This chapter reviews the current scope of practice in rehabilitation counseling and the impact that counselor licensure legislation has on the field concerning eligibility for counselor licensure and becoming an independent rehabilitation practitioner. It defines the foundational skills and scope of practice required for effective, competent, and ethical rehabilitation counseling practice. The chapter explains a psychosocial model for rehabilitation counselors (RCs) who want to structure therapeutic interactions with clients who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. The counselor uses the counseling relationship to help clients draw from their personal history, knowledge, coping abilities, resiliency skills, and overall life experiences to derive meaning. Counselors across a variety of work settings and theoretical orientations must be proficient, competent, and ethical in working with a range of people with disabilities who may be culturally different. There are both universal and specific counseling approaches, programs, and services used during therapeutic interactions for people with disabilities.
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This book brings to life the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) for rehabilitation counselors. The book presents contemporary information that can be used to educate, guide practice, and provide the foundation for emerging research related to the psychosocial aspects of disability and chronic disease. It provides a powerful and informative resource for students, practitioners, and scholars in developing and reinforcing rehabilitation counseling principles that guide rehabilitation counseling education, practice, and research. The book is organized into five major parts containing 30 chapters. Part I presents the historical perspectives on illness and disability. Part II offers insights into the personal impact of illness and disability on individuals by looking closely at several unique psychosocial life experiences. It discusses various theories of adaptation to disability, the unique experiences faced by women with disabilities, gender differences regarding sexuality, multicultural and family perspectives of disability, and quality of life (QOL) issues for those with disabilities. Part III addresses issues such as involvement, support, and coping of family members (parents, children, spouses, and partners) which includes family caregiving and counseling, to promote optimal medical, physical, mental, emotional, and psychological functioning of the person with a disability. Part IV reflects the growing need for diagnostic, treatment, and preventive interventions, and the coordination of important resources to help persons with chronic illnesses and disabilities achieve optimal levels of independent functioning. It delves on substance use disorders, trauma-related mental health problems among combat veterans, and assistive technology. The final part addresses several contemporary issues faced by persons with chronic illness and disabilities (CIDs) that are relevant to counselors and practice. It discusses newer challenges that these individuals face, including obesity, poor nutrition, poverty, suicide, threat of terrorism, and depression, all of which are on the rise in the United States.
The skills of working with the psychosocial aspects of grief, death, dying, and loss are essential, particularly in working with persons who have acquired chronic illness and disability. This chapter helps elucidate important psychosocial issues in death and dying as it relates to how individuals experience and express grief within the context of the person’s physical, psychological, cognitive, emotional, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being. Recognition in the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- 5) of the Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder diagnostic category provides legitimacy for the individual’s sense of loss and mourning based on multiple events related to death and dying. It is essential that counselors address such psychosocial concerns clients because of the added therapeutic value and ethical obligation to guide the individual and his or her family in important decisions regarding death and dying.