Teaching the foundational principles of rehabilitation psychology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Wright (1983) described 20 "value-laden beliefs and principles" that form the foundational principles of rehabilitation psychology, and the education and training of rehabilitation psychologists necessitates that they acquire the specialty-specific knowledge and attitudes/values related to these principles. This article addresses 2 questions about how these principles can be taught in rehabilitation psychology training: (a) What are the core theories and evidence supporting these foundational principles, and what should be the content of a "core curriculum" for teaching these?; and (b) What is known about the most effective methods for teaching these foundational principles, including questions of how to teach values? Method: The foundational principles were grouped into 3 categories: individual psychological processes, social psychological processes, and values related to social integration. A literature review was conducted in these 3 categories, and the results are summarized and discussed. Results: A core curriculum is discussed for teaching about disability-specific individual psychological processes, social psychological processes, and values related to social integration, including methods to reduce group prejudice and promote values relevant to the foundational principles. Specific suggestions for training program content and methods are provided. Conclusions: It is hoped that effective teaching of Wright's (1983) value-laden beliefs and principles will help rehabilitation psychology trainers and trainees focus on the key knowledge and attitude-value competencies that are to be acquired in training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Foundational principles
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation psychology
  • Teaching
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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