Society for Vocational Psychology

The Society for Vocational Psychology is a professional organization that has as its purpose to encourage, promote, and facilitate contributions to research, teaching, practice, and public interest in vocational psychology and career intervention. The society is one of several interest groups within the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17) of the American Psychological Association. Society membership includes psychology graduate students, faculty, researchers, consultants, and practitioners.

The society promotes its goals by sponsoring presentations at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, by publishing and distributing information relevant to its members via a Web site and an electronic newsletter, by representing the interests of career development and vocational psychology within the Society of Counseling Psychology and the American Psychological Association, and by sponsoring and cosponsoring national and international conferences.

The Society’s Biennial Conference Series has sponsored eight conferences since its inception in 1992. Conference themes have addressed diverse issues from prospects for convergence in career theory and practice, to advances in interest measurement, to reflections on the construct of self in career psychology. Two of the society’s biennial conferences have been international conferences (Coimbra, Portugal, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), and several of the conference themes were captured in print (Savickas & Lent, Convergence in Career Development Theories: Implications for Science and Practice, 1994; Savickas & Spokane, Vocational Interests: Meaning, Measurement, and Counseling Use , 1999). The society also advances its goals by working closely with related organizations such as the National Career Development Association, the International Association for Educational and Vocational Guidance, and the American School Counselor Association.

The society traces its origins to a Special Interest Group (SIG) within the Society of Counseling Psychology. Founded in 1987 by Mark Savickas (Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine), the SIG quickly grew in size. In 1994, a committee chaired by Linda Subich (University of Akron) and consisting of Nadya Fouad (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Thomas Krieshok (University of Kansas), Ellen Lent (George Washington University), Robert Lent (University of Maryland), Scott Solberg (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jane Swanson (Southern Illinois University), Tony Tinsley (Southern Illinois University), Don Zytowski (Ames, Iowa), and Bruce Walsh (Ohio State University) petitioned the Society of Counseling Psychology for status as a section. The society gained section status in August 1996.

Today the society enjoys a student and professional membership of over 400 individuals. The society has thrived under the leadership of past chairpersons (Linda Subich, Nadya Fouad, Jane Swanson, Bruce Walsh, David Blustein, and Paul Gore) and continues to advance research, practice, and theory in vocational psychology and career development through scholarship, education and training, and mentorship.


  1. Savickas, M. L., & Lent, R. L. (Eds.). (1994). Convergence in career development theories: Implications for science and practice. Palo Alto, CA: CPP Books.
  2. Savickas, M. L., & Spokane, A. R. (Eds.). (1999). Vocational interests: Meaning, measurement, and counseling use. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.
  3. Savickas, M. L., & Walsh, W. B. (Eds.). (1996). Handbook of career counseling theory and practice. Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.
  4. Society for Vocational Psychology:

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