I’ve often heard that the field of rehabilitation is “one of the best kept secrets.” Unlike professions such as teaching, medicine, etc., most children don’t declare at age 10 – “I want to be rehabilitation professional.” My personal journey began when my mother was diagnosed with a serious mental illness when I was a child. Luckily, she had a psychiatrist who knew the value of work in helping people through their recovery. With treatment, medication, and, most importantly, a meaningful job, my mom blossomed.
So, I learned at an early age that “we don’t have to be well to go to work, we often go to work to get well”(quote from Richard Pimentel). I knew that I wanted to help people rebuild their lives and like many of you, I stumbled upon the field. Psychology was too focused on the pathology, Social Work didn’t really look at disability, but rehabilitation… oh, my… it was a perfect fit!
Having passion and drive is essential, but not sufficient. Specialized training of rehabilitation professionals is important because of the level of responsibility that practitioners assume in virtually every employment settings that provides services to individuals with disabilities. Pursing education in rehabilitation provides not only training in evidence-based and best practices, but it also provides a foundation for person-center practice and a commitment to informed choice. It teaches you how to advocate for those you serve as well as how to effectively provide services. There is ample research that shows that those who have master’s in rehabilitation counseling achieve better outcomes than those who are not.
I was one of the lucky ones who found a degree in rehabilitation studies as a young undergraduate. That provided a great foundation for my career, but the more I learned, the more that I wanted know… thus began my lifelong journey into rehabilitation education. I am proud that UNTWISE has been a leader in providing continuing education and credentials for CRPs in Texas. Many have found this to be a springboard in their “Career Ramp” often inspiring them to pursue further education in the field.
I hope you will consider taking the next step in your education.
Dr. Holloway has over 30 years of experience in rehabilitation program development and grants management. Her professional background includes extensive work with persons with severe disabilities, having worked in a number of community rehabilitation programs providing employment services, psychosocial rehabilitation, and community mental health services.