Psychology Rehabilitation Counseling Degree Programs
(found programs from 162 schools)

Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling Programs

What can you do as a Rehabilitation Counselor?

With a strong knowledge of psychology and training in the field of counseling, you may find that you can thrive in any number of psychology careers. Rehabilitation counseling is one area that has experienced a surge of growth in recent years, leading to career opportunities for social services professionals.

Rehabilitation counselors primarily work with people with intellectual, developmental, or emotional disabilities. Rather than focusing on mental health, the focus is on helping people live as fully and as independently as possible.

Rehabilitation counselors can improve the lives of people with disabilities, minimize health care costs, and reduce the strain on the social services system. Since this field is relatively new, a great deal of research is in progress. A study from the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling explored the implications of social media in this field and the ethics, privacy expectations, and professional boundaries that dictate its use (2016).

Contact schools on our list below to learn more about rehabilitation counseling degrees and how to become a rehabilitation counselor.

Online Rehabilitation Counseling Degrees to Consider:

The University of Buffalo's online master's in rehabilitation counseling is designed to take three years, with a final year of internship. Although all coursework is online, individuals must set up practicum work through the university's coordinator. According to the university, 95 percent of the program's graduates work in the field of rehabilitation counseling.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock also offers a master's in rehabilitation counseling online. The program can be completed in 18 months, and is a total of 54 credits. Requiring 700 hours of practicum and internship, University of Arkansas' program includes core courses that cover foundations, case management and assessment.

Finally, Texas Tech University's online master's in rehabilitation counseling program includes 30 semester hours of courses, 15 semester hours of practical experience and a three-credit-hour elective. According to the university, the program's emphasis on positive virtual communication has resulted in positive networking among students in the past.

Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling Careers

When people think of a rehabilitation counselor's work, they may confuse it with drug and alcohol abuse counseling. Rehabilitation is a different realm, and deals with the effects of physical and emotional disabilities, which can result from diseases, accidents or birth defects.

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Rehabilitation Counseling Job Description

Rehabilitation counselors help people with a wide range of physical and emotional disabilities deal with the social, personal and work-related difficulties posed by their disabilities. The rehabilitation counselor spends most of his or her time meeting with patients for counseling sessions. He or she may also speak with the patient's family, educators, employers and physicians in order to assess the patient's progress.

After pinpointing the specific difficulties and needs of each patient, the rehabilitation counselor creates a specialized rehabilitation plan to help address these issues. The rehabilitation counselor may aid clients with everything from developing vocational and social skills to finding work and integrating into the community. The ultimate goal is to help the client confidently lead an independent and emotionally-healthy lifestyle.


Rehabilitation Counseling Requirements

In most cases, a minimum of a master's degree in a field like counseling, followed by one to two years of supervised training, is required. Education and training for rehabilitation counselors may include a range of topics, from career counseling to technological adaptation for disabilities. Through their education, rehabilitation counselors learn how to identify and deal with the mental and physical barriers that may affect the lives of those with disabilities.

Although national certification is not always necessary to practice, the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification does offer a certification program which greatly improves career prospects. The certification process involves obtaining a degree from an accredited program, gaining experience through an internship and passing a written exam.


Rehabilitation Counseling Career Trends and Outlook

As a result of this field's recent growth and popularity, you may find that there are numerous advantages to getting involved now. There is a lot of work to be done to help this specialty catch up with other psychology specialties, and with a Master's degree or doctoral degree, you can make that happen. Per the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, a current priority for this profession is the development of evidence-based practice standards (2016).

Overall, the demand for rehab counselors is high and expected to grow through 2024 (O*Net, 2017). The average rehabilitation counselor salary is $34,670 per year (O*Net, 2017).

You could also succeed in the field of family social work with a rehabilitation counseling degree, particularly if you want to work with patients and their families to establish independence. Demand for family social workers is expected to grow at an average rate through 2024, and the average income in this field is$43,250 per year (O*Net, 2017).

A rehabilitation counselor career is one way to use your passion for psychology in a meaningful way. Reach out to rehabilitation counseling schools to find out more about your options.

Featured Online Rehabilitation Counseling Programs:

Online programs may not be available in all states

Traditional On Campus Rehabilitation Counseling Programs: