In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Psychiatric Rehabilitation

  • Introduction
  • Introductory Works
  • Textbooks
  • Journals
  • Day Programs
  • Case Management
  • Self-Help Centers
  • Mental Health Policy
  • Stigma and Mental Illness
  • Behavioral Health Systems Transformation
  • Research and Education Centers
  • Information Centers
  • Professional Organizations

Related Articles Expand or collapse the "related articles" sectionabout

Forthcoming Articles Expand or collapse the "forthcoming articles" section


Social Work Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Phyllis Solomon, Lisa T. Schmidt
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0109


Psychiatric rehabilitation is the use of systematic strategies and interventions to assist adults with psychiatric disabilities to become fully integrated into their communities of choice, to improve their quality of life, and to promote their own process of recovery. An adult with a psychiatric disability is an individual with a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, a major affective disorder, or bipolar disorder, who is functionally impaired due to that disorder. Consequently these functional impairments result in these individuals being unable to achieve commonly accepted age-appropriate milestones in primary life domains, including educational attainment, employment, and intimate relationships like marriage. Psychiatric rehabilitation services are a broad spectrum of services, programs, and approaches that teach skills, modify environments, offer supports, access resources, and develop supportive networks that are necessary for increasing an individual’s capacity to assume normal roles and to be satisfied in living, working, learning, and social environments of his or her choosing. The five psychosocial evidence-based practices for persons with severe mental illness are assertive community treatment, illness management and recovery, supported employment, family psychoeducation, and integrated dual diagnosis treatment. In addition there are emerging best practices, such as peer-provided services. These service approaches incorporate the principles, values, and practices of self-determination; respect and dignity of all persons; and person-centered, strengths-based, and collaborative partnerships. Services are designed to meet an individual’s need and are sensitive to his or her cultural norms and values. These principles, values, and practices are consistent with those of social work practice. The provision of such services frequently requires combating societal stigma and discrimination directed at persons with mental disorders. These services are provided by a diversity of professional disciplines, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and rehabilitation counselors.

Introductory Works

This section includes an overview volume describing the competencies of the contemporary psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner, Salzer 2006. Two volumes of collected works, Spaniol, et al. 1994 and Spaniol, et al. 1997, capture the emergence of psychiatric rehabilitation goals, values, and principles as published in the literature from 1970 to 1990.

  • Salzer, Mark. 2006. Psychiatric rehabilitation skills in practice: A CPRP preparation and skills workbook. Linthicum, MD: US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.

    Describes how psychiatric rehabilitation practitioners help people with serious mental illness develop the skills, resources, and supports needed to live successfully in the community. It identifies core competencies of the profession, examines case scenarios highlighting practice situations, and provides training exercises for people preparing for recognition as a certified psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner.

  • Spaniol, LeRoy, Mary Alice Brown, Laura Blankertz, Darrell J. Burnham, Jerry Dincin, Katy Furlong-Norman, Noel Nesbitt, et al., eds. 1994. An introduction to psychiatric rehabilitation. Columbia, MD: International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Publications Committee.

    A compendium of fifty-seven articles by notable consumers, policy makers, researchers, and practitioners. It reflects the seminal ideas of the founders of psychiatric rehabilitation practice and is a valuable resource for understanding the original context and scope of the field.

  • Spaniol, LeRoy, Cheryl Gagen, and Martin Koehler, eds. 1997. Psychological and social aspects of psychiatric disability. Boston: Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions.

    An interesting collection of reprints from the 1980s and 1990s, including many notable figures from the formative years of the field.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.