I have been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) since 1997, now retired, certified by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification and after I earned my Masters Degree accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. I was a Workers’ Compensation Adjuster for six years, doing everything from initial interviews with injured workers, employers, doctors, lawyers and reporting to state/company supervisors. I did initial interview assessments, medical case management, job analyses, loss of earning power assessments, vocational case management to claims closure.
What is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor:
Rehabilitation counselors are the only professional counselors educated and trained specifically to serve individuals with disabilities.
Rehabilitation counselors assist individuals with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities to achieve their personal, career and independent living goals in the most integrated setting possible. They engage in a counseling process which includes communication, goal setting, and beneficial growth or change through self-advocacy, psychological, vocational, social and behavioral interventions. Rehabilitation counselors utilize many different techniques and modalities, including assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, counseling, case management, and advocacy to modify environmental and attitudinal barriers, placement-related services, and utilization of rehabilitation technology.
Rehabilitation counselors typically do the following:
- Provide individual and group counseling to help clients adjust to their disability
- Evaluate clients’ abilities, interests, experience, skills, health, and education
- Develop a treatment plan in consultation with other professionals, such as doctors, therapists, and psychologists
- Create rehabilitation or treatment plans based on clients’ values, strengths, limitations, and goals
- Arrange for clients to obtain services, such as medical care or career training
- Help employers understand the needs and abilities of people with disabilities, as well as laws and resources that impact people with disabilities
- Assist clients in creating strategies to develop their strengths and adjust to their limitations
- Locate resources, such as wheelchairs or computer programs, that help clients live and work more independently
- Monitor clients’ progress and adjust the rehabilitation or treatment plan as necessary
- Advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community and work in the job of their choice
What are the Areas of Specialty
Specialized areas within rehabilitation counseling include, but are not limited to:
- Employee Assistance Programming
- Expert Testimony
- Job Development/Job Placement
- Life Care Planning
- Marriage & Family Counseling
- Mental Health Counseling
- Return-To-Work Coordination
- School, Education, and Career Counseling
- Substance Abuse/Addictions Counseling
- Vocational Evaluation
- Vocational Rehabilitation
Where Rehabilitation Counselors work:
Rehabilitation Counselors can be found in private practice, in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies and other organizations where people are being treated for congenital or acquired disabilities. Over time, with the changes in social work being more psychotherapy-oriented, rehabilitation counselors take on more and more community engagement work, especially as it relates to special populations. Some rehabilitation counselors focus solely on community engagement through vocational services, others in various states qualify as both a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) and a licensed professional counselor (LPC), enabling them to focus on psychotherapy.