Rehabilitation psychology is the study and application of psychological principles on behalf of persons who have disability due to injury or illness. Rehabilitation psychologists, often within teams, assess and treat cognitive, emotional, and functional difficulties, and help people to overcome barriers to participation in life activities.
Fundamental to the approach is the focus on the emotional lives of people with a disability, an area often overlooked in service provision. Emphasis is placed on understanding the pain and distress of disability, which, as well as early and later life traumas, can exaggerate the original disability, further handicapping the individual. Rehab Psychotherapy works to enhance an individual’s emotional development and independence.