Woolfe, R., Strawbridge, S., Douglas, B. & Dryden, W. (2009). Handbook of Counselling Psychology, 3.ed. London: SAGE. Del I, II og IV.
The life course perspective: development is a lifelong process, development involves both loss and gains, it is multidimensional and multidirectional, it shows plasticity and is the outcome of individual-environment transaction. It is historically and culturally embedded and it is a multilevel process.
Life course is a framework that offers some fictive models that can be used if appropriate for the situation. Life’s different states can be described by metaphors and pictures.
Life rhythm has been changed over the last couple of years, young people go to puberty in a younger age and older people is living longer. Life course has developed to be more loose when people marries, get divorced and then re-marries. There is no longer a clear model of the life course. New life stages develops like emerging adulthood and gerotranscendence (very old peoples’ tendency to be strengthened in their spirituality and inner strength as their physic impairs). For the therapist it can be easy to put oneself in the shoes of a child’s development since they have been a child as well once. However it is not easy to understand the older clients since they have not been in this stage of life yet.
Developmental task; model of usefulness, describes the individuals development through tasks. These tasks are influence of the biology, psychology, culture and epochs and some will therefore be universal, some shared and others individual-specific.
Developmental sequences and patterns is no longer seen as age-specific but as a description of developmental paths.
Life events are processes over time that can change us significantly and change both the nature of our self identity and the direction of future life courses. Life events can be expected or unexpected, unpredictable or age-graduated.
Psychosocial transitions; psychosocial transitions that is due to an event or the lack of events. The process goes as follows; first immobilizations or chock, then there will be an reaction to the event. The meaning of the event then becomes minimized, this is followed by self-doubt, depression, frustration or anger followed be accept. Then new ways to be, will be tested and meaning will be found and understanding will be an integrated part of life.
A critic to this could be that not everyone fits into this process, some gets stuck in stages of the process and some may only go through some of them.
The counselling psychologist must fit their work into the stage of the process that the client is in. Bridges suggests that transitions begins with an ending followed by confusion and distress and which ends with new beginnings. She calls it the zone of fertile emptiness or liminality and suggests that it works like a moratorium for the everyday life.
There is a tendency to describe persons like individuals without a context. Dynamic system theory is a meta-model for life course theory that focuses on experiences and behaviour like functions of both the person and the situation.
Personal life space is a map that describes relations, meaning and segments of social, cultural and material environment. The counselling psychologist can clarify present and past maps together with the client.
Stability-zones is elements on the map that disturbs the other elements on the map, and these needs to be the focus of therapy through transition.
Support convoys; a network of relations that surrounds us and moves with us through life.