Career decisions are not necessarily rational as they depend on an individual’s state of mind. Interests, work values, and career satisfaction are commonly investigated in the career development field, but emotions are ostensibly absent in career theory. The way people understand and interpret their life stories is influenced by unconscious influences such as cognitive schemas and defence mechanisms. Maladaptive schemas are usually unconscious and occur when cognitive and emotional patterns created early in life become rigid, self-defeating and repetitive. Defence mechanisms also influence subjective reactions and can influence emotional distress, stress management, functioning and quality of life. This research will explore the associations of dysfunctional beliefs, defence mechanisms, and career satisfaction. The aim of this research is to inform the psychodynamic theory of career development and practice of career counselling.
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