Psychologist, Neuropsychologist, and Psychiatrist: Physical Rehabilitation
If you are in the hospital recovering from surgery, healing from an injury, or being
treated for a disabling medical condition, physical rehabilitation may be an important
part of your treatment. Physical medicine and rehabilitation (rehab) is a branch of
medicine called physiatry.
What is a psychologist?
Psychologists work as part of the rehabilitation team to help meet the emotional,
behavioral, and psychological needs of the patient and family. They are not medical
doctors, but have earned a PhD.
Counsel patients and families during times of stress, grief, and loss
Identify strengths and behaviors that can help the patient succeed in rehabilitation
Assess and treat for cognitive and behavioral problems, and plan behavior management
Identify feelings and emotions that may impact recovery on the part of the patient,
family, or the rehabilitation team
What is a neuropsychologist?
Neuropsychologists are PhD-trained psychologists who specialize in how diseases, injuries,
and disorders of the nervous system affect emotions and behaviors.
What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who treat mental health issues. They can prescribe
medicine, but may also employ a number of counseling techniques. They are not usually
core team members, but are often available on a consulting basis.
All of these specialists may practice in a variety of settings, including the following:
Inpatient rehabilitation centers
Outpatient rehabilitation centers
Psychiatric care settings
Community health centers