Before choosing goals in rehabilitation counseling, it's important to understand what the typical day for a rehabilitation counselor includes to decide if you have what it takes to find and keep a job in this rewarding career path. Life is rarely easy for anyone, but rehabilitation counselors devote their practice to working with people with significant physical, mental, emotional, and social challenges every day. Rehabilitation counseling involves working with clients to overcome and/or manage their disabilities to improve their well-being. Though typical daily routines can vary greatly in this profession, below we'll look at the most common tasks for rehabilitation counselors and the skills needed to accomplish them.
Daily Job Responsibilities
When first meeting with a new client, rehabilitation counselors are responsible for interviewing individuals with disabilities, assessing their unique abilities, evaluating their school or medical reports, and conferring with other healthcare professionals to note their limitations. Then, rehabilitation counselors will craft an individualized rehabilitation plan that meets the client's strengths and goals. Most will provide counseling either one-on-one or in group settings to assist clients in building strategies to cope with their disabilities. Vocational rehabilitation counselors will specifically spend their day dealing with employment issues, offering career training, and aiding in the job search. Rehabilitation counselors monitor clients' progress, adjust the treatment plan as needed, and allocate resources to help disabled individuals live more independently.
Typical Work Environments
As with any career, work environment plays a prominent role in determining how rehabilitation counselors spend their days. For instance, rehabilitation counselors working in social service agencies or non-profit organizations will likely spend time helping individuals with disabilities identify housing, education, employment, and mental health services. Rehabilitation counselors employed in school systems often work exclusively with children and young adults to develop strategies for improving the learning process. Those working in assisted living centers or nursing homes will specialize in helping elderly adults adapt to cope with disabilities developed later in life due to a chronic illness or injury. Rehabilitation counselors in private practices may have added responsibilities of marketing their services, filing insurance claims, and maintaining detailed office records too.
Necessary Skills and Attributes
While you can see that the job of a rehabilitation counselor is constantly changing, there are certain skill sets that are absolutely necessary to succeed in the field. Rehabilitation counseling is not an easy job, so individuals must be prepared with the emotional stability to work with clients suffering turmoil from numerous different disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors need to have solid communication skills to listen to clients unique concerns and express their treatment ideas in an easily understood manner. Rehabilitation counselors work with clients, families, employers, physicians, and other counselors daily, so interpersonal skills are essential. Most of all, rehabilitation counselors need patience to assist clients struggling through the impact of their disabilities and commitment to advocating for their clients' rights.
Overall, rehabilitation counselors often work long hours to teach, inform, and advise clients on the life skills and coping techniques needed to overcome their disabilities. Regardless of where they work, rehabilitation counselors strive to foster a positive self-image, feelings of self-worth, and sought-after independence for individuals facing diverse challenges. Now that you know the typical day for a rehabilitation counselor, you can decide whether earning a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling is the right career fit for you.
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