Monday, 26 July 2021

Attend, Reflect/Respond, and Collaborate (ARC) model

There are many practice models in the career development area. However, it is difficult to find models which suit different cultures. In Aotearoa New Zealand we have tended to use ARC as attending-reflecting-collaborating for use with adults (Lang & Gardiner, 2014). However, offshore, ARC has meant attachment-regulation-competency, used for work with vulnerable children (ARC Framework, 2021).

In the Aotearoa New Zealand context then, ARC is a meta-framework that helps us to consider and reflect on the different skills used in the process of working appropriately with clients. Each element of ARC can be defined as follows: 

  1. Attending: builds our focusing skills, including "the attention to cultural contexts of the client and the setting; listening intently in order to hear what is said and how it is delivered; watching and learning psychobiological cues (Hamilton-West, 2011); and being open and mindfully attentive to one’s own processing of all these received messages" (Lang & Gardiner, 2014, p. 80). 

  2. Reflecting (or responding): this is where the career practitioner considers the client's words, using "reflective thinking/feeling, speaking and doing" (Lang & Gardiner, 2014, p. 80). The practitioner's words "in responding to the client with what [the practitioner has] heard and how it is heard" are important; as is what is done, or what actions are taken, "in reflecting on what this means to the client" (p. 80), and what the words and actions then mean to the practitioner themselves. In this reflection element, the practitioner is still 'attending': they attend "to their own self in relationship to the client" (p. 80). Responses in this aspect of the model "can be a clarifier and reminder of who the client is and what they want to achieve" (p. 81). 

  3. Collaborating: "provides for and encourages a negotiated approach to how [career practice] unfolds: what is done, why and how. This Collaborating extends to the establishment of goals and methods and is not part of any sort of third phase. Rather these three components overlap and co-exist and while we may as [practitioners] separate them out in order to [learn] their relative merits and techniques, we reintegrate them to see them as a whole that is more than the sum of its parts" (Lang & Gardiner, 2014, p. 80). 

In New Zealand, we could consider ARC to be a Pākehā model. Lang and Gardiner (2014) have further collaborated with local Iwi and developed some Māori characteristics, Whakamana, Whakamārama, and Whakapiri (WWW), to take a more Whānau Ora approach to career practice. 

WWW will be the topic for a later post :-)



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