ESVDC Newsletter 2/2016
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ESVDC Newsletter 2/2016

European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counselling

Message from the ESVDC Executive Board

Dear ESVDC members,

In 2017 we will hold our General Assembly and we are organizing an international event (details to be announced in Januar 2017).

At our General Assembly, we will elect new members to the ESDVC Executive Board that will guide the organization over the next three years.

Please send proposals for potential new members for the Executive Board or let us know if you are interested to serve yourself. 

We also welcome suggestions by all members for programs and directions of activity for the future of ESVDC.


ESVDC Executive Board

ESVDC Symposium

International Congress of Psychology, Yokohoma, Japan

Aims and goals of the European Doctoral Programme on Career Guidance and Counseling (ECADOC)

by Valérie Cohen-Scali
An invited symposium chaired by Pr Valérie Cohen-Scali from Cnam, France took place at the International Congress of Psychology, Yokohoma, Japan, last July 2016. The symposium  included three presentations and one session of discussion. In this symposium, presenters discussed the aims and goals of the European Doctoral Programme on Career Guidance and Counseling (ECADOC) project and the process of creating the program. The symposium was focused on the analysis of different aspects of the ECADOC program and of the summer schools that took place in Padua and Paris in 2014 and 2015.

In her introduction, Valérie Cohen-Scali described the main objective of the symposium: to share the knowledge on delivering the ECADOC program and tips for successful delivery and quality assurance. This European project on career guidance and counseling aimed to provide international doctoral training and networking opportunities for promising doctoral researchers in the field. She reminded of the main steps of building the programme and made a short summary of its main strengths for doctoral students.

Laura Nota and Salvatore Soresi, both Professors at the University of Padova, Italy, reminded, in their presentation that the ECADOC project was a joint venture of the European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counseling (ESVDC) and the Network for Innovation in Career Guidance and Counselling in Europe (NICE). The goal of the project was the organization and evaluation of three summer schools for doctoral researchers from all over Europe, that are embedded in the development of a European Research Agenda for the field of career guidance and counselling. During the summer schools, workshops and keynotes were offered to introduce the participants to state-of-the-art research methods and innovative theories on career guidance and counselling. As result of the summer schools, joint research collaborations between doctoral students from different institutions have been started. The presentation also focused on the results achieved in the first two years of work.

Maria Eduarda Duarte,  Professor at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, offered a talk on the general objectives of such a program, regarding the context of social and educational globalization She discussed some arguments trying to put training in career guidance and counseling in broader perspectives that surpass “our own land”. The support for the discussion was the new experiences done in a European context, related with the Doctoral programme developed in the field.  Some issues of a conceptual framework for the development of a network in what concerns career guidance and counseling were also discussed.

Jonas Masdonati, Jerome Rossier and Christian Maggiori, professors at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, offered a talk focusing on methodologies of research issues. Indeed, research questions in career counseling compel researchers to opt for methodologies that are suited to give appropriate, satisfying answers to practitioners. This often leads to the need to combine qualitative and quantitative methodologies. However, they explained that the adoption of mixed methods in career counseling is still embryonic. Two examples were presented in order to show how mixed methods might contribute to exhaustively address career counseling issues and to provide concrete answers to career intervention questions. These examples aimed at stressing the need to train PhD students to the systematic integration of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, in order to be able to give answers to the complex questions emerging from the field.

These different points were at the end, discussed by Professor Hanako Suzuki, of the University of Tsukuba, Japan. She shared her experience and feelings as a guest during the Paris Summer School and gave her analysis of the training sessions, explaining what interested her, or surprised her and what she liked the most. After the symposium, a discussion took place with listeners coming from different parts of the world who showed their great interest in the ECADOC program as new experience to train the Doctoral students in the field of CGC.

ESVDC Symposium

International Congress of Psychology, Yokohoma, Japan

Life Design Approach and its Implications

by Christian Maggiori
Laura Nota (University of Padova) and Jérôme Rossier (University of Lausanne) co-organized an invited symposium at the 31st International Congress of Psychology held in Yokohama (Japan), July 2016. The symposium brought researchers from various countries together, specifically, from Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and Canada. A primary focus was placed on the Life Design Approach and its implications, with a particular attention given to vulnerable groups. Apart from discussing conceptual issues, the symposium presented studies adopting various methodological approaches and explored different life stages as well as life transitions.

