Career Coaching or Executive Counseling are effective for many people. However, they do not work for everyone. Some are uncertain as to what sort of career would be satisfying to them. Others know what they would like to do. Yet, they become stymied when it comes to developing a plan for doing it. Many, know what they want to do. And they have designed a plan for achieving their goals. Despite this clarity, when it comes to implementing their plan, they seem unable to put one foot ahead of the other. When traditional career or executive coaching fails, Psychodynamic Career Assessment might prove helpful.
The individual has taken many steps to identify their work life goals but have been unsuccessful. For example, they:
These are all signs that traditional career or executive coaching will not work. UNTIL these difficulties are understood and addressed traditional career coaching may not be effective. Individuals experiencing these roadblocks often acknowledge, if only to themselves, feelings of immobilization, frustration, sadness and helplessness.
A psychodynamic career assessment is a psychological assessment. It takes a psychoanalytic approach to understanding the career difficulty. It asks, “what are the origins of this difficulty?” Does it reflect some sort of internal conflict? Is it indicative of a skills deficit? Or, both. What is happening inside this person that leads to their feeling immobilized in this area?
As with any psychological assessment, I attempt to understand the individual in the context of their early beginnings, their current situation and their hopes for the future. Career dissatisfaction may signal that something is operating outside of the individual’s conscious awareness. For instance, career difficulties are, often, a sign of internal struggles. In addition, a career conflict may reflect that the person is in intrapsychic pain. Therefore, I try to learn more about the psychological, personal, family and biological factors that have led to these difficulties. Consequently, I take a comprehensive approach.
I attempt to obtain:
People often find the above questions bizarre. Most are quite able to identify the benefits of success but less able to see its downside. This is because, often, their fears are outside of their conscious awareness.
Beyond this, a psychodynamic assessment explores whether the career difficulties are recapitulated in other areas of the individual’s life. For example, does the person who has difficulties with self-assertion in their career also have difficulties with self-assertion in relationships?
Answers to these questions lead me to a tentative formulation as to what’s going on beneath the surface. I attempt to articulate how beliefs, outside of the individual’s awareness, are interfering with the individual’s motivation to achieve work-life satisfaction.
This assessment leads to a recommendation as to what sort of intervention might be helpful. Sometimes, this extended psychological assessment functions as a mini-career counseling experience or a short-term psychotherapy. The roadblocks are clarified, understood and overcome. More often, however, a recommendation is made for further career counseling, psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis or a hybrid.
To learn more about psychodynamic career assessment (aka psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment), read, The Role of Unconscious Conflict in Career Counseling, The Role of Transference in Career Counseling and Analyze this: My job, my life and why I’m not thrilled.
If you are seeking consultation from a Psychologist in DC. I welcome your call: 301.656.9650.