Counseling for Work and Relationship

Mary Sue Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Counseling for work and relationship is a social constructionist perspective, informed by feminist and social justice values, and responsive to radical changes in contemporary lives, that fosters a shift in vocational psychology from helping people develop careers to helping people construct lives through work and relationship. The first and major proposition of this perspective is a new discourse for describing the construction of lives that specifies four major social contexts through which people construct lives. These social contexts are market work, personal care work, personal relationships, and market work relationships. Additional propositions of the counseling for work and relationship perspective are the centrality of narrative theory for understanding how lives are constructed and agentic action as a critical process in constructing lives. Implications for research, intervention, and training are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-242
Number of pages53
JournalThe Counseling Psychologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • agentic action
  • narrative
  • vocational development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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