Thinking Outside the Box: Integrating Culture, Identity, Academia, and Career/Life Planning with Aboriginal Women

  • Kathy Offet-GartnerEmail author
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)


In this chapter, Offet-Gartner shares her extensive experience as a counselling psychologist who specializes in working across cultures, most especially with Aboriginal (Note: For the purposes of this chapter, the term Aboriginal was chosen by the women participants involved as most representative of their identity. It is intended to be inclusive of all indigenous groups: First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples) peoples at an undergraduate university. She examines the importance of culture-infused counselling (CIC; Collins & Arthur, 2010a, 2010b) and the revised CIC framework outlined in Chap.  2), when working with this group by highlighting the multifaceted stories of women who are engaged in academic pursuits while also exploring and connecting to their cultural identities. She does this by offering how she incorporates concepts from the revised CIC framework into her counselling practice. The stories of seven fictitious “clients” offered are compiled from a greater number of “real clients” and “client stories”, mixing details, localities, names, and other details to protect the very real people she works with. All have given their permission and approved the final offerings. It is through the women’s individual and combined stories that Offet-Gartner illustrates the many diverse scenarios and intersecting identities that clients and counsellors face when navigating the world of academia and burgeoning career development.

Offet-Gartner offers her own personal location, influences, and beliefs about counselling and how she makes the theory-to-practice translation for CIC. Further, she offers suggestions, questions for reflection, and invitations to consider one’s own practices and how these too may be more inclusive of the multiple and diverse intersections that clients bring to counselling.


Aboriginal First Nations Indigenous Women Career Education Post-secondary Efficacy Readiness Racism Resilience Identity development 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Royal UniversityCalgaryCanada

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