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When Their Parachute Doesn't Open: Assessments for Understanding and Helping the Lost Career Client

  • June 03, 2016
  • 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • American University, Room MGC 200
  • 19

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This ethics seminar is designed for career counselors and career professionals and for psychotherapists, including psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists and others. It describes the process of psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment - an evaluation designed to evaluate and understand the nature, “purpose” and underlying meaning of the career conflict. And, most importantly, to help the client with career difficulties to obtain the kind of help that they need.

The show up for career counseling.

They need a different job, desperately. The wolf is at the door. They say if they don’t do something there will be calamitous consequences. Anxious, depressed, or totally distracted, they come late or forget to come, all together. They agree to do homework but show up empty handed. Frustrated, panicky and just plain worried, when they do show up, they begin talking about problems that the career counselor is ill-equipped to resolve. Efforts to focus them fail, abysmally.

Or, they come for psychotherapy.

Anxious and depressed, they insist on focusing exclusively on their career concerns. They eschew the psychotherapist’s efforts to try to learn more about their past, present and future. Asked to say anything that comes to mind, they get impatient. They assert that their anxiety and depression will abate if they could just find the right job.  They seem to be asking for career guidance but the psychotherapist is unqualified to provide it.

Ethically, we are obliged to assess those seeking career help - and, to help them to find the kind of help that they need.  So we need to ask, why are they showing up in the wrong place? How can we assess what the client needs? And, how can we help them to get it?

Join us to learn more about the process of psychoanalytically-informed, career assessment. Career professionals and psychotherapists are welcome.


A light lunch will be served. This workshop is eligible for 3 NBCC clock hours. The Washington Center for Psychoanalysis is co-sponsoring and provides continuing education credits (see below).



About Lynn Friedman, Ph.D.

Lynn Friedman, Ph.D. is a Master Career Counselor, Psychologist, Supervising Analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and Johns Hopkins faculty member. She developed the Psychoanalytically-Informed Career Assessment Model. In private practice in Chevy Chase, MD, on the Washington, DC, border, she sees people in career counseling, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. She has had over 50 career columns published in the Washington Post; her Washington Business Journal column, Corporations on the Couch, is nationally-syndicated. Here are her NCDA articles: Understanding the Role of Unconscious Conflict in Career Counseling  <http://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/98443/_PARENT/layout_details_cc/false>
Understanding the Role of Transference in Career Counseling   <http://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/106690/_PARENT/layout_details_cc/false>

More of her work can be found at drlynnfriedman.com. She can be reached at: 301.656.9650.


Continuing Education – Psychology.  The Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, Inc. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, Inc. maintains responsibility for the program.

Continuing Education – Social Work. The programs of the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, Inc. meet the criteria for continuing education as defined by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, District of Columbia and Virginia Boards of Social Work, and the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.  The Washington Center for Psychoanalysis, Inc. designates this program as a continuing education activity for social work for 1 credit hour per hour for this activity.

Continuing Education – Professional Counselors.  Washington Center for Psychoanalysis credits can be submitted to Maryland, DC, and Virginia licensing agencies for the purpose of re-licensure.


Our classroom is on the second floor of the Mary Graydon Center, in the center of the building facing the Quad, it features a glass wall behind an orange cubic design.  It is Mary Graydon Center Room 200 aka "Gianni Lounge".   


Campus is accessible via car or Metro. A free shuttle is available from the Tenley/AU stop.  Pay-as-you-go parking is available on campus underneath the Katzen Arts Center or the School of International Service buildings, both a short walk to the Mary Graydon Center. More parking details and a map can be found here: http://www.american.edu/finance/publicsafety/parking/index.cfm

There are some 4-hour street parking spots available on Massachusetts Ave. NW, just northwest of campus. 

MCDA, c/o Lisa Oliver, P.O. Box 553, Mechanicsville, MD 20659
Make check or money order payable to MCDA
Email:  MCDA.Info@MDCareers.org

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MCDA, c/o Dianne Co
P.O. Box 4858
Silver Spring, MD 20914
Make check or money order payable to MCDA
Email:  MCDA.Info@MDCareers.org


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