The Current State of Specialization and Self-Identity Among Certified Rehabilitation Counselors

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This exploratory study examined how rehabilitation counseling professionals self-identify in the areas of specialty and language fluency. A total of 4,388 profiles from rehabilitation counseling professionals in six states were sampled and analyzed based on information collected from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification's (CRCC) online website. Of those professionals listed on the website, less than 44% reported some type of specialty within the field of rehabilitation counseling. The most frequently reported specialties included vocational rehabilitation (22%), job development/placement (10%) and school, education and career counseling (9.5%). Additionally, only 318 or 7% reported fluency in a language other than English. Based on the results, it is recommended that rehabilitation counseling professionals utilize current website opportunities to list appropriate specialty skills and client outcomes. Further research is warranted to investigate the potential impact of the website on provider promotional activities and outcomes, the development of evidence-based private practices and sense of identity in rehabilitation counseling professionals. When private practitioners holding certification/licensure in both areas of rehabilitation and counseling list specific skills on a professional organization's website, clients will be better informed and able to self-select appropriate rehabilitation counselors based on individual needs, counselor expertise and demonstrated counselor effectiveness.

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