After Laura Nota kick-started our symposium with her opening speech, Maria Eduarda Duarte (University of Lisbon) put forward two central axes of the Life Design Approach: (i) the reflexivity approach which considers counseling and the engagement with individual concerns, and (ii) the assumptions of dialogical approaches.

Following this presentation, Richard A. Young and his colleagues (University of British Columbia) discussed the transition from school to employment among young people with intellectual disabilities. They analyzed the range of joint projects organized by young adults with intellectual disabilities and their parents during the transition phase. In addition, they addressed how these projects were implemented through functional steps.

Based on a longitudinal project on professional trajectories conducted in Switzerland, Christian Maggiori (University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Western Switzerland) and Jonas Masdonati (University of Lausanne) analyzed the mediation role of professional resources (e.g., career adapt-abilities) and adverse conditions (notably unemployment and job insecurity) on the relationship between individuals’ characteristics and well-being.

This was followed by Valerie Cohen Scali and Marie Line Robinet (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris) who highlighted the advantages of using video recordings with counseling dialogues for self-designing interventions. The importance of this procedure was shown through two case studies examining two 50 year-old unemployed adults.

Finally, Lea Ferrari and her colleagues (University of Padova) addressed the role of personal resources of adolescents, such as career preparedness, when planning their future career and related unpredictable demands.

Overall, the symposium stressed the relevance of the Life Design Approach in understanding and developing interventions which are centered on personal characteristics. These interventions should help individuals to develop the necessary skills to manage their owns careers and lives. Finally, the presentations highlighted the necessity to pursue the research efforts to guarantee a better understanding of the essential resources needed to cope with demands of the current changing social and professional landscape.  

European Doctoral Programme in Career Guidance and Counselling (ECADOC)

Third Summer School Lausanne 5-10 September 2016 

From September 5-10, 2016, Jérôme Rossier hosted the third Summer School of the European Doctoral Programme in Career Guidance and Counselling (ECADOC) at the University of Lausanne. 28 doctoral researchers from 24 countries were selected as participants of this final event of the ECADOC project – a project funded with support of the European Commission from 2013-2016, which has formally ended now. The summer school was a great success: In its final evaluation, its average recommendation rating was 9.4 points on a scale from 1-10 – confirming that the scientific committee succeeded in further refining the concept, after the summer school from Paris (2015) had already received an excellent average recommendation rating of 9 points. 

Drawing on lessons learned from the past summer schools in Padova (2014) and Paris (2015), this year’s summer school was based on improved concepts, and embraced several innovations. A first innovation was the poster exhibition. Beginning with a welcome aperitif on the first day of the event, all doctoral researchers presented their PhD projects through posters, which they had prepared for the event. The posters were exhibited throughout the entire week, and enabled many fruitful discussions among the participants. On Wednesday, the participants joined Collective Academic Supervision (CAS) groups of four doctoral researchers each. We decided to embrace the innovative concept of CAS to assure the quality of the sessions of the summer schools, where participants present their own research, and discuss it with peers. A third innovation was to offer 3-4 parallel workshops on qualitative methods (Tuesday) and quantitative methods (Thursday), from which the participants could choose, and which reflected different degrees of maturity in the methodological paradigms. As for the posters and CAS sessions, the participants welcomed this innovation a lot, and hoped that choices for half-day methodological workshops would also be offered at future ECADOC summer schools.

In addition to the parts of the summer schools, which focused on methodological questions, and the participants’ own research, our ambition is to learn and engage in discussions about topics, which are of central importance for the professionalization of career guidance and counselling, and our academic discipline. This year’s summer school featured two full-day workshops: A workshop on the supervision of career practitioners (Susan Whiston) and a workshop on the assessment of change in career counselling processes (Paolo Cardoso). Furthermore, a series of keynotes inspired thoughts and discussions around the benefits of vocational education and training (Daniel Oesch), the connection between guidance policy and research (Pedro Moreno da Fonseca from CEDEFOP), career support in economic crisis (Nikos Drosos), research ethics (Maria Eduarda Duarte), reflection (Mark Holloway), and key insights of career research (Annelies van Vianen).

