Book Reviews

Book by Brown, Steven D. and Robert W. Lent
Review by Deborah Renner Hull
College of Nursing
Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus


Dawis, Savickas, Brown, Betz, and Gottfredson – the “Big Guns” of career development are not only cited in this tome, they are chapter authors.  This is the Mother Lode for anyone interested in career counseling; with its 650 pages of theories, practical applications, and reference sections, this is a dream text for any doctoral student or career advisor. With 43 contributors, the author and subject indexes take up the full 32 pages.  Best of all, the book is organized so that the reader can easily choose a topic of interest and go directly to it.

As a recent doctoral graduate whose dissertation was focused on job satisfaction, my first thought after reading the Table of Contents was, “Where was this book three years ago when I started my lit review?”  Had this book been available, I would have completed my dissertation much sooner.

The value of this book is that it includes not only the fundamental theories of career development but that it provides a broad base of applications for use by beginners and long-time practitioners.  A section is devoted to assessment – interests, values, needs, and abilities – and provides sources of occupational information.  Additional chapters are dedicated to populations where counseling may be of particular importance – women, people of color, and youth, the “at risk”, the intellectually talented, students with disabilities, and work-bound – and provide application of interventions across the lifespan.

A background in career development theory is valuable to academic advisors since many students  choose a major is based upon which career is currently most attractive.  An understanding of the research on how career decisions are made will aid the academic advisor in helping the student take responsibility for his/her decisions.

Assessment is critical to our lives in academia.  Knowing the prime sources of career assessment can save the student (and the academic advisor) time, money, and energy in tracking down useful information for the decision-making process.

Our colleges and universities continue to attract not only students straight out of high school but those who are returning after several years in the workforce or in the home, as well as retirees who want to complete an abandoned degree program. The information related to application of counseling techniques across the lifespan is priceless.

The book is huge but every page is noteworthy for the quality and quantity of career development information it provides.  This is a reference volume worth having on the shelf.


Career Development and Counseling: Putting Theory and Research to Work. (2005). Book by Brown, Steven D. and Robert W. Lent, Eds. Review by Deborah Renner Hull. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 682 pp.  ISBN # 0-471-28880-2
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |