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Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling as a Career

In April 2006, I retired from nearly twenty one satisfying and fulfilling years as a nationally certified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. I was also licensed in the state of New Jersey to practice Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. Over time as the profession of vocational rehabilitation emerged and morphed into different directions and specialties, I too, grew with the profession. Vocational rehabilitation counseling is a profession that is not that familiar to many. Whenever I was questioned about my occupation, the inquirer would often confuse nursing and vocational rehabilitation counseling. i suppose the word rehabilitation in my job title conjured up thoughts of clinics and hospitals.

Definition
So, you ask, what is a vocational rehabilitation counselor? Vocational rehabilitation counselors work with individuals who have a physical, mental, developmental or psychiatric disability. We work in varied settings including hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers, government and insurance offices, private rehabilitation centers and more recently in schools. Vocational rehabilitation counselors are often mistaken to be social workers. These two professions, while having some overlap are two distinct professions governed by accrediting bodies and having different education requirements. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors or Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists as we are sometimes called, work as part of an interdisciplinary team to assess the current functioning and future prognosis of individuals returning to employment or to determine if retraining or a career change is needed because of an injury or physical impairment. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (specialists) can specialize in a particular disability group. In my career, I worked with psychiatrically disabled patients for a number of years and ended my career as a Vocationally Rehabilitation Counselor for chemically dependent patients in an outpatient hospital center in a borough of New York City. Other specialty areas include but are not limited to visual impairments, orthopedic impairments, developmental disabilities, special education, learning disabilities and hearing impairments.

Education Required
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors must complete an undergraduate degree program, preferably in behavioral sciences, humanities, or liberal arts. A solid foundation and knowledge of human behavior and principles is vital because of the individualized approach that is needed when working with individuals. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, you can then apply to a graduate school of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling for admission to a CORE(Commission on Rehabilitation Education) program for a Master’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.. It is imperative that you attend a school that is CORE accredited or you will discover that your degree is not acceptable to the standard of the governing body, the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) and employment will be difficult. Most graduate programs are two years in length and upon completion of the graduate degree, you are eligible to sit for the certification examination that is held in October and April each year. National certification, while not always required by an employer, is increasingly being sought by employers when hiring Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (specialists). Continuing education is necessary to maintain the 100 credits you need to maintain certification. Credits can be obtained by attending approved seminars, conferences or by taking approved home study courses. A fee is assessed to take the exam as part of keeping current with changes and policies in the field of vocational rehabilitation counseling. Once certified, you are allowed to use the designation CRC (certified rehabilitation counselor) after your title. Being certified often equates being offered a higher salary. Doctoral programs are offered by accredited institutions for those interested in pursuing a PhD. degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.

Skills Required
When working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor it is necessary that one be a good listener, possess good problem solving skills, have the ability to make evaluations based upon medical, educational, and family histories in order to properly assess the individual’s needs A treatment plan is then formulated with the individual’s input to assist the disabled individual to integrate his current abilities with realistic vocational and education options. Excellent interpersonal skills are needed because of the frequent and ongoing contact you will have with other health practitioners including physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and other medical personnel. Verbal and communication skills are part of the skill sets needed to write the many progress reports and evaluations and other written correspondence. Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling spans many medical specialties and depending upon your specialty you will develop specific skills and knowledge. Patience and compassion are two very important attributes to possess when dealing with individuals with disabilities in the profession of Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.

Employment Possibilities
Quite candidly, you will not become wealthy working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (specialist) but I found the salary is respectable and differs depending upon your geographic location. However, for me, the gratification, satisfaction and fulfillment I received over the years in helping individuals find their niche and offer hope to those who felt they had nothing to gain or offer, more than made up for any monetary deficit. I am not stating that the salary is woefully inadequate but that it does not equal the type salaries received by those employed in the corporate world. In my life, I made the decision that the corporate world was not my choice and know that I was in the field where I positively impacted the world of others. My financial needs were met and in the New York City metropolitan my $47,000 plus annual salary was competitive and comparable with salaries offered by other hospitals and clinical settings. I had a decent benefits package and a 403b plan.

