Amy J. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Associate professor and chair

sahp.vcu.edu/rehab

Founded in 1955, the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling serves as a national leader in the professional preparation of licensed professional counselors and certified rehabilitation counselors who will exercise skill and competence on a high technical and ethical level. Department faculty conduct active programs of research and service and maintain high levels of teaching competence. In partnership with students, community agencies and consumer and professional organizations, the department endeavors to enhance the personal, social and economic well-being of the clients they serve, regardless of disability or other life circumstances. 

The Department of Rehabilitation Counseling is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education, and is the only such program in the commonwealth of Virginia. The purpose of accreditation is to promote the effective delivery of rehabilitation services to people with disabilities by fostering ongoing review and improvements of rehabilitation education programs. CORE has developed a field-based research accreditation process that has gained widespread acceptance in the professional accreditation movement. With more than 2,000 alumni, the department also enjoys solid relationships with many community organizations that serve as excellent sites for clinical training.

Faculty adviser

Every student must have a faculty adviser to guide the student regarding course selection and scheduling, to supervise his/her research and to act as a channel of communication with the department, to other departments, and to the Graduate School. When the student receives notification of admission to the department, it is his/her responsibility to contact the faculty adviser to plan the program of study. Students consult with faculty advisers on a regular basis to ensure orderly progress through the entire program of study, choose clinical placement sites, select electives and plan their careers.

RHAB   502. American Sign Language I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Introduces the rules and grammatical structure of ASL with a focus on grammar and vocabulary to increase the learner's expressive and receptive understanding of the language. Provides an introduction to Deaf culture and crosscultural interactions, and to tactile and close-vision communication techniques used by individuals who are deaf-blind.

RHAB   503. American Sign Language II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 credits. Provides continued study of the grammatical structure of ASL; introduction of additional vocabulary with emphasis on expressive and receptive competence; continued study of the tactile and close-vision communication techniques used by individuals who are deaf-blind; and continued study of the Deaf culture.

RHAB   521. Addiction Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides a biopsychosocial overview of addiction and addictive disorders. Reviews contemporary theories of addiction, pharmacological classification of psychoactive substances and contemporary approaches toward assessment, diagnosis, treatment and community support. Reviews cultural, legal and historical factors regarding substance use and addictive processes.

RHAB   522. Clinical Evaluation, Assessment and Treatment Planning in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RHAB   521. Stresses development of professional competencies. Focuses on systematic approach to screening and on-going assessment; diagnostic criteria for dependence and abuse; testing and interviewing; co-morbidity; collaborative approaches to individualized clinical treatment planning; awareness of treatment resources.

RHAB   523. Contemporary Issues in Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RHAB   521. Examines current issues and research in the field. Includes topics such as denial, social isolation, intervention; lifelong nature of recovery, support needs, relapse prevention; legal, political and ethical issues; special populations (e.g., physical disability); poly-drug abuse; perinatal addiction; program administration; professional readiness.

RHAB   525. Introduction to Rehabilitation Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of history, philosophy, legislation, organizational structure and trends in the rehabilitation profession. Focuses on attitudinal, social and environmental barriers to the inclusion of people with disabilities; professional identity, roles and functions; CRC Code of Ethics; CRC Standards of Practice; and career options.

RHAB   526. Introduction to Mental Health Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of history, philosophy, legislation, organizational structure and trends in mental health counseling. Focuses on advocacy; professional identity, roles and functions; ethics; counseling certification and licensure; and career options.

RHAB   533. Directed Readings in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Provides intensive study in one or more topical areas of rehabilitation through directed readings under the supervision of a faculty member.

RHAB   611. Theories of Professional Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides a deep understanding of the major theoretical approaches, models and strategies to effective counseling, consultation, prevention, advocacy and wellness programs with an emphasis on common factors and evidence-based effectiveness. The intent is to assist students in developing an ethical and culturally relevant yet personal model of counseling.

RHAB   612. Group Counseling Theories and Techniques. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Reviews theoretical foundations of group work, group dynamics and processes, group therapeutic factors, and characteristics and functions of effective group leaders. Reviews ethical and culturally relevant strategies for designing, implementing and facilitating a variety of group approaches. Provides experience in group participation and development of group leadership skills.

RHAB   613. Advanced Rehabilitation Counseling Seminar. 3-9 Hours.

3-9 lecture hours. 3-9 credits. Prerequisites: RHAB   611 and RHAB   612 or permission of instructor. This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to undertake a more in-depth study of selected approaches to individual and/or group counseling of rehabilitation clients. Principles and techniques relevant to vocational, educational, and personal adjustment problems related to severe and multiple disabilities will be systematically explored and studied. Audio visual tape experience will be offered.

RHAB   614. Counseling, Death and Loss. 3 Hours.

3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RHAB   611 or permission of instructor. Explores the psychosocial processes of adaptation to severe losses such as those occasioned by the onset of disability, death and developmental life changes. Emphasizes the knowledge and skills required by rehabilitation counselors in dealing with losses experienced by their clients.

RHAB   615. Human Growth and Development. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines the major themes of research on human development over the lifespan -- from conception through adulthood. Focuses on the physical, emotional, social and cognitive aspects across the lifespan. Emphasizes how developmental processes relate to persons with disabilities and impact the work of rehabilitation and other helping professions.

