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Advancing Rehabilitation Counseling Professional Identity in Australia

Advancing Rehabilitation Counseling Professional Identity in Australia Purpose The past few decades have witnessed significant growth in the disability sector and the rehabilitation counseling profession has responded by broadening its scope of practice to serve a range of people who experience illness, injury, and social disadvantage. Despite the sector's growth and the profession's flexible response to it, the rehabilitation counseling profession in Australia continues to face challenges in relation to its professional identity. The purpose of this article is to identify these challenges and present solutions by reviewing literature and professionalization responses in Australia and the United States. Method In this article, we examine ways of transcending the professional identity challenges faced by the Australian rehabilitation counseling community. This is achieved firstly by defining the characteristics of professions and their application to rehabilitation counseling and second, by suggesting possible actions to advance the profession. Results The necessary responses identified include the need for stronger professional governance, further development of the evidence base, and strict professional membership regulations. These goals will require the input of professional bodies and members, universities, rehabilitation regulators, employers, people with disabilities, and their families. Conclusions Rehabilitation counseling is a valued allied health and human service profession in the Australian work injury and disability sectors. By drawing on the experience of the profession in the United States, the authors have identified issues and solutions to facilitate the sustainability and advancement of rehabilitation counseling in Australia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Rehabilitation Research, Policy and Education Springer Publishing

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2021 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
2168-6653
eISSN
2168-6661
DOI
10.1891/re-20-29
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose The past few decades have witnessed significant growth in the disability sector and the rehabilitation counseling profession has responded by broadening its scope of practice to serve a range of people who experience illness, injury, and social disadvantage. Despite the sector's growth and the profession's flexible response to it, the rehabilitation counseling profession in Australia continues to face challenges in relation to its professional identity. The purpose of this article is to identify these challenges and present solutions by reviewing literature and professionalization responses in Australia and the United States. Method In this article, we examine ways of transcending the professional identity challenges faced by the Australian rehabilitation counseling community. This is achieved firstly by defining the characteristics of professions and their application to rehabilitation counseling and second, by suggesting possible actions to advance the profession. Results The necessary responses identified include the need for stronger professional governance, further development of the evidence base, and strict professional membership regulations. These goals will require the input of professional bodies and members, universities, rehabilitation regulators, employers, people with disabilities, and their families. Conclusions Rehabilitation counseling is a valued allied health and human service profession in the Australian work injury and disability sectors. By drawing on the experience of the profession in the United States, the authors have identified issues and solutions to facilitate the sustainability and advancement of rehabilitation counseling in Australia.

Journal

Rehabilitation Research, Policy and EducationSpringer Publishing

Published: Jun 21, 2021

References