The Role of Career Development in the Process of Psychological Adaptation to Cancer: Re-Visiting the Task Model Approach


  • André Samson University of Ottawa
  • Hugh T. Clark Canadian Counselling Association


career development, psychological, cancer


In recent years, advances in medi­ cine and improved treatments have extended the length of survival of can­ cer patients. Given such developments, cancer is increasingly perceived as a chronic illness. Therefore, it is impor­ tant to study how cancer survivors adapt over the course of their lives to this transition. This article proposes a theoretical model of adaptation to chronic illness referred to as the “task model.” This model embodies a phe­ nomenological perspective that focuses on a person’s subjective perceptions. Additionally, the task model provides us with a perspective from which we can gain a better understanding of how individuals who arc diagnosed with life­ threatening illnesses like cancer recon­ struct their existence by completing tasks such as physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. However, given that cancer patients are living longer and leading relatively normal lives, this article not only underlines the impor­ tance of work and career development in this particular process, but also rec­ ommends the addition of the aforemen­ tioned to the current task model.


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How to Cite

Samson, A., & Clark, H. T. . (2006). The Role of Career Development in the Process of Psychological Adaptation to Cancer: Re-Visiting the Task Model Approach. Canadian Journal of Career Development, 5(2), 32–38. Retrieved from