Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling programs teach students how to help people holistically with their physical, mental, developmental or emotional disabilities to live and function independently. Rehabilitation Counselors are the well-trained professionals who locate wheelchairs for their clients so they can move about their homes, provide counseling to veterans, and may aid in vocational placement. Their skills in client centered approaches help their clients integrate and participate in their communities. As a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling is considered entry-level education, rehabilitation counselors are schooled at the graduate level[i]. If you have a patient and compassionate nature, tend to be a good listener, communicator, and thinker, why not leverage these talents?
Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling Program Essentials
Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling programs equip aspiring rehab counselors with the theoretical knowledge, skill sets and counseling techniques to help them provide effective clinical mental health counseling. This means being able to assess and evaluate client’s needs, being able to formulate a rehabilitation treatment plan and understanding the medical, psychological and social implications and aspects of a disability. Typically, 2-years of full time study, students interested in a Rehabilitation Counseling program need a Bachelor’s degree from most fields such as Bachelor in Human Services. It is common that in addition to coursework, there be an internship or period of supervised clinical experience which is usually between 2,000 and 4,000 hours, and forms part of state licensure requirements[ii].
DID YOU KNOW? Licensure for Rehabilitation Counselors typically requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-recognized exam. To maintain their licensure, counselors must complete annual continuing education credits.[iii]
Choosing a Rehabilitation Counseling Master’s Program
Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling programs are commonly offered as Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees. The one you select often reflects whether you have an undergraduate arts or science degree and what type of career you want to have. Broadly speaking, a Master of Arts has more general counseling courses and requires a thesis to graduate. A Master of Science in counseling tends to be oriented for those who are seeking a specialty such as crisis counseling, working with autism spectrum disorders or substance abuse problems. It is also possible that your program may offer specific skills for working in different settings; vocational rehabilitation services, government, individuals and family services, nursing and residential care facilities, youth guidance are a few of the work environments that employ rehabilitation counselors.