The Art of Rehabilitation Counseling by CRCC

♪ ♪ She was with friends at a
BBQ outside and just randomly was shot by a stranger. Because of it, was paralyzed. A gentleman who was a veteran,
when he came to our program, he had been homeless for years
and was heavily involved in using controlled substances. An individual who had a
recent motorcycle accident. He couldn’t use
his hands anymore. He was spiraling
into depression. He wanted to get back to work. He didn’t see a path. ♪ Rehabilitation
counselors are uniquely qualified to do what we do. I think we’re the only
profession that specifically addresses how to help
individuals with disabilities fit into the workplace, and
how to make a workplace more receptive to people
with disabilities. The art of
rehabilitation counseling, in my opinion, is really
bringing together all the pieces of the puzzle. Knowing that the
individual is whole, but may need some
supports out there. So that could mean
negotiation with an employer. That could mean
counseling for the individual. It could mean getting
them in touch with community resources so that that
individual is supported to their fullest potential. You have to find a job that
is within the abilities and current skills of the
client, not just any job. We want them to
know that we’re there, we’re in their corner and
we want to assist them to ultimately obtain employment. What I do is to provide
guidance and counseling and just support for the employers
and understanding what it’s like to return back to work
after having a significant event happen to you. You know, things like, what
will my employer think of me; what will my co-workers say,
I’ve been off of work for so much time – creates a lot of
anxiety and can be a barrier for returning back to work. But with support, it can be
easily overcome if everybody’s on the same page. A lot of times what we’re
presented with is a jigsaw puzzle that’s
been taken apart, or knocked apart by some
tragic event in that person’s life that
changed who they are, how they identify themselves,
what they’re able to do. As rehab counselors we
pick up those pieces, we put them back together. I sent one more letter. But I took that moment and
saw the opportunity to really find out – did he
want to return to work? Did he want to
return to that employer? He used to go out into the
field and inspect airplanes, but he couldn’t
do that physically. What were some of his
goals and in relation to that, what were some
of his barriers? It took between 6 to 8 months. His home was being modified,
his church was helping, his car was being modified. He was in a wheelchair. He was learning so
much information of how to get back to his normal life. And work was a big component,
but everything kind of had to be coordinated together. She came to us after she
suffered a gunshot wound. She wanted to go to college. She wanted to be a student. We assisted with the
modification of her van and also we paid for her tuition
and fees at the local college. She obtained her degree
and she’s very independent. She has very limited use
of her arms and her hands, but she still, she can
drive, she’s able to do her paperwork, her reports. It’s just amazing the things
that she’s accomplished. I don’t think when he walked
in the door that he thought he would be making a
life-altering decision. As rehab
counselors we identified, well what are some of the root
causes that led to you being homeless and not being able
to hold down a full-time job. So we directed that
individual to substance abuse counseling at the VA. We worked with
homeless program services to look for housing options. We identified a
local hospital that was in need of a receptionist. He was thrilled
to have that job. He started to
become more independent. As he became more
stable in the job, he could pay his own rent and
we could kinda see the pride and the dignity coming
back to that, to that veteran. Sometimes people
need supports, and they need the help,
and they need the guidance, and they need the
knowledge to know how to fulfill their true potential. A lot of what rehabilitation
counseling is about is empowering individuals to
be independent and to make their own decisions in life. At any moment, we can be
involved in an accident, where we will be
disabled ourselves. And I think we also have to
let society know that we’re one accident away
from being a customer. There’s a reason why I
am in this field … to help others. ♪ ♪


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