Distinctive features of the constructivist and social constructionist career counseling: A Delphi study

Open Access
Kang, Zi Young
Graduate Program:
Counselor Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 30, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Jerry G Trusty, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jolynn Carney, Committee Chair
  • Jeff Garis, Committee Member
  • Catherine Augustine, Committee Member
  • career counseling
  • constructivism
  • social constructionism
  • narrative
  • story
  • Delphi
  • future research agenda
  • purpose
  • fidelity
Constructivist and social constructionist approaches, a new paradigm in the career counseling, bring attention to individuals as actors who construct their identities and careers in relation with others. However, often contrasted with positivist or modern approaches, the distinctive features of these new approaches have not yet been explicitly identified. In this Delphi study, expert panel members exchanged their perspectives on what constructivist approaches and social constructionist approaches to career counseling mean, and the distinctive features of these approaches were identified in terms of theoretical underpinnings, counseling processes, nature of client-counselor relationship, and range of applicability. The panel also provided suggestions for a future research agenda to advance theory, research, and the practice of career counseling using these approaches. The expert panel members consisted of nine most cited authors on the topic of constructivist or social constructionist career counseling, and eight among them completed all three rounds of surveys. Issues on which the panel’s opinions were notably divided are discussed. These issues include whether to make the distinction between constructivist and social constructionist approaches and what the differences between these approaches are.