Psychiatric Rehabilitation Degree Program Information

A psychiatric rehabilitation counselor works to provide therapy and rehabilitation services to individuals who have mental or behavioral disorders, so that they might reintegrate into society. A Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling is one of the more common degree options.

Essential Information

Rehabilitation counseling is a specialty in the counseling profession, and graduate degree programs in the field are often offered through the health professions, psychiatry, counseling or community services departments of 4-year colleges and universities.

Students might learn how to provide mentally- and developmentally-disabled individuals with the life skills necessary to obtain jobs and support themselves in society. Master's degree programs in rehabilitation counseling require students to complete field internships or supervised counseling practica that will allow them to work with disabled adults. Voluntary certifications can be obtained by those who pass a qualifying examination.

  • Some Rehabilitation Counseling Program Fields: Counseling theories, research methods
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Program Length: Four years

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Degree Program

Aspiring rehabilitation counselors learn how to work one-on-one with individuals to help them improve their personal, social and psychosocial skills. They complete courses covering patient assessment methods, individual counseling methods, types of mental, behavioral and psychological disorders as well as human development.

The courses included within a master's degree program in rehabilitation counseling should follow the standards set forth by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs or a similar organization. Some examples of common courses include:

  • Community resources
  • Career development
  • Group process
  • Developmental psychology
  • Vocational evaluation
  • Supervised counseling practicum

Employment Options and Salary Info

Rehabilitation counselors made yearly median wages of $34,380 in 2014, according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported that these counselors had a projected job growth rate of 20%, from 2012-2022.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Rehabilitation counselors interested in gaining voluntary national certification can do so through organizations such as the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Some states even require rehabilitation counselors to gain this certification before they can legally begin to practice in the field. Individuals are required to complete an accredited educational program with an internship component before they are eligible to sit for a certification examination.

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