape Them and Issues for Decision Makers

The workplace in this country has always been in a state of flux primarily because of technological advances and changes in economic conditions

Some changes that have occurred and will occur in the future have been quite sudden and dramatic (9/11 and Katrina in 2005)

Most change occurs far more gradually as result of economic cycles, the impact of wage differentials in the U.S. and the rest of the world on business decisions, the impact of technology and business consolidations

The Impact of Technology

The first industry to experience rapid and dramatic job change was agriculture

Other occupations that are expected to decline are, for example: postal clerks, sorters; sewing machine operators, textile cutting and weaving machine operators; meter readers; word processors; door to door sales to name a few

Global economy and long-term job trends

75 years ago the goods and services produced in the U.S. were consumed in this country

Although the U.S. tends to import more than it exports, agricultural products, manufactured goods and other goods and services produced in this country are sold abroad

Most corporations in this country are multinational which means they not only do business with other countries but also have investments and operations abroad

The U.S. has also been the beneficiary of foreign business leaders’ decisions to locate a portion of their businesses in this country.

The economies of the world are linked!

Other economic factors: current interest rates are at historic lows; national debt has passed the $20 trillion mark; value of the dollar in the currency exchange market also influences job growth

Population Factors

Baby boomers, birthrates, influx of minority works into the labor, illegal workers

Size of Government

Local, state and national government employ millions of people. Arguments for and against downsizing at all levels abound

Cause of Short-Term Trends

Various types of calamities either caused by humans or natural disasters

New directions in fashion, recreation and other activities can also alter the occupational structure by creating new demands or reducing old ones

Seasonal variations are also influential

Projections for the Future

The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly issues forecasts regarding the various aspects of the labor force and provides up-to-date information

Holistic Approach to Life Planning

Sunny Hansen has developed a model (the Integrative Life Planning approach) that focuses on ways to make society a better place while helping individuals with their career concerns

Six critical life tasks identified by Hansen

Task 1 – Finding work that needs doing in changing global contexts

Task 2 – Weaving our lives into a meaningful whole

Task 3– Connecting family and work

Task 4– Valuing pluralism and inclusivity

Task 5– Managing personal transitions and organizational change

Take 6: Exploring spirituality, purpose and meaning

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