Dr. Tanya Rutherford-Owen

Life Care Planner & Rehabilitation Counselor,
Owen Vocational Services, Inc.

Contact Details

Owen Vocational Services, Inc.
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Renew your IARP Membership


Dr. Tanya Rutherford Owen is a certified rehabilitation counselor, certified life care planner, and life care planning fellow. She has over 25 years of experience providing rehabilitation services and forensic work in various states. She has been in private practice in Arkansas since 2001 and has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas in the Department of Rehabilitation, Education and Research.  She is currently an adjunct faculty member of Capital University Law School. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Life Care Planning & Rehabilitation Research and served as a work group member in the development of the 4th edition of the Standards of Practice for Life Care Planners. In her career, Dr. Owen has worked with thousands of veterans through the Chapter 31 program; injured employees through the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers Compensation Program; and has provided testimony in over 10,000 Social Security Administration disability adjudication hearings. She has independently researched and published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Life Care Planning, The Rehabilitation Professional and the Journal of Rehabilitation. She served as an editorial board member for the Journal of Life Care Planning for several years prior to assuming the editor position in 2016. She worked as the editor of the Journal of Life Care Planning (JLCP) from 2016-2020, prior to assuming the managing editor role for both the Journal of Life Care Planning and The Rehabilitation Professional. Dr. Owen earned a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation in 2011 and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in 1996. In 1993, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Millsaps College. She has provided testimony in various state and federal courts and in Social Security disability adjudication hearings for 20 years. In the course of her work, she has received various awards including the Outstanding Life Care Planning Educator Award (2018); a President’s Commendation Award from the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP, 2017 & 2018); Best Student Paper Award by the Foundation for Life Care Planning Research & International Academy of Life Care Planners (2011); the Outstanding Rehabilitation Education & Research Doctoral Student at the University of Arkansas (2010); the Russell Baxter Award at the University of Arkansas (2010-2011); and was a Doctoral Academy Fellow at the University of Arkansas (2009-2011). 


  • Certified Disability Management Specialist
  • Certified Life Care Planner
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
  • IALCP Fellow
  • Licensed Professional Counselor


University of Arkansas
Ph.D., 2011
Rehabilitation Education & Research

University of Southern Mississippi
Masters, 1996
Counseling Psychology

Millsaps College
Bachelors, 1993