Finally, the summer school involved several networking activities, including a getting-to-know-each-other game at the beginning of the event, a joint visit to the Art Brut collection, a joint dinner on Thursday, and a collective evaluation of the summer school, drawing on the Delphi method. The participants enjoyed these activities a lot, and even emphasized that they would appreciate even more structured networking at future events, e.g. activities to design collaborative research projects.

As for all ECADOC summer schools, we offer free access to the programme and learning materials for all interested researchers, including video recordings of key sessions. Please visit the ECADOC website at  and contact Laura Nota ( if you are interested in access to the learning materials offered on a special Moodle platform.

On a final note, we have decided to continue organising ECADOC summer schools in the future. We are proud to announce that a fourth ECADOC summer school is scheduled to take place at the University of Applied Labour Studies in Mannheim from September 4-9 in 2017. We thank our host and scientific committee member, Peter Weber, as well as Rector Andreas Frey, for the kind invitation. A programme and call for applications is work in progress: If you are interested in regular information, please contact Johannes Katsarov (


ESVDC Invited Symposium at the International Scientific Conference UNESCO CHAIR

Career and Life Design interventions for sustainable development and decent work

Wroclaw, Poland, 6-8 June 2016
by Maria Eduarda Duarte

Title: “Guidance and counseling promoting decent work: old problems, new challenges”

Convener: Maria Eduarda Duarte (Faculty of Psychology, University of Lisbon).

Participants: David Blustein (Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Boston College, USA); Marcelo Ribeiro (Institut of Psychology, University of S. Paulo, Brazil); Kobus Maree & Annamaria di Fabio (Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Education and Psychology, University of Florence, Italy); Lea Ferrari, Teresa Maria Sgaramella, Salvatore Soresi, Maria Cristina Ginevra, Laura Nota (Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology, University of Padova)

I believe that before this public presentation, a hard work has been conducted by the symposiasts, representatives of four countries. Hard work because they accepted the experiment to put under the same roof, that is the same theme – Guidance and counseling promoting decent work: old problems, new challenges – issues, research, interventions concerned with the promotion of decent work.

The first presentation by David Blustein, “The Impact of Work in People's Lives: Implications for Career Practice, Research, and Policy”, helped us to face the new realities: “despite the official end of the Great Recession, people across the world are suffering from growing inequality, greater instability at work, and a diminished capacity to determine the course of their own work lives”.  Participants learned “about the contemporary experience of working from the voices of people who have been grappling with the changing landscape of work. Using vignettes from in-depth interviews with 60 people who participated in the Boston College Working Project, the struggle to sustain a livelihood and to feel alive at work will be brought to life.
One of the major themes “is the observation that there are two profoundly disparate experiences of working within the U.S.; some work for survival and struggle to eke out an existence while others work for self-determination and experience feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment in their work lives”.

            The second presentation by Kobus Maree, questioned about:  “How can career counseling impact positively on improving the living conditions of people with poverty?: A ‘filling the half-empty glass’ perspective”,  examined “how career counseling can be used to help people challenged by structural disadvantage become employable, adaptable, resilient, and, ultimately, find decent work and enhance their sense of self”. First, Kobus briefly delineated “some of the challenges our generation has to deal with, including  the challenge of ‘NEET’s (people not in employment, education or training); the challenge of spiralling unemployment rates among people globally in general and in developing countries in particular, and,  the increase in the number of unemployed graduates globally”. Kobus alluded “to the power of an integrated, quantitative + qualitative approach to career counseling to facilitate a deep understanding and appreciation of intersectionality and the vital importance of enabling career counselors to administer career counselling that is sensitive to and appreciative of the need to moderate the direct and indirect negative impact of occupational discrimination on whichever grounds”. Next, he clarified “ways in which career counselors can best convert fundamental global changes into opportunities”. The conclusion focused on “10 action steps that can be taken to achieve the aim of promoting decent work by employing a “Fill the empty glass’” lens to address the challenge of ‘old problems’ that manifest in ‘new challenges’.