Summary
If you are a high school student, a college student who has not yet decided upon a major or an older adult considering a career change, then a career in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling may suit you. If you desire to help individuals transition from a condition of despair to hope as you work with them to develop realistic employment or educational goals, then I unequivocally recommend that you further explore vocational rehabilitation counseling as a career choice. Taking a course in medical transcription and medical disabilities further enhanced my understanding of physical and mental disabilities and helped me to be of better service to my clients and patients. I discovered that my knowledge of medical disabilities linked with my experience in education and mental health provided me the opportunity to have a fulfilling career in vocational rehabilitation counseling. In working in this profession, one learns that not everyone will be a success or follow the agreed upon recommendations, a lesson I learned after several years in my profession. Nevertheless, I have no regrets that I chose vocational rehabilitation counseling as my life’s work. Indeed, I am proud to have worked in the field and now that I am retired, I look forward to still using my knowledge and skills if only in an informal way. Touching lives as evidenced by the many kind letters, comments and words of appreciation I have received
over the years has more than made up for any bad experiences. Perhaps you too will find Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling to be the answer to the question :What do I want to be when I grow up?

Winch Out & Recovery Service Los Angeles – Los Angeles Towing

Winch out & recovery service

Driving in Los Angeles can be very dangerous, and that goes for a lot more than just the crazy and hectic freeways that surround the city.

The roads up in Beverly and Hollywood Hills, as well as Malibu and other windy roads in Los Angeles are also really scary because it can be really easy to get stuck if you’re not paying attention or do something wrong and get in an accident up on the mountain roads.

A lot of times people get stuck and need some sort of winch out and recovery service so that their cars can be retrieved from a very dangerous situation and back out on the road and to a safer area.

No one likes to be winched out of somewhere or need a recovery service, but everyone needs to be prepared just in case something bad happens and they need a company like the Los Angeles Towing Company to come help them out in a sticky situation.

Companies like the Los Angeles Towing Company are few and far between because only people like the Los Angeles Towing Company are so multifaceted that they can get people out of being stuck through winching them out and being successful in a car recovery objective.

This can be the scariest moment of many people’s lives, but it’s just another day on the job for the employees of the Los Angeles Towing Company, so give them a call the next time you need a winch out or recovery service.

Next Post : Top 10 Chicago Towing Companies

Acupuncture: a Proven Success

For many in the United States, complaints such as fatigue, depression, and chronic pain have unfortunately become a normal part of life. Western medicine in general has really failed in the attempt to quell these common afflictions. A method which has been in use for thousands of years outside the world of Western medicine is now finally being recognized in the United States, and its results are spectacular.

Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Oriental Medicine which involves the insertion of very thin needles at specific points in the human body. Acupuncture is based on the Eastern idea of Qi (chee). Qi is based on the flow and patterns of energy throughout the body. Blockages in this energy flow are the root of nearly every problem within the human body. These needles reopen or redirect the energy flows in the body relieving the receiver of whatever afflictions he or she has intended the healer to correct.

As acupuncture gets more and more popular in the United States, more and more Americans try this method of healing. It is estimated that 15 million Americans have tried acupuncture, and that five million undergo the treatment on a yearly basis. Many states now have acupuncture organizations, regulations, and codes. There are now more than 50 accredited acupuncture schools in the United States.

The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health have both recognized acupuncture as an effective proven treatment.

In the United States, acupuncture is practiced differently from the way it is practiced in China. Western physicians practice acupuncture, and this is termed “Medical Acupuncture.” There are also many different styles of acupuncture, and the most commonly used and taught in American schools is Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture.

Proof of the effectiveness of acupuncture can be found in the studies which show that acupuncture generates biological responses in humans and animals. It is well-established that acupuncture creates the release of chemicals and hormones. One of these chemicals, endorphins, are responsible for pain relief, digestive regularity, and emotional well-being.

