The Next Decade in Career Counseling: Cocoon Maintenance Or Metamorphosis?(Career Counseling in the Next Decade)

The authors, using a cocoon maintenance or metamorphosis metaphor, articulate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and future vision for career counseling. Major strengths in career counseling include the growth and development of career theory, research, and practice. Weaknesses are identified in terms of career counseling practices that maintain localized career standards. Opportunities exist for the profession to assist clients in redefining their careers on the basis of ownership and life stories. The continued devaluation of career counseling in counselor education programs is seen as a threat. The authors conclude with their vision for the future for the discipline and profession of career counseling. After reading the task articulated by the editor of this special issue, a first thought was, “How can we possibly capture the essence of an organization that is 90 years old and provide strategies to advance the discipline in a short article?” “The Culturally Encapsulated Counselor” by Wrenn (1962) immediately came to mind, because in a few pages Wrenn created a classic article about change that has value some 40 years later. Wrenn noted that in the process of change, the world becomes increasingly smaller. Yet counselors continue to surround themselves “with a cocoon of pretended reality” (p. 445). Being unable to see outside the walls of our impermeable cocoons is a phenomenon Wrenn called “cocoon maintenance,” or “cultural encapsulation” (p. 445).

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