posted on March 29, 2016 10:34
Book by: K. Richard Pyle and Seth C. W. Hayden
Review by: Dr. Christine R. Cook
Counseling Department, School of Education
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Pyle and Hyden’s text provides counselors a framework for facilitating Group Career Counseling (GCC). Osborn, Kronholz, Finklea, and Cantonis (2014) discuss the fact that people spend much of their day at work, so “it is no wonder that career-related issues are often woven into conversations with mental health practitioners, even when the presenting concern is not career-related” (p. 258). This book combines two modes of counseling, group and career, to provide an alternative method to address this issue.
The book provides a thorough review of group counseling principles and does a nice job comparing the overall concept of group counseling with the specifics of group career counseling. The reader is able to clearly understand the role of GCC in the counseling field. Unfortunately, the chapters do not flow well. The authors added the final two chapters regarding career development theory in this second edition, but the order is hard to follow. It is recommended readers complete the initial chapters and then move to the final two chapters before returning to chapter 3.
The authors mention that the second edition of this book was to “provide a fuller and more recent review of the literature on career intervention groups and their relationship to GCC” (p. 61), but most of the references are still quite old – many from the 1990s or earlier. Although a foundation of career counseling information needs to be included, and the authors do a nice job in utilizing primary sources for that information, more recent literature also needs to be supplied – particularly in the area of computer assisted career information or ways to utilize technology in a potential GCC session. The epilogue also includes reference to several potential sources of information. It was unfortunate that they were placed in the epilogue as they could easily be overlooked, so be sure not to skip that section.
The most beneficial feature of the book is the career counseling program example in chapter 3. This was the most applied chapter and seems particularly relevant for advisors. This chapter provided an outline for a potential group, including introductory considerations and specific activities for each session. The authors even included specific lesson plans in the Appendix for the activities mentioned. Although it only outlined 3 sessions, it enabled a potential group facilitator to see how the sessions might be configured, and thus was the highlight of the book. Although the book discussed specific settings in which this sample outline might be implemented, the information seemed very broad based. It would have been beneficial to include more depth and focus on providing information for those providing GCC in education versus community settings.
Overall, the book has good information for those entering the field of group work and intending to include career counseling as an option. For those interested in finding a general outline for a career counseling group, this book provides a good look at planning and implementing 3 sessions. For those that are looking for information on how to implement this in a specific setting, particularly those in a high school, this book does not provide enough specific information for that population.
Osborn, D. S., Kronholz, J. F., Finklea, J. T., & Cantonis, A. M. (2014). Technology-savvy career counselling. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 55(4), 258-265. doi:10.1037/a0038160
Group Career Counseling: Practices and Principles, 2nd Edition. (2015). Book by K. Richard Pyle and Seth C. W. Hayden. Review by Dr. Christine R. Cook. Broken Arrow: OK, National Career Development Association. 64 pp., $35.00 (Paperback). ISBN 978-1-885333-52-0.