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How Do I Choose the Best Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands

Choose the best vocational rehabilitation counselor by interviewing multiple referrals given to you by other professionals working with you toward vocational rehab. Specifically eliminate any counselors who you do not feel comfortable speaking with or who you do not feel confident will be able to meet your needs. Take your time in asking for details on the process each counselor recommends for your situation, the assessment process she or he plans to use to determine your needs and the level of confidence each counselor expresses in terms of being able to prepare and place you in viable employment. Ultimately, select the vocational rehabilitation counselor who demonstrates the most skill and experience in working with people in situations similar to yours, and whom you believe will be able to best help you achieve your overall goals.

In order to find the best vocational rehabilitation counselor, you will need to compare the services of multiple specialists against your specific needs. The best way to do this is to rely on referrals from other professionals who are working with you on your recovery. Key attributes to look for include a vocational rehab counselor who is willing to spend adequate time helping you prepare for and obtain suitable employment, as well as someone who is experienced in helping rehabilitate people in situations similar to yours. Vocational rehabilitation counselors should also demonstrate good listening skills and should be willing to advocate on your behalf to be sure that your individual rights are respected throughout the rehabilitation process and beyond.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Choose a vocational rehabilitation counselor who is not only patient and willing to help you, but who also has adequate time to spend with you on a regular basis to discuss your needs, concerns and progress. This person should also be engaged with a healthy network of other professionals who can assist you as needed and the counselor you choose should also be willing to work well with other professionals involved in your rehabilitation. In addition to this, a good vocational rehab counselor should be willing to remain on your case for a period of time after you are employed to determine whether or not you need supportive services to continue with your employment.

In the process of choosing the best vocational rehabilitation counselor, consider each counselor’s training and education in vocational rehab. In particular, search for counselors who have been educated in subjects related to your unique needs. For instance, if you are in substance abuse recovery, try to pair yourself with a counselor who has received an education in drug and alcohol recovery, as this person is far more likely to understand concerns you may have, as well as barriers you may face, which someone who is enrolled in vocational rehab after physical recovery from a personal injury may not have.

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