Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Helping people with disabilities: Dr. Gary Zomalt and the science of rehabilitation counseling

Dary Zomalt Photo Credit: DARA - Drug & Alcohol Rehab Asia

Rehabilitation counseling is a psychotherapeutic process designed to help people with physical, sensory, cognitive, or developmental disabilities achieve their personal goals. Rehabilitation counselors and psychotherapists like Dr. Gary Zomalt are often found in private practice, in rehabilitation facilities, universities, government offices, corporate headquarters, and other organizations where people are being treated for congenital or acquired disabilities with the aim of helping them go to or get back to work.

In the United States, rehabilitation professionals were initially recruited from a variety of social service disciplines, including public health nursing, social work, and school counseling. Although the emergence of educational programs began in the 1940s, it was not until the accessibility of federal funding for rehabilitation counseling projects in 1954 that the profession began to grow, establish a unique identity, and create its own niche in the medical world.

Gary Zomalt Photo Credit: Matthew Wild

Before, rehabilitation counselors and special-case psychotherapists like Dr. Gary Zomalt exclusively served working-age adults with physical impairments. Today, the need for rehabilitation counseling services has extended to persons of all age groups suffering from a range of disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors may also provide general and specialized counseling to people with disabilities in public social service programs and private practice settings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 129,500 professionals working in the field of rehabilitation counseling in 2008. The number was expected to grow by 19 percent annually, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Many of these rehabilitation counselors are self-employed and work in group practices or private practice, primarily due to laws allowing them to be paid for their services by insurance companies and to the increasing recognition that counselors are well-trained, reliable, and effective practitioners.

From Gary Zomalt
For more updates about Dr. Gary Zomalt and his psychotherapy sessions, visit his Facebook page.

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