Michele J. Rusin, PhD, ABPP (RP)
Welcome to the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology. If you are visiting this website for the first time, you are likely to be either seeking the services of a qualified provider of Rehabilitation Psychology or a psychologist considering credentialing in Rehabilitation Psychology.
For those seeking Rehabilitation Psychology services.
If you are seeking the services of a Rehabilitation Psychologist, it is helpful to understand more about this specialty. Rehabilitation Psychologists specialize in working with individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions in order to maximize their health and welfare, independence and choice, functional abilities, and engagement in society. While Rehabilitation Psychologists serve individuals with a wide range of disabilities and chronic health conditions, those with brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputations, chronic pain, cancer and multiple sclerosis represent some of the more frequently served persons.
Rehabilitation Psychologists are uniquely trained to provide psychological services to persons with disabilities and chronic health conditions and their family members. These services may include psychological assessment, individual therapy or family therapy. The central focus of interventions is to help the client and family cope with the major life changes that accompany the onset of disability or chronic health conditions. Frequently encountered concerns include: psychological adjustment to disability, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, the effects of brain injury such as impairment in memory and problem solving, sexual adjustment, vocational adjustment and community integration. Rehabilitation Psychologists also consult with physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists to help these team members assist their clients and families in achieving their rehabilitation goals. As specialists on the psychological adaptation to disability and chronic illness, Rehabilitation Psychologists are sometimes asked to render expert opinions in the context of court system.
This website provides public access to the database of psychologists who have completed the thorough examination in Rehabilitation Psychologist and have been awarded this specialty Board Certification by the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology. If you are seeking the services of a Rehabilitation Psychologist, I encourage you to use this database to locate a qualified professional in your community.
For psychologists considering Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology.
If you are a psychologist who is interested in the field of Rehabilitation Psychology, a brief history of the field and a description of the examination process to become a Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology is provided below.
The field of Rehabilitation Psychology began in the context of the two world wars with the Veterans Administration mandating that the psychological needs of disabled veterans be addressed. In 1958, Rehabilitation Psychology became a division of the American Psychological Association. Subsequently, federal legislation helped to spur the growth of the specialty. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 mandated psychological services for persons with disabilities. Rehabilitation Psychologists were instrumental in promoting the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. Demand for the services of Rehabilitation Psychologists have surged with the large number of disabled veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the aging population.,
There are aspects of Rehabilitation Psychology that overlap with the specialties of neuropsychology, health psychology and pediatric psychology. Yet, Rehabilitation Psychology is distinctive with its focus on: 1) working with individuals with all types of disability and chronic health conditions, 2) working in the context of interdisciplinary health care teams, and 3) working as social change agents to positively impact societal attitudes toward individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions.
If you are psychologist who currently specializes in providing psychological services to persons with disabilities or chronic health conditions, the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology (ABRP) encourages you to consider pursuing Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology. For a detailed description of the required candidate credentials and the examination process, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that is available on ABRP website. In brief, applicants for Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology must have a doctoral degree from a program in professional psychology that is accredited by the American or the Canadian Psychological Association. The applicant must have two years of supervised practice in Rehabilitation Psychology and at least three total years of experience in Rehabilitation Psychology. The ABRP is recognized by other ABPP professional boards for its support of candidates in their pursuit of Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology. Each applicant is offered a mentor who provides guidance and support in the process of preparing their practice sample materials and readying for the oral examination. Two hallmarks of the ABRP examination process are collegiality and professionalism. Those completing the process frequently comment on the sense of inclusion and support that they perceive as they pursue Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology.
The future of the specialty of Rehabilitation Psychology is bright. Leaders in the field are united in continuously improving the training, research and clinical skills. The opportunity for Rehabilitation Psychologists to earn Board Certification in this specialty and thus demonstrate their unique competencies is another step forward in the development of the field and the delivery of quality psychological services to those with disabilities and chronic health conditions.
Thank you for visiting the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology website. This welcome message provides an opportunity to inform you about the distinctiveness of our field. I am hopeful that this message encourages you to pursue further information. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if I can be of service to you. My contact information is located on the officers page of the website.
Michele J. Rusin, PhD, ABPP