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Michelle Alber, Rehabilitation Counsellor

Michelle Alber
MASRC; Grad Dip Rehabilitation Counselling; Grad Cert Management (OHS);
Expert Witness Training Certificate
Rehabilitation Counsellor

Q: What does a Rehabilitation Counsellor do?

Rehabilitation Counsellors are especially trained in assessing rehabilitation needs, providing rehabilitation counselling, conducting vocational counselling and assessment, and labour market assessment, developing strategic retraining programs, and providing assistance with job seeking.

Rehabilitation counsellors assist people with a disability (physical and/or psychological) or medical condition (injury and/or illness), to achieve their rehabilitation goals, including return to paid employment and/or return to independent living. They specialise in assisting workers who are unemployed, underemployed, or who need to be redeployed following disability or injury.

Rehabilitation Counsellors are especially trained in understanding the medical aspects of disability, including psycho-social factors, barriers to independent living and return to work, and strategic interventions to address these barriers.

They are also especially trained to understand adjustment to disability, a variable component of individual disability which tends to be a common accompaniment to physical and psychological injuries.

Q: What is the role of a Rehabilitation Counsellor in a medico-legal case?

Rehabilitation Counsellors with occupational rehabilitation experience are particularly well equipped to understand the skills and experience required for different types of work (using job analysis) to identify the potential for injured workers to be competitive in the open labour market.

A competent professional review by a Rehabilitation Counsellor should demonstrate skills in screening work for functional suitability, and matching work on-the-job against a worker’s medical restrictions, as well as understanding how to modify a job to make the job more manageable for a worker with a disability, and to accommodate a worker’s medical restrictions.

Rehabilitation Counsellors with extensive experience in Occupational Rehabilitation, Vocational Assessment and Work Capacity Assessment are particularly well placed to provide:

    • Earning Capacity Assessments, and Employability Assessments
    • Labour Market Analysis to a high standard required for medico-legal case decisions
    • Expert opinion/second opinion on matters relating to:

– capacity to earn, and loss of capacity to earn in the open labour market
– suitable work options, including work options which optimise earning capacity
– job match and competitiveness of an injured worker in the open labour market
– the application of reasonable adjustments and compatibility of jobs with a worker’s medical restrictions,
– work readiness, barriers to Return to Work, and reasonable and necessary rehabilitation interventions to facilitate Return to Work
– retraining needs, and associated costs

Q: Why you should book me for an Independent Medico-Legal Opinion assessment

Professional Profile
Michelle is a highly motivated and experienced Rehabilitation Counsellor, specialising in Vocational Assessment, Labour Market Analysis and Medico Legal services, including Earning Capacity Assessments for Plaintiff and Defendant.

She has undertaken Expert Witness training, with Barrister Hugh Selby, and training in medico-legal report writing with medico-legal firms.

Michelle has 16 years experience working in the occupational rehabilitation industry, including in the Worker’s Compensation, CTP, and Comcare systems, and 13 years experience managing complex cases, including Same and Different Employer, tail end and Common Law claims.

With 16 years experience preparing injured workers for redeployment, and extensive experience job seeking on behalf of injured workers, she has an advanced understanding of labour market requirements, the functional requirements of a variety of jobs across a broad cross section of occupations and industries, and what makes a worker competitive in the open labour market.

She has 13 years experience in conducting Vocational Assessment, Labour Market Analysis and Work Capacity Assessments, with experience including Worker’s Compensation, CTP, Income Protection, Civil Liability, and Work Injury Damages cases.

Michelle has 13 years injury management experience, case managing injured workers from high to low occupational levels, with various back, neck and other musculo-skeletal injuries, overuse injuries, stress, anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other complex psychological conditions, complex pain disorders and neurological conditions.

Special Medical Interests

  • Medico legal services including Earning Capacity Assessments and Employability Assessments
  • Complex cases, psychological injuries and NESB cases
  • File reviews to facilitate early intervention and risk management.

Qualifications & Training

  • Professional Career Development Practitioner Qualification (2014)
  • Expert Witness Training Certificate, Unisearch/Barrister Hugh Selby (2014)
  • Life Insurance for Rehabilitation Professionals (2014)
  • Comcare approval to deliver rehabilitation services (2005)
  • WorkCover approval to deliver ‘Introduction to RTW Co-ordination’ training (2005)
  • CTP Provider training (2004)
  • Full Member of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (2002 – present)
  • Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling, University of Sydney (2001)
  • Expert Witness Training Certificate (2000)
  • Graduate Certificate in Management (OHS), University of Southern Queensland (1998)
  • Diploma of Teaching, Queensland University of Technology (1982)

Ms Michelle Alber is by preference providing medico-legal reports with Independent Medical Opinion (IMO Pty Ltd). To obtain a Curriculum Vitae and de-identified sample reports by Ms Alber please contact our customer services team.

For bookings enquiries phone 13 88 28, email bookings@imo.net.au or visit www.imo.net.au

We welcome your comments and other feedback via comments@imo.net.au

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