5 Professional Organizations for Rehabilitation Psychologists

Rehabilitation Psychology is a specialty branch of psychology that focuses on the study and application of psychological knowledge and skills on behalf of individuals with disabilities and chronic health conditions in order to maximize health and welfare, independence and choice, functional abilities, and social role participation across the lifespan, according to the American Psychological Association.

Rehabilitation psychologists treat broad ranges of problems and gain immense knowledge and support through professional organizations. Rehabilitation psychologists treat problems such as mental/emotional illness, depression, anxiety, developmental/learning disabilities, addiction and chronic/acute pain. Professional organizations exist for psychologists to witness the complex diversities of their field. Certifications obtained through organizations increase competitive resumes and provide clear evidence of specialty training and expertise.

1. The American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology (ABRP)

Established in 1995 operating under American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), ABRP strives to increase consumer protection through examination and certification of psychologists who demonstrate competence in rehabilitation psychology.

ABRP members receive training and education through an internship program, 2+ years of supervised post-doctoral experience, or one year of post-doctoral experience. For certification, individuals take an examination designed to assess competencies required to provide the best service in rehabilitation psychology.

2. American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)

Operating under American Counseling Association (ACA), ARCA is comprised of rehabilitation counseling practitioners, educators and students who are concerned with enhancing development of people with disabilities throughout their life span and promoting excellence in the rehabilitation profession’s practice, research, consultation, and professional development. ARCA desires eliminating environmental and attitudinal barriers so more opportunities are available for people with disabilities in education, employment and community activities. These goals are addressed through public education and legislative activities.

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3. American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with a mission to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society. From advancing psychology education, training and research, to critical work on health disparities, membership helps APA use psychology to make a difference and improve lives.

4. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)

Founded in 1974, The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) is a counseling organization dedicated to improving lives of individuals with disabilities.

CRCC strives for delivery of quality rehabilitation counseling services through its internationally recognized Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) certification program. The CRC program aids in the assurance that certificants meet nationally accepted standards of quality in their practice and have the requisite educational and professional background necessary to be a leader in rehabilitation psychology.

5. American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM)

American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) desires to improve lives of those with disabling conditions through interdisciplinary rehabilitation research.

ACRM membership allows the opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange with a vibrant community of rehabilitation professionals. ACRM gathers like-minded, yet specialized, health care and research colleagues to develop and share knowledge that advances rehabilitation research and evidence-based clinical practice.

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Although more professional organizations exist for rehabilitation psychologists, the aforementioned five allow one to immerse themselves in distinguished, diverse, complex organizations that withhold a common goal: to improve lives.

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