Career counseling or psychotherapy: Washington DC Seminar

This online career chat is designed for psychotherapists and career counselors. However, several laypeople have told me that it’s helpful and everyone is, of course, welcome.

Do I need Career counseling or Psychotherapy?

What if Their Parachute Doesn’t Open: Psychoanalytic career assessment for Understanding and Helping the Incontrovertibly, Lost Career Client

This online chat is designed for career counselors and career professionals and for psychotherapists, including psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists and others. It describes the process of psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment – an evaluation designed to evaluate and understand the nature, “purpose” and underlying meaning of the career conflict. And, most importantly, to help the client with career difficulties to obtain the kind of help that they need.

They show up for career counseling.

They need a different job, desperately. The wolf is at the door. They say if they don’t do something there will be calamitous consequences. Anxious, depressed, or totally distracted, they come late or forget to come, altogether. They agree to do homework but show up empty handed. Frustrated, panicky and just plain worried, when they do show up, they begin talking about problems that the career counselor is ill-equipped to resolve. Efforts to focus them fail, abysmally.

Or, they come for psychotherapy.

Anxious and depressed, they insist on focusing exclusively on their career concerns. They eschew the psychotherapist’s efforts to help them to be curious about the relationship between their current difficulties, their internal struggles and their past. Asked to say anything that comes to mind, they get impatient. They assert that their anxiety and depression will abate if they could just find the right job.  They seem to be asking for career guidance but the psychotherapist is unqualified to provide it.

So what’s helpful, here? Career counseling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, a hybrid, the support of family and friends?

As psychotherapists and career counselors, we are obliged to assess those seeking career help – and, to help them to find the kind of help that they need.  So we need to ask ourselves, why are these folks showing up in the wrong place? How can we assess what the client needs? And, how can we help them to get it?

Read the chat, below, to learn more about this important topic. Also, here’s a list of relevant readings to help you to clarify what sort of help your client, or patient, needs.


Career Counseling, Psychotherapy, or both? Which does my client need?

In Career convergence, National Career Development Association articles:

Understanding the Role of Unconscious Conflict in Career Counseling
Understanding the Role of Transference in Career Counseling

In the Baltimore Washington Psychoanalytic newsletter

Psychoanalytic career assessment


Please note: I can’t answer every question but I will try to provide a flavor of how psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment works. 

career coaching vs psychotherapy

Career Counseling vs Psychotherapy

About me: Clinical psychologist, Training & Supervising Analyst, & Master Career counselor

I am a Clinical Psychologist, a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Washington Baltimore Psychoanalytic Institute and a Johns Hopkins faculty member. I developed the Psychoanalytically-Informed Career Assessment Model aka the Psychodynamically-informed, career assessment model. . In private practice in Chevy Chase, MD, on the Washington, DC, border, by the Friendship Heights metro, I see people in psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and career counseling. I have written over 50 career columns published in the Washington Post. My Washington Business Journal column, Corporations on the Couch, is nationally-syndicated.

Those seeking clinical supervision, career consultation, psychotherapy or psychoanalysis are welcome to give me a call: 301.656.9650. To streamline the process, please leave your name, your day and evening numbers, the time that it’s best to reach you and the reason for your call. I look forward to speaking with you.

Career counseling or psychotherapy by Washington DC Psychologist, Dr. Lynn Friedman


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