Every life has challenges, but for people living with a disability or chronic illness, everyday tasks can be burdensome. Likewise, individuals experiencing mental health or emotional issues, substance use disorders or chronic pain may struggle to get the support they need to recover and live well.
Rehabilitation psychologists support individuals as they cope with the mental and physical challenges their conditions present. They often teach their patients how to adapt and make lifestyle choices that promote good health.
The goal of rehabilitation psychology is to help individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions improve the quality of their lives. Rehabilitation psychologists are concerned with all of the factors in people’s lives that contribute to their wellness and recovery, from the support they receive from family and friends to the relationships they have with their team of treatment providers.
Rehabilitation psychologists work in a variety of settings, including acute care hospitals and health care centers, inpatient and outpatient physical rehabilitation centers, and assisted living and long-term care facilities. Those who specialize may work in pain and sports injury centers or cardiac rehabilitation facilities. In addition, they serve in community agencies assisting individuals with specific disabilities or chronic illnesses like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, brain injury or deafness.
Rehabilitation psychologists use their research and unique training to help individuals who may be struggling in their daily lives due to physical disabilities, psychological trauma, brain injury or chronic illnesses. Their work supports independent living and discovers ways in which the brain can repair itself.
Resources to help you pursue a career in psychology
A degree in psychology can lead to a fulfilling career that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Find out what it takes to become a rehabilitation psycholoigst
Rehabilitation psychologists study and work with individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions to help them overcome challenges and improve their quality of life.