Rehabilitation Psychology is a specialty of psychology that serves individuals with disabilities as they adjust, adapt, and progress toward healthy and satisfying lifestyles. Psychologists working in rehabilitation use education, remediation, counseling, and advocacy to minimize effects of impairments due to disabling medical conditions and promote wellness through optimal psychological, and social functioning.
Continuing advances in medical science have increased survival following injury and illness; however, these conditions often cause physical and cognitive impairments. Disability results when impairments limit everyday activities. Rehabilitation seeks to minimize effects of impairments and maximize abilities, allowing independent and productive lifestyles.
Rehabilitation is a complex effort, involving physicians, psychologists, nurses, therapists and vocational and educational specialists. It is a team effort, and persons with disabilities and their families are the most important members.
Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology is earned from the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology, a part of the American Board of Professional Psychology. The primary Professional Association in Rehabilitation Psychology is the American Psychological Association’s Division of Rehabilitation Psychology.