Alternatives to Traditional Career Counseling

I’m not a fan of the current vocational rehabilitation programs in New York that are supposed to help people and train people with disabilities to get jobs. I recommend seeing a therapist who uses solution-focused therapy and who can act as a career counselor.

I’ve gotten the OK to write at HealthCentral in October a news article on Finding and Succeeding at Employment with Schizophrenia. As I’ve said, October is Disability Employment Awareness Month.

My absolute first stop might be to make an appointment with a reference librarian at your library system’s career and business branch. Also: to consider using a life coach or a career coach in tandem with the traditional outlets for conducting a job search when you have a mental illness.

I obtained clerical training from OVR which used to be called VESID and is now ACCES-VR. No one likes them that I’ve heard of. I was told ACCES-VR sent individuals who were deaf to a printmaking training program long after jobs in that field became obsolete. I kid you not.

Research with due diligence and be resourceful in researching and analyzing the options available to you for career counseling. I’m not saying don’t use your state’s vocational rehabilitation agency in your job search. I’m saying to be aware of what’s possible for you to do.

Most of all: be an active partner with any professional you employ to help you find a job.

Stay tuned in October for more details about this.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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