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Supporting clients is both an art and science. You need to have a good understanding of theories to explain behaviour and actions.

We have to borrow a number of theories mainly from the psychology sector to try and give us meaning and a better understanding of phenomena and the environment around us.

Practitioners should use a variety of resources and learning methods to try and appeal to a number of different learning styles. Understanding concepts such as peer pressure, group dynamics and behaviour management might also help with equipping us the best way to respond and meet needs.

In advice and guidance, one of the key theory is Ginzbery occupational choice theory. This theory suggests that there are four facts that influence choice. The four factors are reality, educational process, emotional and individual values. These development areas are suggested to influence career choice. This theory does however not take into account other issues such as race, social class, and gender which in practice does play a major part when making career or occupational choice.

Another theory that is of interest is Holland’s Career Typology which suggests that heredity and resilience of an individual as they react to life history and environmental demands play a part. The theory relies on four assumptions which are culture, modal environment, conducive environment and behaviour determined by interaction. It is said that people are attracted to occupations that meets their needs and provides them fulfillment.

The Social Cognition Career Theory has been inspired by the work of Bandura’s social cognitive theory. This theory attempts to address issues coursed by culture, genetics, gender, social and unexpected events. The theory suggests that career choice is influenced by personal performance, vicarious learning, social persuasion, and physiological demands. The theory focuses on the connection of self-efficacy, expectations, goals and how this influences career choice.

We will discuss other theories that influence our work in advice and guidance during the next topics.