Rehabilitation Counselor

Three of the key goals of rehabilitation counseling are to empower individuals to make informed choices, help individuals achieve positive mental health, and maximize opportunities for economic independence (obtain employment if possible). Rehabilitation counselors assist people with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities to become or remain self-sufficient, productive citizens. Working directly with an individual with a disability or their advocates, a rehabilitation counselor is a special type of professional counselor who helps evaluate and coordinate needed services to assist people with disabilities in coping with limitations caused by such factors as cognitive and learning difficulties, environmental and societal discrimination and barriers, psychological conflict/distress, or loss of physical/functional ability. They also provide services to individuals without disabilities who are experiencing stress and coping-difficulties, problems with living, career indecision, job displacement, and general mental health issues. Disabilities may result from congenital disability, illness and disease, work-related injuries, automobile accidents, the stresses of war, work, daily life, and the aging process. Rehabilitation counselors help individuals with disabilities deal with societal and personal problems, plan careers, and find and keep satisfying jobs. They also may work with individuals, professional organizations, and advocacy groups to address the environmental and social barriers that create obstacles for people with disabilities. The rehabilitation counselor builds bridges between the often isolated world of people with disabilities and their families, communities, and work environments. They may also assist individuals in adjusting in society by helping them move from a position of dependence to independence.
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