Counseling and Action: Toward Life-Enhancing Work, Relationships, and Identity

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Engaging in action is at the heart of our most meaningful experiences. And given the fast-paced, goal-driven nature of modern society, engagement in action is also central to how we perceive ourselves. Action has traditionally been viewed as an end product of the counseling process, but now a bold new redefinition makes counseling not only a driver of action, but an action in itself. Counseling and Action couples a timely update on the multiple roles of action in counseling with an action-based framework for enhancing progress between client and professional. Grounded in the core concepts of contextual action theory as well as key aspects of counseling (e.g., identity, intentionality, emotion), the book explicates an approach that is responsive to client complexities and the larger social conditions that frame them. Expert-penned chapters apply theory to practice, illustrating levels of engagement in action as counselor and client negotiate goals and work toward their realization. And an especially useful section offers guidelines for intervening with specific populations and addressing particular issues. Among the topics covered: Designing projects for career construction. Agentic action in context. Counseling intentional addiction recovery grounded in relationships and social meaning. The action of mindfulness in counseling. A contextual action theory perspective on self-efficacy in individual counseling. Counseling processes and procedures through the lens of contextual action theory. With its forceful argument for a quantum leap in both theory and practice, Counseling and Action is transformative reading for professionals, educators, and graduate students in social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and counseling.