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Rehabilitation Psychology


Formal Specialty Definition: 


Rehabilitation Psychology as a specialty area within psychology assists the individual with an injury or illness, which may be chronic, traumatic and/or congenital, including the family, in achieving optimal physical, psychological and interpersonal functioning. The focus of rehabilitation psychology is on provision of services consistent with the level of impairment, limitations in daily activities, and limitations in role participation relative to the individual’s personal preferences, needs, and resources (World Health Organization). Rehabilitation Psychology consistently involves interdisciplinary teamwork as a condition of practice and service provision occurs within a network of biological, psychological, social, environmental, and political considerations in order to achieve optimal rehabilitation goals. Psychologists in the specialty usually work with accredited rehabilitation programs and are identified as Rehabilitation Psychologists.

Overview of Organization and Goals:

Rehabilitation Psychology Specialty Presentation 2022



Levels of Specialty Training:


Formal programs of specialty training are offered at the Postdoctoral level.


Specialty Board Certification:


Board Certification in Rehabilitation Psychology is available through the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology, which is a Specialty Board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).


Sources of Specialty Recognition:


  1. APA/CRSPPP recognition

  2. ABPP recognition


Rehabilitation Psychology Specialty Council Membership:


  • Academy of Rehabilitation Psychology (ARP)

  • American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology (ABRP)

  • Council of Rehabilitation Psychology Postdoctoral Training Programs (CRPPTP)

  • Division of Rehabilitation Psychology (Div 22) of the American Psychological Association

  • Foundation for Rehabilitation Psychology (FRP)


Related Non-Psychology Groups:


  • Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals

  • American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine


Specialty Related Web Links:



Education and Training Guidelines:




Michele Rusin, PhD, ABPP (RP)​


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