     The third participants,  Lea Ferrari and colleagues, suggested   “ New directions for a future of quality in working life: argumentation, courage and career adaptability”, and emphasized that “ numerous changes in the labor market require individuals an increasing amount of resources and skills to deal with the higher complexity, to learn how to plan their personal lives by defining new goals”. Framed by this statement, the presenters alert for a big issue: “career counselors are required to deal with these new challenges, to refer to new constructs and themes, to focus more on an active participation of people asking for help and to identify new procedures for the analysis of complexity and changes”. Also, they suggested, “referring to Life Design, more efforts are needed to develop positive attitudes, to foster psychological resources, to promote career construction and to involve in these actions more vulnerable people or those who are at risk of facing many transitions. Among core constructs they emphasized “career adaptability, but also argumentation and courage”. At the end an empirical study was presented, and the “profiles emerged from the cluster analysis were analyzed. At the conclusion they highlighted a precious conclusion: working to develop and strengthen these "life skills" requires to adopt an educational perspective which emphasizes the relevance of cultivating the skills fostering coping with and increasing the chances of pursuing a decent job”.

      The fourth presentation by Marcelo Ribeiro, opened a space “Towards diversified ways to promote decent work: A career guidance and counseling proposal for informal workers”. He asked about an important issue: “how to ensure decent work in contexts predominantly marked by the informal economy?” and alert us for the “dilemma: should we seek the creation of decent work in the informal economy or the elimination of informality for decent job?” Based on research and practices systematically developed in recent decades in Brazil and Latin America, which have been contexts predominantly marked by informality, unemployment, precarious jobs, temporary employment and restricted state support”, Marcelo discussed the  “possibilities and limits for career guidance and counseling towards the promotion of decent work for informal workers, by a produced knowledge that articulates northern epistemologies, inspired in the life design paradigm and grounded on a social constructionist perspective, with theories contextualized in the south”. He proposed five basic assumptions to achieve this goal for career guidance and counseling: “Narratability; Relational ontology; Diatopical hermeneutics and intercultural dialogue; Counselees as agents of choices, rights holders and protagonists; and Helping people in the co-construction of a place in the working world”. Also, he discussed that “ in more collectivist contexts, with a predominance of the culture of informality and limited state support, different forms of decent work are produced in order to create conditions for decent work in the informal economy, not eliminating the informality for decent work”. At the end, Marcelo demonstrated the importance of “career guidance and counseling as an important support in this process to face the old problem of guaranteeing universal right to decent work with social protection, and the new challenge of promoting decent work in contexts marked by informality without eliminating it”.

All of the symposiasts share the same spirit, the same feeling, and the same certainty: The ongoing work on guidance and counseling…using the words of Michelangelo, is tried to see that “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it”.  That’s also our job, our mission.

2016 ESVDC Award for Distinguished Contributions to Vocational Designing and Career Counselling

awarded to

Professor Alicja Kargulowa

The European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counseling (ESVDC) was particularly proud to present its third Award for Distinguished Contributions to Vocational Designing and Career Counseling to Professor Alicja Kargulowa, from University of Lower Silesia.

On graduating from the Higher School of Education in Gdańsk in 1962 with an M.A. degree in pedagogy, she took up employment at a counselling centre. As a counselling practitioner, she enrolled in a Ph.D. programme at the University of Gdańsk (1972-1975), combining work and research. Having earned the doctoral degree with a dissertation on the operations and mechanisms of the counselling centre she had worked for, she got an appointment at the University of Wroclaw, where she continued her research on counselling and obtained the doctor habilitatuts degree in 1986 and full professorship in 1999. She performed various functions in the University’s management bodies. She was a member of the Senate commission for young scholars’ development and represented the Council of the Faculty of Historical and Pedagogical Sciences in the University Senate. In collaboration with other Polish universities and research centres, she organised a cycle of nationwide scientific seminars devoted to Counselling in the Contemporary World (1979-1995) and worked on a theory of counselling – counsellogy – that germinated there. She devised and developed also a curriculum for “Counselling” – a new study major within Pedagogy, training counsellors and guidance counsellors. As a Vice-Head for Science at the Institute of Pedagogy, she launched and supervised a doctoral programme in education and psychology and the Interpersonal Contacts School, a post-graduate programme for pedagogy and psychology graduates. In 1999, She relocated to the newly founded University of Zielona Góra, where she was Head of the Counsellogy Section and launched a major in Counselling, offered to the students of Pedagogy and training future counsellors. Currently, I am Professor at the University of Lower Silesia. In her research she has always focused on counselling in a broad sense of the term, including theoretical, methodological and empirical facets of counselling conceived as a social practice. She has published six books and about 100 articles and edited eight volumes addressing these issues. She has supervised multiple M.A. theses and eight Ph.D. dissertations. Her former Ph.D. students are now university lecturers. She is a member of PTP (Polish Pedagogical Association), WTN (Wroclaw Scientific Society), IAEVG/AIOSP and a founding member of NTP (Counsellogical Association) and the ESVDC. She is Editor-in-Chief of the bilingual Studia.

