Role and Function of a Rehabilitation Counselor essay

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Role and Function of a Rehabilitation Coordinator

Over the last several years, the responsibilities and duties of rehabilitation coordinators have been increasing. This is because they can serve the interests of numerous stakeholders and more effectively reach out to the disabled. As a result, more organizations are demanding the specialized skills these individuals can provide. The most notable include: hospitals, universities, schools, government agencies, insurance companies, skilled care / nursing facilities, sports organizations and in private practice. (Riggar, 2004) (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

However, to fully understand what they do, requires discussing their responsibilities with a rehabilitation coordinator. This will be accomplished through conducting an interview with them. During this process, there will be a focus on the person's background, their experiences, why they chose this discipline, what are the rewards and challenges of the job. Together, these elements will highlight the roles and responsibilities of a rehabilitation coordinator. (Riggar, 2004)


The individual that was interviewed is James Clevenger. He is a rehabilitation coordinator that works for an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center in Brooklyn, New York. Their organization is focused on helping to reach out to addicts and assist them in receiving counseling through different treatment programs. Once they have finished; is when the organization will offer continuing support to these individuals. This occurs with them meeting a rehabilitation counselor regularly (i.e. weekly, bi monthly or quarterly). In most cases, this is part of a court ordered program to help addicts to stay clean. James' job is to help retrain these individuals and teach them skill sets for coping. This improves their quality of life and how the person feels about themselves. At the same time, he oversees how the programs are run and supervises other counselors. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

Prior to working with the organization, James was a psychologist / rehabilitation counselor in private practice. As he helped patients in dealing with: their phobias, addictions and social disorders for 10 years. However, he felt sense of loss by only assisting those who were from wealthy and affluent backgrounds. To make a difference, he began working with the organization and eventually started with them full time. This is where he has been for the last 3 years. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

Prior to this, James was a therapist and counselor with the New Jersey Department of Child Services. This is when he protected the interests of children and offered advice as to how specific cases should be handled. James worked in this position for five years. He has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A Master's in Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami and a PHD in Cognitive Psychology at Columbia University. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

Length of time in the field

James has been working in the field for 18 years. It began when he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and began working with the New Jersey Department of Child Services. His responsibilities were to talk with clients about their challenges and assess what kind of action should be taken by the agency. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

After several years, he realized that he could make a greater contribution by working with cliental and using his skills to retrain them. This is when he went into private practice in New York City. The main clients they worked with were affluent people, who had challenges with the lifestyle choices they were making. In most cases, James would often provide therapy to patients who were suffering from some kind of disability such as PTSD or a physical impairment. Even though James was successful in helping his patients, he felt a sense of loss. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

To give something back he started working with a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn. At first, he performed different tasks for them part time. However, the last several years have resulted in him spending more of his time there. This is because he is seeing the positive rewards he is providing and wants to help the organization deal with the budget cuts from the last five years. (J. Clevenger, personal communication, October 26, 2013)

Why did they choose the field?

Clevenger chose work in this field in order to help people. This began…[continue]

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