Thursday, August 4, 2011

Conceptual Clarification of Integrative Life Planning – Part III Moving towards Integration

Hello – good to have you visit our blog! The topic for today’s posting is to take yet another look at some of the theoretical concepts underpinning the ILP model. In today’s blog, we will consider the move towards integration, as it is encountered within the ILP model.

Within the context of life planning and management, there is a move towards wholeness and connectedness. In actual fact, the move is picking up some speed and hence all theoretical models would be required to include this notion into its conceptualisation of the reality they are describing. If you have read the blogs before the current one, you would have seen that the ILP model has taken full notice of this change – therefore the model has gone through some stages of fine-tuning since its original conceptualisation.

In the early days of the ILP model, there was an emphasis on the integration of work and family, as well as the roles and relationships of men and women. Being sensitive to the demands of the theoretical and practical environment, Sunny Hansen came to the realisation that the post-industrialised society is characterised by many (more) facets, which all need to be given due consideration in any attempt to move towards theoretical and practical implementation.

If we take a historical view of the concept of integration, it becomes apparent that the first use of the concept of integration was done in an effort to convey the existing connection between family and work. According to Hansen, the following are additional examples of aspects of our lives, which need to be considered when integration is attempted: connecting

· Connecting education and work: in the current timeframe, one would easily be able to build a case in support of this link; quite often we will think of work and ask what form of education is required for success in that field. A question, which comes to mind, would be what this picture of integration would resemble if we turn our attention to under- and unemployed individuals within the South African context?

· Learning and work: if we assume that some level of learning will always be associated with any kind of work, the link seems quite obvious; again, we would need to spend some time trying to determine how the link between learning and work may be described in a non-ideal situation?

· Work and leisure: more often than not, the majority of people continue looking at these concepts as non-related; if, however, we want to move towards a fully integrative model of life and career planning, we will have no option but to define the nature of the links

· Work and family: according to Hansen, there is still a degree of reluctance to integrate these concepts. How many of us are able to state that they have found the perfect balance between these two facets of life? What does this connection look like?

A key challenge we need to address in the here and the now, is to answer whether the concept of family is brought into the mix when career planning and management is on the agenda! I would venture a guess and say that the level of integration is still highly limited – how would you currently describe the level of integration between your professional life and family?

When we consult literature on the topic, it is relatively easy to find evidence supporting the notion that the concepts of wellness and wholeness are gaining more credibility in the context of academic psychology – it is also encountered more and more as far as practical application is concerned.

Hansen makes an appeal for career professionals to do a better job of realising the extent of the connectedness between these concepts. Career professionals, in whatever guise or form, need to utilise models, which make an attempt to integrate all of the following aspects of our lives:

· Rationality and intuition

· Work and spirituality

· Full integration of women’s and men’s lives.

In Hansen’s view, we would all need to make a concerted effort towards achieving a full integration of the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and career development.

In our next discussion, we will continue addressing the principles underlying the ILP model. Once we have all gained a working understanding of the underpinning theoretical assumptions of the ILP model, we will start addressing the practical application towards full integration.

Please feel free to make comments to the above; I look forward to hearing from you!

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