Because of the narrow-minded nature of Western medicine, Western doctors are finding it really hard to reconcile within standard western medical models how exactly this treatment works. There is a lot which is still being learned about this process in the Western World. Acupuncture is something which has been effective long before Western medicine was effective and even widely established. There is much to be learned from the much older cultures of the East.

How to Make a Cleaning Service More Affordable?

All of us are busier than ever these days, and some weeks it is hard to find time to get all the cleaning chores done that we would like. Have you had thoughts of hiring a cleaning service, but have thought you wouldn’t be able to fit it into your budget? Think again, you might be able to afford it after all. The best way to save on the cost of having a cleaning service is to be specific about the things you want them to do. Most cleaning services are flexible about what jobs they do at specific locations.

Take some time and think about your cleaning needs. Start by making a list of the jobs that you really hate to do around the house. These will be the jobs that you would really feel are worth paying to have done. And this is the start of the list for what the cleaning service will be asked to do. Add that bathroom that you put off doing all the time on the top of the list for the service to do. But, if you really don’t cook very often and don’t mind keeping the kitchen cleaned up regularly, then keep that for yourself to do.

Fine tune your needs and be specific with your service about what you want done and what you don’t want done. There is no need paying them to cleaning the utility room if that is not important to you. Why have them clean the spare bedroom when it isn’t going to be used anytime soon? If you seldom cook, that may be a good room to pick and choose what you’d like the service do. You might be pleased just to have the sink cleaned and the floor washed! Or maybe clean the microwave inside and out, the coffee maker, and the floor.

This idea may not seem so easy for everyone. Those of you that feel like you hate every part of cleaning will have the worst time with it. But if you can’t afford to have it all done for you, then compromise. You are still going to have to do some of it yourself, but just keep reminding yourself how much you appreciate having some of those really hated jobs done for you. Maybe someday your budget will allow for having the whole house cleaned, but for now, some help is better than none at all. Happy cleaning.

WHAT IS IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a motility disorder involving the intestines. Patients may experience variable degrees of abdominal pain, constipation, and/or diarrhea which worsens as a reaction to stress. It is estimated that 10-20% of all American adults experience symptoms of IBS, and patients with IBS account for half of all doctor visits for gastrointestinal complaints. IBS affects three times as many women as men and, after the common cold, is the next most common cause of missed school and work.

WHAT CAUSES IBS?

No one knows why some people develop heightened sensitivity of the GI tract, at least in terms of Western medicine, but researchers are working on the theory that there are direct links between the GI tract and the central nervous system. Such as brain-gut connection would explain why emotional upsets affect the intestines and why intestinal symptoms affect the mood.

HOW CHINESE MEDICINE TREATS IBS

Unfortunately, many people experience side effects from any or all types of Western drugs to treat this condition. The good news is that Chinese medicine has been proven to treat IBS safely and effectively. Unlike some conditions, the Chinese medical literature is virtually unanimous in its description of the Chinese medical mechanisms of this disorder. All Chinese sources say that this condition is worsened by stress, overeating sugars and sweets, obsessive thinking, too much fatigue, and too little physical exercise. Together, these factors lead to what is called in Chinese medicine a liver-spleen disharmony.

If the liver is stagnated and the spleen is vacuous and weak, a number of other complaints can arise. The main ones in IBS patients are the creation of damp turbidity, damp heat, and/or blood stasis. In addition Chinese medicine finds that patients in their 40s or older may also develop kidney weakness due to spleen disease reaching the kidneys. Because there are a number of possible complicated patterns IBS sufferers may present. The first step in being treated with Chinese medicine is to get a personal pattern discrimination from a qualified professional practitioner. While every IBS patient suffers from a liver-spleen disharmony, most also have one or more other patterns complicating this core mechanism.

