Psychiatric Rehabilitation Degree Programs

Psychiatric rehabilitation uses counseling and therapeutic practices to help severely mentally disabled individuals function. Research types of degrees available, as well as coursework and experiential learning. Schools offering Physical Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Psychiatric Rehabilitation?

Psychiatric rehabilitation, also called psychosocial rehabilitation, refers to mental health services designed to help mentally and physically challenged individuals perform the specific tasks associated with their lifestyle. You do not need to be a psychiatrist to work as a psychiatric rehabilitation specialist. Psychiatric rehabilitation requires knowledge from multiple disciplines, including social work, psychology, psychiatry, medicine, law and education.

The Work Involves providing mental health services for the mentally and psysically challenged; required multidisciplinary knowledge
Programs Available Associate's, bachelor's in psychology or psychiatric rehabilitation; graduate study concentrations and online study options available
Common Courses Interviewing techniques, counseling strategies, biomedical issues, community resource management, case management
Patient Contact Provided via on-campus or local facility; internships, research experience and practicums mandatory part of every program

What Education Will I Need?

You can find psychiatric rehabilitation programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In a bachelor's degree program, you may have the opportunity to earn a dual degree in psychology and psychiatric rehabilitation. Associate and bachelor's degree programs can prepare you for immediate entry into the workforce, continued education or both.

At the graduate level, you could have the opportunity to choose a concentration, such as leadership, intervention or developmental disabilities counseling. Though uncommon, you could find programs that offer online courses or seminars at the graduate level. Through an online program, your coursework and concentration options could be limited, and your practicum requirements could be completed locally or with your current employer.

What Courses Could I Take?

Undergraduate programs introduce you to the field of psychiatric rehabilitation with courses in interviewing techniques, counseling strategies, group dynamics, biomedical issues and community resource management. You'll also learn about various mental disorders through topics in psychopathology, social psychology, multicultural psychology and case management.

At the graduate level, your instruction would be based on your area of interest and career goals. You could learn how to work with disabled children through classes on development, pediatric counseling methods and family involvement in therapy. If you're interested in a career in academia, you'll usually need to complete a doctoral degree program, which could include opportunities for teaching assistantships. You'll often conduct research in groups, independently and with experienced faculty.

What Kind of Experience Would I Get in a Program?

Research experience usually comes at the graduate level. Schools that offer doctoral programs might have several affiliations or on-campus facilities where you can work with instructors and professional researchers in a particular area of specialization, such as epidemiology, neuromuscular disorders or neurorehabilitation.

At both undergraduate and graduate degree levels, you'll usually have the opportunity to get practical experience working directly with patients. You'll be able to observe and participate in therapy under the supervision of psychiatric rehabilitation professionals. You could be placed in a hospital, school, outpatient care center or psychiatric agency. Some programs include more than one practicum or internship.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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