Rehabilitation Psychology: Meaning & Application

Rehabilitation psychology, also known as social reintegration psychology emerged as distinct fields with medical innovations in the 1940s that allowed previously hopeless patients to continue living despite severe impairments. World War II troops were among those who benefitted from early rehabilitative programs. Social reintegration psychology addressed the psychological effects of injuries, whereas physiatrists addressed the physical ones. They were both trying to go back to full functionality. As medicine has progressed and people have lived longer, the range of conditions that physiatrists and rehab psychologists assess and treat has broadened

Explaining Rehabilitation Psychology

Rehabilitation psychology is the study and practice of using psychological principles to enhance the well-being of people with physical or mental impairments, both in and out of the clinical setting. Social reintegration psychologists are trained professionals who conduct studies, provide direct patient care, educate others, inform the public, shape social policy, and advocate on behalf of their patients to ensure they reach their social reintegration objectives. All stages of life are included in the scope of social reintegration psychology, beginning in infancy and ending in old age.

Neighborhoods of Care

Depending on the type of Disorder or chronic illness being treated, social reintegration psychology may work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and clinics to outpatient and inpatient physical, social reintegration units to nursing homes and residential care centers to community organizations dedicated to helping people with conditions like blindness, palsy, multiple sclerosis, and deafness. Some of these establishments are privately run, while others, like hospitals and veteran's centers, are publicly funded and managed.

People's Self Interconnections

Social reintegration psychology considers the individual's impairment and the interpersonal, physical, and policy contexts in which that impairment is manifested to provide an all-encompassing evaluation and action plan for improvement. Individual and environmental interactions are considered part of the team approach to providing these services. Maximizing illness self-management skills, preventing secondary complications, preventing and treating psychosocial comorbidities, and promoting community reintegration are all crucial in meeting the healthcare demands associated with the Disorder.

Assessment of Disabilities

Rehabilitation Psychology deals with When people with disabilities are assessed and given the proper care, they may return to their regular routines with as few constraints as possible while still performing at their highest functional level.

Devices are Symbolic of a Unique Theoretical Approach to Social Reintegration Psychology

The Tolerance of Disorder Scale, the Means of Coping Questionnaire, the Katz Adjustment Scale, and Activity Sequence Indicators are all measures that may be used to examine coping and adaptation to Disorder. Each instrument is representative of a unique theoretical stance and often targets a unique set of attitudes, motives, or beliefs. Factors that aid integrative assessment include developing a rationale for a specific intervention, building a professional relationship with the patient and meaningful others, dealing with emotional reactions, and creating expectations but also attributions that support this same intervention; these are all aspects of the environment and behavior that are pertinent to intervention, like restricted conditions or contingency management.

Psychology Therapists are Prominent laymen, Work with others during Evaluation

A social reintegration counselor may collaborate with other professionals during the assessment phase, including lawyers, government officials, educators, the Department of Employment Development (DVR), insurance providers, case managers, to ensure that the client is receiving the best care possible and can return to independent living.

Functional Paradigm of Disorder Emphasising Biopsychosocial Dysfunction and Disorder

Disorder, impairments or restrictions, individual and familial strengths, and the patient's existing social position are all taken into account while practicing social reintegration psychology. When people with disabilities also belong to other marginalized groups, such as those with low socioeconomic standing (SES), identifiable racial or ethnic collectives, linguistically varied persons, or elderly adults, their access to treatment programs is exacerbated. People must be aware of the community resources that are accessible to them to optimize their ability to actively participate in their everyday lives and the community at large. Improving their standard of living is the ultimate objective. The International Statistical of Functioning, Disorder, and Health (WHO-ICF) is a functional model of Disorder that emphasizes a biopsychosocial perspective on impairment and Disorder. These representations highlight the value of learning about the Disorder's societal and cultural contexts.

Reintegration, Raising a Family

Disablement, in contrast to impairment, refers to the inability to do daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, or working because of a health condition. The functional consequence of impairment determines whether or not a person is considered disabled; a person could have a physical Disorder without being considered disabled.

Boosting Our Mental and Social Health

The field of social reintegration psychology aims to lessen the negative impact of a health problem on a person's daily life by restoring or improving their psychological and social functioning. Physical, mental, and emotional well-being may all play a role in how a person experiences life, and social reintegration psychologists may work to enhance all three via various means.


There has been a dramatic growth in the number of psychologists employed by medical facilities over the last two decades as people have become more conscious of mental and behavioral issues' impact on physical health. Most psychologists work in psychiatric settings, although they are increasingly valued in primary care settings, hospitals, pain clinics, schools of medicine, and social reintegration centers. Social reintegration has been heralded as a promising new area for psychologists to make a difference in the lives of those receiving medical treatment, especially in the previous decade. Clinical health psychology encompasses a wide range of subfields, including social reintegration psychology, which focuses on conducting scientific studies and providing direct clinical care to a diverse range of patients in the healthcare system to improve their ability to adapt to, manage, and recover from illness or injury.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2023


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