foundations from the Foundation:
Trieschmann, R. B. (1978-79). The role of the psychologist in the treatment of spinal cord injury. Paraplegia, 16, 212-219.
Roberta Trieschmann received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1966 and joined the faculty of the University of Washington department of Rehabilitation Medicine for four years. She then took a position at Good Samaritan Institute of Rehabilitation in Phoenix in 1971 as the first psychologist working in the first National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Model Spinal Cord Injury System of Care. Later, she joined the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the University of Cincinnati. She completed her professional career working in the private sector as a therapist, consultant and forensic expert witness. She was part of the consulting group involved in the formation of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research and was active on the editorial board of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Trieschmann was an early and vigorous advocate for the integration of psychological services into the healthcare delivery system for persons with spinal cord injury. In fact, inclusion of psychological services remains one of the key components of the clinical care continuum required of any applicant for a current SCI Model System grant. Her books, Spinal Cord Injuries: the Psychological, Social and Vocational Adjustment and its 1988 second revision and Spinal Cord Injuries: Psychological, Social, and Vocational Rehabilitation, to this day should be required reading for psychologists entering the field of spinal cord injury care. In this 1978 article she wrote in Paraplegia, she describes her view of the role of the psychologist on the treatment team. She emphasizes the importance of the environment, the role of learning and the role psychologists can play with respect to applying learning principals, emphasizes the need to assess coping and assets rather than focus on psychopathology, and conceptualizes motivation as residing as much in environmental contingencies as intrapersonal constructs. Despite its 30+ year age, there is much of relevance for practitioners who work with person who have incurred a spinal cord injury.