Case Study

The person I chose for the interview will be referred to as John. He is a 43-year-old bachelor, Caucasian male (not a real client). He is in a difficult life situation caused by health problems and because of it he needs to change profession. John does not know which career to choose, that is why he volunteered to be interviewed.

John said that he was first employed at the age of 16, when he studied music in the college. He performed in a local club with a jazz band as a vocalist. He continued to participate in such concerts when he had free time for many years. John graduated from the conservatory and started working in the opera house. The first 4 years of his career were great, as he performed the leading roles of young lovers and heroes. However, the “star period” ended when the director of the theatre changed and John failed to stay in good relations with him. According to his story John quit his job after a serious scandal. He could not find any work in his city that met his expectations and was depressed. Sometimes he performed in clubs and pubs, though this work could not satisfy his ambitions. John was in this apathetic state for almost 3 years and only then he decided to move to another city. There he met new people and understood that he was able to start his career from the very beginning. John changed his major and began performing in a musical theatre instead of opera. He succeeded in his career, the musicals he performed in where popular among audience and critiques. The profession of a musical actor requires emotional interaction between those who work in one team. The tension in relations is high and that is why there are numerous conflicts. John described some them and it is possible to conclude that the key problem is the rivalry within the troupe. No one wants to be less talented than others and so there is much hypocrisy in their interactions. John suffered from this atmosphere and had many nervous breakdowns. He even consulted with a psychiatrist and took antidepressant. All these factors led to health problems and now John suffers from headaches and apathy. He does not think that he is able to perform anymore, because loud sounds and bright light on the stage exhaust him. In addition, he says he is tired of being in the spotlight. That is why he came to the interview, hoping that this consultation might help him find something similar to his profession, but not that emotionally demanding.

John describes his vocational personality as being very emotional and expressive. In his work as a musical actor he appreciates most a possibility to express himself through art. He said that it is difficult for him to work within a rigid system. He does not see problems in staying long hours, but it is almost impossible for him to have a fixed schedule. John can be definitely called an enthusiast of his profession; he is extraverted person who needs to cooperate with people. John does not like to talk about money. He reacted strangely when he was asked whether certain financial stability is important for him or not. From the discussion about money, it is possible to conclude that the idea of creation and self-expression is more important for him that the income or he does not feel that it is necessary to talk about such down-to-earth things.

John has some problems with career adaptability. He is a competent and talented musical actor with great onstage experience. He also pays much attention to relations with people around him. Even though it is a positive characteristic for a performer, it causes problems in the professional life of the interviewee. For example, he quitted the operatic career because he did not manage to solve personal problems with the new director. John is extremely sensitive to the atmosphere around him. He reflects as a mirror the mood of his interlocutor, which was evident during the interview. His range of emotions is also very dramatic even in everyday life and he says that sometimes it makes him feel odd in a non-artistic company.

According to the reports of work experience, it is possible to say that John is a highly motivated professional. However, he has problems with realistic grounding in his career and whole life. He lacks analytical and thoughtful approach to the problems and decides them according to his current emotional state. John focuses too much on possibilities and neglects important details that can ruin his success. His last problem is his unwillingness to talk about his problems that seem too prosaic to him.

It would be efficient to use Mark L. Savickas’ theory for John’s plan of treatment. According to his conception, “careers do not unfold, they are constructed as individuals make choices that express their self-concepts and substantiate their goals in the social reality of life”

(Andersen, 2012). The first step in planning John’s treatment is visualizing the steps he made in his career and the problems he met. For this task, creating a career diamond will be efficient. This diagram needs to be different from its traditional look, when a counselor is drawing it. In this case John needs to draw it himself and to discuss it. The key issue of this task is that John avoids even formulating his problems. It is also necessary to use the conception introduced by Savickas, according to which the interviewee should tell more information about his childhood memories or other specific things connected with the problem. For example, the issue of money and John’s attitude to them. It is also possible to apply the theory introduced by Krumboltz and Baker (Andersen, 2012) of solving problems. According to it, it is necessary to generate alternative solutions after having defined the problems and analyze them thoroughly. Only after the possible consequences of each variant will be examined, the previous decisions should be reevaluated. As a conclusion, it is necessary to generalize the method of making decisions, so that the interviewee might be able to cope with problems by himself in future.

The theory of personal environment introduced by John Holland (Andersen, 2012) will help the interviewee and the counselor understand better the overall situation and decide which variant of the next career step will be better. It is evident that John needs to choose another specialization from artistic category, where creativity is the main thing and there is no routine.

Overall, it is evident that John is a highly motivated and talented person, who has much energy, but who is tired of the artistic chaos around him. His is a charismatic man and that is why his personal background, character and worldview have a serious impact on his career. The main issue of this treatment plan is to systematize the emotions John has about his work. Perhaps, after that, he will not need to change the occupation, but important details will become clearer to him so he will not be nervous.


Andersen, P. & Vandehey M. (2012). Career Counseling and Development In a Global Economy. Brooks: Cole Cengage learning

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