How to Become a Rehab Therapist

How to Become a Rehab Therapist

Rehab therapists or counselors are people who help people with disabilities to live full and independent lives. Rehab therapists also help those people to accomplish their personal goals. Whether clients hope to return to a much-loved job or move into an apartment, rehab therapists help them acquire the skills and strategies they need to succeed. Rehab therapists also play an important role in raising public awareness about disability issues and achieving social justice for this undeserved population of people.

Rehab therapists quite commonly work with a wide range of people including:

  • People with a mobility impairment
  • People with a mental illness
  • People with traumatic brain injury
  • People with chronic disease
  • People with addiction and substance abuse
  • People with impairment such as blindness and deafness
  • People with language and communication disorders

Rehab therapists understand the social, emotional, and occupational barriers their clients face. To help people with disabilities especially those with addiction and substance abuse, rehab therapists need to explore what they need and prefer. In many cases those people with addiction and substance abuse need sobriety and ways to stay sober. Once that goal is identified, rehab therapists, work together with their client to develop necessary strategies of staying sober. This might involve role-playing, learning new coping skills, job modification and so much more. As needed the counselor connects the client with helpful organizations and community resources such as 12 step programs or outpatient programs. Rehab therapists also will work with employers to help them accommodate to on the job needs of people with disabilities.

So how do you become a rehab therapist?

  • Most vocational rehabilitation counselor jobs require a master’s degree in vocational counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or counseling psychology. A bachelor’s degree in social services, counseling, or psychology is a good foundation for this career choice. Graduate coursework leading to a master’s degree in rehabilitative counseling can typically be completed in two years. Courses will include disability studies, the theory and practice of counseling, psychology, rehabilitation, case management, and educational and community services. Before enrolling, students should check to see if the university or online program is accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). A degree from a CORE-accredited program opens up more career options.
  • After completing their coursework, vocational rehabilitation counselors put in at least 600 hours of clinical training with a qualified rehabilitation counselor. Many schools help to arrange an internship or counseling job for their students.
  • Counselors can find employment without having a professional credential, but will broaden their opportunities by obtaining a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential. Most state and federal rehabilitation programs will only hire CRC counselors, as will be the case with other select programs.
  • Another option is to be certified as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). This involves qualifying to take a state licensing exam (usually a master’s degree and a specified number of hours of supervised clinical experience) and passing it. Be sure to check licensing regulations for counselors in the state you plan to work as they vary greatly from state to state.
  • Good communication and problem-solving skills are required in order to work in counseling jobs, as well as empathy and the desire to help people fulfill their goals. Counselors must also have good listening skills, compassion, and patience while working with clients.

How to Become a Sober Companion

How to Become a Sober Companion

Sober companions are probably best known by their work with celebrities as almost “glorified babysitters” but of course there is much more to it than that. Also, not all sober companions are watch dogs for celebrities. Sober companions work with slews of addicts and alcoholics sometimes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help them remain abstinent.

What is a sober companion?

A sober companion or sober coach provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The goal is to help the client maintain total abstinence from alcohol and drugs, and to establish healthy routines outside of a residential treatment facility. Controversy exists between sober companions, not only in their name (sober companion vs. sober coach vs. recovery coach), but over the use of any situation placing them in contact with other enablers. Also, some sober companions strongly agree with 12 step programs; other sober companions do not support the 12 step process and use alternative methods.

So how can you become a sober companion if you want to be one?

In keeping with several other forms of drug rehabilitation, some sober companions have no formal training or qualification. Most (but not all) companions are recovering addicts who have themselves been able to maintain multiple years of sobriety. While some companions will have some training in psychology, sociology, or medicine, in addition to a strong personal program of recovery, some may have taken the Recovery Coaching certifications offered by Recovery Coaching International (recoverycoaches.org) or the very inexpensive (sometimes free) training offered by the Connecticut Center for Addiction Recovery (CCAR.org) training in a model for peer recovery support specialist roles and responsibilities. A few independent providers, such as Sober Champion require literature study and in-person training by an experienced professional.

There are growing recovery associations (Sober.com, crossroadscoaching.com, RCI.org, ICF.org, OASAS.org) and boards established to set standards or monitor the state of the field recovery coaching, that overlap some of the roles of a sober companion. There is no formal sober companion oversight and accountability as yet. Since early in 2011, Faces and Voices in Recovery has been working on developing standards, credentialing and more clearly defined roles of a recovery coach, peer support specialist, and a sober companion. One can see why there is a concern according to the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, as it is a process that is just underway.

The Sociotherapy Association certifies and trains Support Companions, Recovery/Sober Companions, Elderly Companions, and Adolescent Companions. The Sociotherapy Association in America created the Support Companions program to offer real support and relationship to those in need.

If you really want to be a sober companion the best place to start is with someone who already is. So go out and find people who are already doing what you want to do. If you can’t find anyone who is a sober companion go ahead and get on your computer. You can be sure to find ways to become a sober companion online.

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

How Can I Become a Recovery Coach?

 

What is recovery coaching?

Recovery coaching is a form of strengths-based support for anyone who has an addiction or is in recovery from alcohol, other drugs, codependency, or other addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches work with anyone who has active addictions as well as people who are already in recovery. Recovery coaches are helpful for making decisions about what to do with your life and the part your addiction or recovery plays within your life. Recovery coaches usually try to help clients find ways to stop addiction by maintaining abstinence, or reduce harm associated with addictive behaviors. Recovery coaches can help a client find resources for harm reduction, detox, treatment, family support and education, local or online support groups; or help a client create a change plan to recover on their own as well as make goals and plans to achieve those goals.

How can I become a recovery coach?

There are multiple programs that offer recovery coach training such as the recovery coach institute or RCI. RCI has a website that you can utilize regardless if you already have recovery coach training or have no experience at all. RCI supports Recovery Coach training programs that are approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Basic coach training is available through any of the ICF schools listed on the International Coaching Federation (ICF) website. www.recoverycoaching.org

If you:

•are a certified coach, you can get Recovery Coaching training through a specialized Recovery Coaching school.

•have no coach training, you can get it through any of the ICF schools listed on the ICF website.

•are a chemical dependency professional, you can take advanced training to learn about coaching so you can integrate a coaching style into your current work. Or you can become a certified coach by training at an ICF-approved school. A list of approved training programs is available on the ICF website.

•are a psychotherapist specializing in addiction recovery, you can consider basic coach training through an ICF-approved program.

Many treatment centers also offer Recovery Coach Academies or RCA.  A general overview of a recovery coach academy looks something like this:

Recovery Coach Academy is designed to help individuals, professional and non-professional, working in the Human Service Field. A Recovery Coach is anyone interested in promoting recovery by:

• Removing barriers and obstacles to recovery by serving as a personal guide

• Education

• Motivational Interviewing

• Personal Boundaries

• Ethics and Case Management

Recovery coach training also involves:

Training Objectives

• A guide and ethical standard for non-professionals and case managers

• A training guide for professionals to teach volunteer staff

• Motivational and Interviewing skills

• Defining the Recovery Coach role

If you search for recovery coach training or utilize the ICF or RCI websites you can find multiple ways to become a recovery coach wherever you are located. Each state has different resources as well as different institutes, academies, and training programs for you to become a recovery coach. If you feel like recovery coaching might be for you then go ahead and see what your state has to offer. While you don’t need recovery coaching certification to become a recovery coach it can definitely help in all facets of your addiction and recovery career.