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Living Systems Theory: Using a Person-in-Context Behaviour Episode Unit of Analysis in Career Guidance Research and Practice

  • Fred W. VondracekEmail author
  • Erik J. Porfeli
  • Donald H. Ford
Chapter
  • 169 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter introduces key features of The living systems theory of vocational behavior and development (LSVD). Its particular focus is on describing and explaining the functioning of behaviour episodes, which are the fundamental, person-in-context units of analysis that can be used in individual, person-centered career counselling and research. Behaviour episodes are the building blocks that individuals use to construct their career pathways. They are context-specific, goal-directed, biological and behavioural patterns that unfold over time until clients achieve, change, postpone or fail to achieve their goals. Career counsellors must appreciate the fact that each client is a unique person who functions as a complex organisation of parts and processes through which they seek to achieve their goals. Thus, understanding their clients’ individual histories of behaviour episodes, their current circumstances and the goals they seek to achieve, is essential. When using this framework, counselling represents a dynamic process that is in contrast to prominent models in vocational psychology that focus on presumably stable and enduring features such as vocational interests and personality. Importantly, it also empowers counsellors to engage in a more holistic guidance process that is specifically tailored to each client.

Keywords

Living systems Behaviour episode Person-in-context Person-centered Career development 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred W. Vondracek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erik J. Porfeli
    • 2
  • Donald H. Ford
    • 1
  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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