VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

What Counselors Need to Know About Physical Disability: Lessons Learned

Judith R. Warchal and Gail Metzger


The response to an injury that results in a physical disability is well noted in the literature to be multidimensional. Many health professionals, including nurses, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, discuss or uncover strong emotional responses that
require a referral to a professional counselor.  Interdisciplinary cooperation among health care providers at all points in the rehabilitation process, not just during the acute inpatient phase, is imperative if clients with physical disabilities are to be fully understood and assisted toward an optimal, healthy response to a disability. This can only occur when open communication between treating professionals is encouraged and expected. The collaboration of team members enables the client’s issues to be addressed from a truly holistic approach, as even the most experienced rehabilitation counselor may benefit from
conversations with the treating occupational and physical therapist to gain practical information regarding the physical and functional status of the client in relation to his or her psychological response.

PDF, 189.09 KB

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