After doing an individualized pattern discrimination, a Chinese medical practitioner may chose to treat this condition with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, or a combination of both. In addition, they will certainly also adjust the diet and lifestyle. Foods which damage the spleen need to be avoided, and the person usually needs to learn better relaxation skills. If acupuncture is the main method of choice, the patient may be suggested to receive two treatments for several weeks and then one treatment per week for several weeks more. If Chinese herbs are prescribed, these may consist of modern desiccated powdered extracts or bulk herbs brewed and drunk as tea several times per day. Exactly what method of administration and what combination of Chinese therapies is chosen will depend on the training and preferences of each individual practitioner, as well as each patientís needs.

Source: Acupuncture Arlington Heights

What is a Life Coach?

You have probably seen or heard of the latest self-help trend “experts” in America, called Life Coaches. Some are present on reality television, some offer ads on TV or on the radio, and many claim to offer the ability to help you organize and improve your life. Life Coaches report that they are not therapists, psychological experts or even consultants. But what exactly is a life coach? Could you benefit from one?

History
Life coaching reports that it has history in the psychodynamic/therapy movement. The actual history however is hard to find, and pinning a year or a date on when life coaching actually started is difficult. The person most often reported as the one who brought life coaching to the forefront is Thomas Leonard. Working as an accountant in the 1980’s, he felt that he saw a need for clients that was not being met by his accounting services alone, including life planning and organization. Thomas created checklists and assessment tools to assist clients in reaching goals. Interestingly enough, Leonards mother is a psychologist. Others point to Stephan Covey and his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

Credentials and Training
One of the major pitfalls and complaints about life coaching is that there is no licensing required to call yourself a life coach, compared to mandatory regulations for all mental health workers, doctors, teachers etc. No education is required, nor is any specific training or theory system, nor is there any professional ethics or guidelines.. The worst, and probably the scariest part, is that there is no regulatory committee. In easy terms, that means nobody is watching the behavior of these “coaches”, nor is anyone held to a standard if you feel they have treated you unethically. Monetarily, you have little to no recourse to reclaim any money or payments made to these “coaches”.
There are training programs available, but no program has any specific standard to follow, and many consider these programs to merely be money-making schemes, whereby they offer training and take payment and then give the newly trained life coach a document stating they are “certified”. This certification is not regulated by any private or state or even federal board. The truth of the matter is, anyone can rent a buildling or build a website, even if they are a 15 year old high school student, a child predator, an inmate or a 4th grade drop out. While real life experience does offer knowledge and experience that can be useful to others, it cannot compare to a trained professional using evidence based practices.

Services offered
According to alifecoach.com, there are many services offered by life coaches. Some do career coaching in either organizing your resume and assisting in finding a new job, or helping you to enjoy the job you already have. There are financial coaches, executive coaches, relationship coaches, goal coaches, life or personal coaching and a myriad of others. New areas include coaching for mothers and for professionals with mental problems
To find a Life Coach in your area, you do an easy search on the internet for an available coach. Many offer multiple forms of contact, including email, video conferencing and over the phone, as well as in person. Many critics report that one would be better off either talking to a friend, or at least someone in a regulated profession such as a Therapist or Social Worker. The fees are the same if not less to speak to a trained mental health worker, and these professions have a much higher rate of success and evidence based practices. The founder himself had no formal training and offered nothing to his clients but opinions. Many feel that it preys on consumers who are seeking a quick fix; these consumers lose hard earned money and may show short term benefits, but no long term help.
Many people could benefit just as well from reading a self-help books, although supporters say that a life coach is available to you at any time and is less biased than a family member or friend.

Who goes to Life Coaches?
Often the mental health field carries a stigma. Approx 70% of all therapy clients are women, whereas in life coaching the clientele is 60% men. Often those seeking a life coach are professionals, often more affluent. Fees range from $1000 a month to $3000 a month or higher. Some coaches cost $10,000 a month. Some coaches do a weekly 30 minute phone conversation, while others offer 3 sessions spread over 6 months. Email coaching does cost less. In general however, life coach Chicago is least expensive than most other trained mental health providers.