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For Psychology Students

Professional and Student Psychologist Organizations
December 10, 2014
A comprehensive list of Psychologist and related professional and student organizations
Types of Psychologists
December 7, 2014
Sub-Specialties in Psychology

Undergraduate & Graduate Psychology Degrees

Psychology Education Topics

What can you do with a Psychology Degree?
Some top career choices for psychology majors.
Criminal Justice Careers with a Background in Psychology
December 10, 2014
The relationship between the study of Psychology and careers in the Criminal Justice field.

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Articles of Interest

What can you do with a Psychology Degree?
Some top career choices for psychology majors.
Criminal Justice Careers with a Background in Psychology
December 10, 2014
The relationship between the study of Psychology and careers in the Criminal Justice field.
Psychologist versus Psychiatrist
What are the differences?
December 17, 2013
The use of Skype and Other Telecommunications by Psychologists

Rehabilitation Psychologists: What are they and how to become one

Rehabilitation psychologists assist individuals who have disabilities and chronic illnesses; the disability may be congenital or acquired -- for example, an accident or stroke.

Psychologists provide psychotherapy and administer assessments. Assessments may be neurological (testing memory and other cognitive functions) or psychological (assessing emotional handling of disability-related issues). Rehabilitation psychology duties may overlap with those of health psychologists. Rehabilitation psychologists sometimes work alongside neuropsychological specialists. They often collaborate with other health and medical professionals, for example, physical therapists.

The specialty developed as a result of the need to reintegrate veterans, but today’s rehabilitation psychologists more often work with the civilian disabled population, including the elderly. Some rehabilitation psychologists specialize in working with children. At Rusk's Pediatric Outpatient Psychology Service, for example, psychologists treat children with conditions ranging from spina bifida to traumatic brain injury. They provide comprehensive evaluations, conduct individual and family therapy, write educational prescriptions, and carry out neuro-rehabilitative interventions as needed (

Rehabilitation psychologists also work at the societal level to make the lives of the disabled better. They carry out research and may be involved in program development and administration. Those in vocational rehabilitation improve lives for individuals with psychiatric illnesses as well as physical ones.

The Division of Rehabilitation Psychology (Division 22 of the American Psychological Association) would like to see psychologists at the forefront: developing new service delivery models. Division 22 also strives to see more psychologists employed as directors in programs like sub-acute traumatic brain injury and work restoration (

Rehabilitation psychology is part of an occupational group that has been projected by the BLS to see 22% growth in the 2010 to 2020 decade.

Education and Training

Clinical rehabilitation psychology is a doctoral level profession. Doctoral programs typically expect students to have some psychology coursework at the undergraduate level, but license-qualifying coursework and training experiences take place later.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers several Online Master's and Doctoral programs in Psychology including both clinical and non-clinical specializations. Capella University, also offers four online CACREP - accredited master's programs: MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in School Counseling and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.

Click Here to learn more about psychology education options based on your current educational attainment.

It is possible to enroll in a rehabilitation psychology program at the master's level. A master’s degree will not make a person eligible for licensure as a psychologist, but may make them eligible for licensure as a rehabilitation counselor, following a period of supervised work experience. It is important to consider state-level requirement as well as program accreditation.

Clinical rehabilitation psychologists are generally required to do a year of formal internship in a healthcare setting and another year of supervised professional practice after degree conferral. Internships and fellowships are competitive. Division 22 lists predoctoral internships and postdoctoral residencies (

All states require psychologists who work directly with individuals who have functional impairments to hold licensing. The process includes examination as well as formal education and training.

Board Certification

Rehabilitation psychologists have the additional option of pursuing national board certification through the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology, a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology. The ABRP notes that healthcare centers are, to an increasing degree, coming to expect it. Ohio State University Medical Center is a case in point. The institution boasts having five of the state's seven board certified rehabilitation psychologists on staff.

The ARBP also notes other values of board certification, including recognition by the National Register of Health Service Providers and salary bonuses through agencies such as Veterans Affairs (

A rehabilitation psychologist who seeks board certification must first have credentials reviewed for eligibility. Later the professional will submit practice samples and supplemental materials (up to 50 pages total) and go through an oral examination process. Senior psychologists (those who have been licensed as psychologists for at least 15 years) are expected to have qualifications at the same level, but will have somewhat more leeway in how they demonstrate them.

Learn more about your Psychology degree options based on your current educational attainment