Rehabilitation Psychologist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

Rehabilitation psychologists evaluate and assist people struggling with the following conditions:
  • Cognitive issues
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Emotional problems
  • Psychosocial problems
Regardless of whether an individual develops or is born with a disability, rehabilitation psychologists help them cope with their disabilities, so they can live normal and happy lives.

Job Description

Rehabilitation psychologists also specialize in the link between language, culture, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity and mental health. They also work with people struggling with sensory, addiction, and psychological health problems.

After interventions or assessments, rehabilitation psychologists assist patients with:
  • Adapting to new situations
  • Locating a support network
  • Locating assistance and support services
  • Learning how to utilize technology so they can live independently
Rehabilitation psychologists organize and manage rehabilitation programs, public-education campaigns, and group therapy sessions for people struggling with disabilities and chronic pain.

Rehabilitation psychologists are employed at:
  • Acute-care hospitals
  • Agencies that assist with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, etc.
  • Assisted-living centers
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Health clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Drug rehabilitation centers
  • Physical-therapy centers
Rehabilitation psychologists can also be found at government agencies, veterans' hospitals, and colleges and universities. Many also conduct research and teach.

Education and Training

Rehabilitation psychologists typically hold doctorate degrees. It takes between 5-7 years to earn one, and graduate students are required to conduct and defend original research. Those interested in clinical work are required to complete a one year internship.

Many schools offer minors in rehabilitation psychology. After graduating with a doctorate degree, aspiring rehabilitation psychologists are required to undergo intensive training before practicing professionally.

Clinical rehabilitation psychologists must satisfy state licensing requirements to practice professionally.

Prior Work Experience

To acquire work experience in rehabilitation psychology, consider completing a supervised clinical internship. Experience can also be acquired by volunteering at mental health clinics, participating in group research projects, and obtaining a research assistant position at a college or university.

Career Advancement

Job prospects are currently excellent for rehabilitation psychologists. In fact, job growth has been projected to increase by 15 percent during the next few years. Compared to other psychology related professions, jobs for rehabilitation psychologists are increasing at a high rate. This is attributed to improvements in medical technology, higher life expectancies, and the aging baby boomer population.

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