RHAB   616. Couples and Family Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of approaches to couples and family counseling. Instruction in the theoretical foundation and interventions in couples and family therapy will be examined.

RHAB   623. Career Counseling and Job Placement. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of major theories of career development with emphasis on theories relevant to rehabilitation practice. Explores occupational information and job matching systems, career counseling techniques, and major job placement approaches and techniques, with emphasis on demand-side job placement.

RHAB   624. Assessment and Evaluation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines principles of measurement, assessment and diagnosis in rehabilitation and mental health counseling; test selection, administration and interpretation; accommodating individuals with disabilities in the testing process. Includes an overview of the major domains in assessment.

RHAB   625. Research and Program Evaluation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines basic principles rehabilitation research and program evaluation, including an emphasis on the critical review of published research for use in rehabilitation and mental health counseling practice. Focuses on students' understanding of the application of research and program evaluation tools to enhance the quality of rehabilitation services delivered.

RHAB   633. Case Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores history, theory, practice and ethics of case management as well as the full range of community resources as these contribute to successful outcomes. Reviews and critically analyzes benefit systems, treatment and life care planning, coordination and delivery of services, disability management, documentation, and case studies.

RHAB   640. Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disabilities. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of the major disabilities encountered by rehabilitation and mental health counselors. Focuses on functional limitations and the process of psychological adjustment.

RHAB   642. Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Examines the major mental disorders and their etiology, prevalence, diagnosis and impact on individuals and society. Reviews the prevailing multiaxial classification systems and diagnostic processes, procedures and nomenclatures currently used in clinical practice. Provides an overview of rehabilitation and mental health treatment planning and interventions using a biopsychosocial framework.

RHAB   644. Alcohol and Human Behavior. 3 Hours.

3 credits. Prerequisites: RHAB   521, RHAB   522, RHAB   523 and RHAB   695, or permission of instructor. Understanding the significance of behavior as a tool in diagnosing, treating and/or referring the addict; appreciation of particular cues to observe the predominant behavior associated with living problems and reflected by the alcohol or drug abuser.

RHAB   654. Multicultural Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Provides an overview of multicultural counseling theories and techniques. Provides an understanding of how human development, family, gender, race and ethnicity impact upon the process of adjustment to disability.

RHAB   681. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   682. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   683. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   684. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   685. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   686. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   687. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   688. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   689. Institutes and Workshops in Rehabilitation. 1-3 Hours.

Orientation institutes and other short-term training programs are offered for rehabilitation counselors newly recruited to the rehabilitation field and for the further professional development of those already employed. Content will vary according to the aims of the institutes or workshops. Length of time and number of credits are announced prior to each institute or workshop.

RHAB   691. Counseling Techniques. 3 Hours.

Semester course. 3 credits. Provides experience and practice in the basic counseling skills related to the helping process. Examines the variety of clinical settings available for professional preparation. Provides the necessary level of skill development for students to participate in internship.

RHAB   692. Advanced Professional Issues in Counseling. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: RHAB   691. Provides an advanced overview of professional identity, roles and functions; counseling practice issues; supervision; and specialized counseling techniques in rehabilitation and mental health counseling. Includes 100 hours of supervised rehabilitation and mental health counseling practicum.

RHAB   693. Introduction to Field Experiences for Rehabilitation Counselors. 3 Hours.

3 credits. This course provides for concurrent field experience and is designed for students who have no training or experience in interviewing and counseling in rehabilitation settings.

RHAB   694. Job Placement in Rehabilitation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Explores occupational information, job matching systems and job placement approaches. Focuses on demand-side job development, job seeking skills training, supported employment, transitional work and placement techniques including job analyses, ADA implementation and labor market surveys.

RHAB   695. Supervised Clinical Practice in Substance Abuse Rehabilitation. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 credits. (1 credit per 100 hours of supervised internship.) May be repeated to a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisites: Completion of 24 graduate credits including RHAB   691. Requires completion of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination and a total of six credits for degree completion. Emphasizes mastery of substance abuse setting specific roles and functions of the professional rehabilitation counselor. Stresses ethical decision making in practice. Involves scheduled seminars and meetings with faculty and agency supervisor.

RHAB   696. Supervised Clinical Practice in Rehabilitation and Mental Health. 3-9 Hours.

Semester course; 3-9 credits (3 credits per 200 hours of supervised internship). Prerequisite: Completion of 36 graduate credits including RHAB   691. Emphasizes mastery of setting-specific roles and functions of the professional rehabilitation and mental health counselor. Stresses ethical decision-making in practice. Involves scheduled seminars and meetings with faculty and agency supervisor. Requires completion of Certified Rehabilitation Counselor examination and a total of 9 credits for degree completion.

RHAB   697. Supervised Clinical Practice in Counseling. 1-6 Hours.

Semester course; 1-6 credits. (1 credit per 100 hours of supervised internship.) May be repeated to a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: Admission into advanced certificate in professional counseling program. Emphasizes advanced development of counseling skills pursuant to licensure or other post-master's training needs. Stresses ethical decision making in practice. Involves scheduled seminars and meetings with faculty and agency supervisor.