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What Is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Many people need help recovering from injuries, working with disabilities, or learning life skills because of extreme disabilities. One of the types of people that can assist in these areas is the certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). In a variety of venues, such as schools, job training centers, and private rehabilitation centers, the CRC works with individuals or groups to help empower them to succeed to their fullest capacity.

The typical route of training for the certified rehabilitation counselor is to complete a bachelor’s degree and then to get a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. This training can focus on rehabilitation theories, the organizations in which rehabilitation services occur, marriage and family counseling, and much information about disabilities, mental and physical. Most master’s programs also include significant internship, usually taking place in a second year when courses are finished. As this concludes, many students get ready to achieve certification by taking exams.

It may not be the case that every job requires certification, but many states may have laws mandating certification for these employees. Certification has the additional benefit of making individuals more employable. This makes it something most people will strive for. Those in the US and Canada are advised to purse certification through only one agency, the Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification, which is recognized in both countries on a national level.

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There are any number of things a certified rehabilitation counselor could do on a daily basis, since there are so many agencies, which employ them. They may work with grievously ill people or those just diagnosed with serious and life changing illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. Others may work with students who are attempting to get through school and surmount significant learning disabilities. Some of these counselors help people with physical or mental challenges find ways to self-support, and might assist in locating jobs or helping a person create a resume.

In any field, though, the certified rehabilitation counselor is not simply involved with the practical details that might produce ways to self-sustain under difficult or changed circumstances. They also have to be concerned with the way in which substantial changes or effects on health (mental or physical) affect the individual psychologically. A college student with learning disabilities that are severe may be suffering under the weight of a lifetime of criticism from well-meaning but not very knowledgeable teachers and peers. Those who are trying to recover a life after traumatic brain injury are dealing with a huge loss, which they need to process and grieve. In order to empower people to do their best under current or changed circumstances, the skilled CRC takes this into account and it informs some of the work the counselor does, in almost any type of employment.

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