The Role of the Psychologist in Life Care Planning
This chapter focuses on ways psychologists work with individuals with disabilities, their support systems, and the rehabilitation team. It considers different topics: choosing a psychologist, psychological issues common to rehabilitation, the psychologist's role in assessment and diagnosis, psychological testing, types of psychological treatment, and the interface between the psychologist and life care planner. Rehabilitation clients often face dynamic and diverse physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, financial, and social challenges. Following traumatic brain injury (TBI), the client may experience significant changes as a result of altered brain functioning. Systemically this might include cognitive, motoric, behavioral, emotional/psychiatric, medical, metabolic, sensory, and perceptual challenges. Motor impairments involving paralysis, paraplegia, or tetraplegia are only one of the prominent challenges that individuals with spinal cord injury experience. Burn injury is often a devastating event with long-term physical and psychosocial effects. Psychotherapeutic treatment needs to reflect the client's ethnic and cultural beliefs, social support network, community, capacities, challenges, and goals.