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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Creative Tools: Interventions that Aid Goal Attainment

After acknowledging the value of tradition, the 21st century career counselor focuses attention on creativity so as to serve clients effectively. This means terms like new, shift, renovated, flexibility, dynamic, imagination, innovation, and non-linear thinking... are constantly in the mind of the career counselor. More research could help with understanding and implementing creativity in the counseling relationship. In the meantime, bringing attention to the importance of creativity could reveal a counselor's own development of creative skills and its use as an intervention tool – a model for other counselors and clients! ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Dstudio Bcn on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Defining Creativity

Literature tells us that creativity is divergent thinking, or “thinking in a broad, flexible, exploratory, tentative, inductive and non-data-based way that is oriented toward the development of possibilities”. It is a skill, rather than an inherent trait, that workers need in order to adapt to world changes today. Career counselors may employ creativity, which promotes more creativity in clients. Read more from CERIC.

FOCUS ON: Creativity as a Life Skill

Critical thinking, communication and creativity are valued as life skills in the 21st century. Career counseling may build such skills, once the understanding and development of the individual's creativity is focused upon. A multivariate tool may be useful in measuring creativity. The expanded mission of career counseling involves creativity as a “vital resource for every individual's overall life-project of adapting to their changing occupational and social contexts.” Read the full vision in the Journal of Adult and Continuing Education.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Using Creative Tools

Several websites demonstrate the use of creative tools to design a career, get unstuck, or extend the narrative process in career counseling. Mind mapping is seen as an effective way to generate ideas, such as future career choices. Likewise, career narrative-generated guided imagery (CGI) in career construction counseling offers an opportunity for development of the client's ability to envision themselves in various work roles or overcoming the challenges of transitions. Read more about mind-mapping for career change or setting job search goals, then read more about CGI.


Kinesthetic and visual approaches to clients' career development allow the counselor or coach lead collaboratively toward goals. Caitlin C. Williams, a certified professional Life & Career Coach, uses creativity to help her clients “sort through their brain clutter and simplify the complex, gain new perspectives, generate actionable steps, and rewrite the scripts of their professional lives.” Williams' tools include a vision board or having clients get on their feet and “step into” a visualize role. Read more about creativity from Williams on Career Convergence.

CAREER LIBRARY: Creative Career Coaching

Career development professionals can harness imagination, intuition and critical reflection when working with clients, particularly the ones that are hard to help. Liane Hambly and Ciara Bomford wrote Creative Career Coaching: Theory into Practice (2018) using a whole-brain approach while sharing techniques such as visualization, role play and metaphors. Read more about this practical, skills-based approach to coaching.

TOP TEN: Ways to Increase Your Creativity

Not surprisingly, practicing being creative boosts creativity! Try doing something new everyday or write lists of things you like doing. It is also helpful to relax, read more, and listen to classical music, which all reduce distractions and aid brain functioning. Read all ten ways to increase creativity.


“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” ~ Edward De Bono


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