Vocational rehabilitation counseling is a field where counselors offer guidance and counseling to individuals with issues that interfere with getting and keeping a job. A graduate program in vocational rehabilitation counseling that leads to a master's degree prepares individuals for this role.
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Information about Vocational Rehabilitation Graduate Programs
If you are interested in becoming a certified rehabilitation counselor you need at least a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling through a program accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), which will ensure that you complete the required courses. Programs typically span 2 to 2.5 years and often include the following types of courses:
Interviewing for Counselors
In a counseling interviewing skills class, you will learn how to interview clients in the counseling setting. The class includes lectures, roleplays and demonstrations of interviewing skills used by professional counselors. Guidance for interviewing clients with disabilities may be included.
The counseling techniques course introduces you to the clinical aspects of counseling and is where you will develop basic counseling skills. The class also addresses the types of disabilities and client issues you can expect to see in your counseling work. You will also learn the characteristics of clinical settings as part of your preparation for a counseling internship or other clinical experience.
Medical Aspects of Disabilities
Vocational rehabilitation counselors encounter individuals with various disabilities and impairments. In this course, you will learn about cognitive, mental and physical disabilities that can impact an individual's ability to function. You will also explore causes and effects of various disabilities and look at treatment options for certain conditions.
Assessment in Rehabilitation Counseling
In this class, you will learn about strategies and tools for assessing or evaluating a client's abilities and needs. You will get practical experience using various types of testing procedures. Students also gain experience using the resulting data to guide their counseling goals.
The addictions counseling course will focus on diagnosis, treatment, intervention, and development of clients' support systems. You will learn about behavioral, biological, social and psychological aspects of substance abuse. Addictive substances and the consequences of substance abuse are additional topics that will be covered in an addictions counseling course.
Counseling Internship or Clinical Experience
This experience is where you will put your classroom learning into practice in a clinical environment. Under the supervision of a professional counselor, you can gain practical experience in assessment, individual counseling and group counseling. You will gain additional experience as you help individuals adjust to disabilities and guide them in making vocational decisions.
What are the Admission Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate Programs?
You must have a bachelor's degree to enter a master's in vocational rehabilitation counseling program. Generally, you will need to submit your GRE scores, transcripts, a resume, and letters of recommendation. A high undergraduate GPA may boost your application.
If your goal is to help people overcome obstacles and be successful, getting a vocational rehabilitation counseling graduate degree and becoming certified can help you reach that goal. There are numerous individuals who benefit from rehabilitation counseling, including people with injuries that prevent them from doing certain jobs and who must retrain for other careers: veterans, persons with developmental disabilities and those recovering from substance abuse.