Call for Nominations

2017 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Vocational Designing and Career Counselling


The European Society for Vocational Designing and Career Counselling (ESVDC) is seeking nominations for the “2017 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Vocational Designing and Career Counselling”. This annual award recognizes distinguished contributions to the advancement of a European and International perspective and research in Vocational Designing and Career Counselling. The focus of these contributions can be either in the candidate’s home country (e.g., serving as an advocate for a European and International perspective in Vocational Designing and Career Counselling in one’s country), across multiple countries, or through various international and European associations or journals. Candidates may be from any country and can be ESVDC members as well as non-members. Recipients of the award will be featured in the ESVDC Newsletter and honoured at the next General Assembly of the ESVDC.
Nominations should include:
  • A supporting statement (max. 500 words)
  • A current vita
  • A list of relevant publications
  • Letters of support from two people familiar with the nominee's relevant contributions
Nominations will be reviewed by an Awards Committee appointed by the ESVDC President. Nominations and supporting materials should be sent to the Chair of the Awards Committee: Prof. Dr. Laura Nota (e-mail: The deadline for submission is March 1, 2017. 

Call for Nominations



The ESVDC aims, among others, to promote research in the broad field of vocational designing and career counseling. ESVDC chose to create a special award for persons who are engaged in this field of research and recently earned a PhD degree. This award will recognize their excellent contributions to the field of Vocational Designing and Career Counseling research.
The competition for this award is open to non-tenured young researchers working in Europe who earned their PhD degree (doctorate) after March 1st, 2014. Candidates may be from any country and can be ESVDC members as well as non-members. Researchers holding - at the moment of the application deadline (March 1st, 2017) - a temporary teaching or research contract or a grant at public or private research institutes and universities or other institution of higher education are eligible. Tenured staff or faculty members cannot participate in the competition.
We specifically encourage the submission of outstanding research that was conduced within a joint research project in Europe by young researchers. However, research not based on joint European project is also eligible.
Applicants should submit the following documents:
  1. a request to participate to the “Young Researchers Award” (indicating name, surname, date of birth, age, education and position), certifying satisfaction of eligibility criteria;
  2. a detailed description (in English) of the research submitted to the selection procedure (no longer than 2000 words). This should include (a) an introduction, (b) hypotheses, (c) participants and measures, (d) procedure and data analysis, (e) results and (f) conclusions;
  3. a CV that gives special attention to their publications
Please submit the application electronically to ESVDC (mail: by March 1st, 2017 and specify the object: ESVDC Young Researchers Award.
Manuscripts will be evaluated by an ad hoc committee, chaired by Professor Raoul van Esbroeck and including senior international scholars, members of ESVDC.
Participants will be notified on the results of the selection procedure by April 30th, 2017.
Recipients of the award will be featured in the ESVDC Newsletter and honored at the next ESVDC General Assembly.

A message from our treasurer:

Please don't forget to pay your membership fee!

Dear members,
We kindly remind you to pay your 2016 and/or 2017 membership fee if you did not yet do so.
As a reminder:
Full membership fee is € 50,00
Associate membership fee is € 30,00
The amount for the 2016 membership was due and payable by 31 August 2016. Please pay your membership fee if you have not done so yet.
The ESCDC membership fees for 2017 will be due and payable by 31 August 2017.
The best way to pay your fee is to use a SEPA transfer to the bank account listed below.
The bank transfer charges will be born by the association. The amount is due and payable by 31 August 2017.
The ESVDC bank account is:
Bank Account Nr.: 0525-1375350-01
IBAN Code: CH44 0483 5137 5350 0100 0

ESVDC Board wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017!

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