Creative writing for life design: Reflexivity, metaphor and change processes through narrative

Reinekke Lengelle, Frans Meijers, Deirdre Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


To survive and thrive on the labor market of the 21st century, individuals must construct their identities in a process of meaning making, where identity is co-constructed in the form of a narrative. In order to better understand the nature and elements involved in this career-identity change process the Interpersonal Process Recall interview (IPR) method was used to examine the results of a two-day Career Writing (Lengelle, 2014) intervention. The exploration regarding what prompted changes and how reflexivity was developed, was done by having each of two participants bring in pieces written during the course and having the interviewer ask what thoughts and feelings were remembered at the time of writing. The IPR process revealed that Career Writing enables participants to first enter into feelings, then make sense of those by finding the ‘right’ words to describe them, and experience (by thinking and feeling) that their ‘new story’ makes sense on a gut level and provides meaning. This process is made possible by an internal and an external dialogue where various I-positions (voices within the self) speak and where metaphors and analogies concretely facilitate meaning making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2016


  • Career development
  • Career writing
  • IPR
  • Metaphor
  • Narrative career counseling
  • Reflexivity
  • Self-direction


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