Rehabilitation Psychologist


Psychologists who have studied applied psychology may work as Rehabilitation Psychologists. Rehabilitation psychologists are focused on helping those who have suffered physical deprivation or loss. Majority of these people are amputees, patients with terminal illnesses, those suffering with permanent disfiguration and patients with disability.

A Rehabilitation Psychologist develops methods and approaches that would best help those who are undergoing depression and psychological problems due to physical and permanent damage to their body. The goal of Rehabilitation psychologists is to aid the in the adaptation process of the person who is affected and to alleviate the feeling of worthlessness and self-pity. They are trained to be able to assess patients properly and to effectively evaluate each case that they handle. The psychologists also find ways to improve the functioning of a disabled or handicapped person. They usually develop alternative activities and socialization techniques for people who have closed their doors on society due to their condition. Most clients of Rehabilitation Psychologists are military veterans who have been sent home due to their disability or loss of body parts. In these cases, the counseling is much harder because it primarily involves removal or taming of the trauma they have experienced before focusing on their adaptation to their conditions. Rehabilitation Psychologists are also trained in elderly care, since the elderly are more likely to develop depression due to their old age and incapability. For them, a different approach is also needed.

The Rehabilitation Psychologists must be well trained in assessment of psychological conditions and various stages of recovery from a loss or trauma. They are also experienced in psychotherapy and clinical counseling where they perform battery tests and other measurements to determine the patient’s recovery level. They are well oriented with the theories of adjustment and provide interventions with family members and those involved with the patient. They should also be able to use non-pharmacological anxiety treatments and methods like breathing and relaxation techniques.

A Rehabilitation Psychologist has a background and understanding of basic anatomy, neuroanatomy and pathology that is related to the cases they are concerned with. They are able to interpret neuropsychological screening instruments. They should be able to impart essential clinical information to the health care team and be able to explain complex findings in a simplified way to the family members and to the patient. A Rehabilitation Psychologist usually works in the rehabilitation unit of a hospital, clinic or an outpatient facility, although some hold their private clinics or conduct home services. A license may be required to practice their profession depending on the area that they work in. As part of the medical rehabilitation team, they are usually very well compensated.