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Recovery From Disability

Manual of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Robert P. Liberman, M.D.
Foreword by John A. Talbott, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-205-4
  • Item #62205

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The time is right for recovery from serious mental disorders. Mental health professionals and state and local mental health agencies are responding to a national call for action on recovery: from the President's Commission on Mental Health, the Surgeon General, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. But how can recovery from mental disorders become a reality? Recovery From Disability describes the principles and practices of psychiatric rehabilitation to bridge the gap between what is known and what actually can be used to achieve recovery for patients in real-life mental health programs. The book draws on Dr. Robert Paul Liberman's 40 years of designing, testing, and disseminating innovative treatments for persons with mental disabilities. Illuminating up-to-date treatment techniques that reflect a consensus of experts regarding evidence-based practices, Dr. Liberman shows how recovery can be the rule rather than the exception.

This practical book addresses day-to-day realities faced by practitioners who must wrestle with the individualized needs and personal goals of each patient while drawing up a rehabilitation roadmap to recovery. Written in a down-to-earth manner with minimal jargon, this clinical manual is intended for everyday use. Brimming with clear advice and ideas for effective services, the book is relevant to the work of all mental health disciplines, administrators, consumer advocates, and clinicians with all levels of experience. Practice-based evidence is highlighted by an abundance of real-life examples and a host of graphic aids. The author addresses the particular needs of Latino patients and takes up the latest developments in rehabilitation, such as illness management, social and independent living skills training, neurocognitive pharmacology, cognitive remediation, and use of computers in rehabilitation. Each chapter contains information, techniques, and treatment methods that enable clinicians to:

  • Help patients select realistic yet personally meaningful goals for enriching their lives
  • Teach patients how to stabilize their symptoms and cognitive impairments
  • Train patients in social and independent living skills for empowerment and autonomy
  • Educate family members and other caregivers to collaborate with mental health professionals in overcoming their loved one's disability
  • Provide access to vocational rehabilitation, including supported employment
  • Facilitate comprehensiveness, continuity, and coordination of competency-based rehabilitation, using personal support specialists, assertive community treatment, and integrated mental health care

Dr. Liberman also describes how to customize services that are effective for individuals with more than one disorder, whose disorder is refractory to customary pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, or whose adaptation to community life is marred by aggressive behavior. With its wealth of rich and immediately applicable treatment approaches, Recovery From Disability will help professionals equip mentally disabled patients to reach their personally relevant goals and progress on the road to recovery.


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Terminology
  • Chapter 1.
Rehabilitation as the road to recovery
  • Chapter 2. Principles and Practice of Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Chapter 3. Illness Management
  • Chapter 4. Functional assessment
  • Chapter 5. Social skills training
  • Chapter 6. Involving families in treatment and rehabilitation
  • Chapter 7. Vocational rehabilitation
  • Chapter 8. Vehicles for Delivering rehabilitation services
  • Chapter 9. Special services for special People
  • Chapter 10. New Developments for rehabilitation and recovery
  • About the Authors

    Robert Paul Liberman, M.D., is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and Director of the UCLA Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program, at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    It is an absolutely magnificent book, and one of the best that has been written in psychiatry/psychology over the decades in my view. Dr. Liberman takes on a domain that was and remains a tough one and he has bought rigor, models and dedications to it at the highest level. This book is rich in models at the macro and at the micro level and is never turgid. I also liked his 'style' which came through very early on in issues such as whether we call patients 'patients' or some other term, and the arguments that he brought to such thinking. It is a tour de force and moves into my 'top 10' books immediately.—Gordon Parker, MB BS (Syd), MD (UNSW), Ph.D., DSc, FRANZCP, FASSA, Scientia Professor, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales

    Dr. Robert Liberman, a pioneer of research in psychiatric rehabilitation and family psychoeducation, has given us a practitioner–friendly manual with a new and eagerly awaited focus. New developments in our field have led to the golden promise of recovery from the disabilities of mental illness. This book provides the scientific, evidence-based, person-empowering techniques that facilitate its realization.—Harriet P. Lefley, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida

    As a founder of the field of psychiatric rehabilitation, Dr. Robert Liberman has for several decades modeled persistence, integrity, and using science to help people achieve their goals. The rest of us are immeasurably enhanced by this summary of his thinking. He deserves a lifetime achievement award for this book alone.—Robert E. Drake, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire

    Recovery from Disability provides an intellectual foundation, an operational framework, and practical tools for making recovery real in the lives of our patients. It builds on Dr. Liberman's previous work and illustrates the power of an idea whose time has certainly come.—Marvin J. Southard, D.S.W., Director, Department of Mental Health, County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

    I really enjoyed reading through the book. Dr. Liberman have done a tremendous job in encapsulating the philosophy of Psychiatric rehabilitation and presenting it in a way that facilitates its integration with state f the art care for patients with a broad range of serious mental disorders. Too often, the field of psychiatric rehabilitation finds itself feeling at odds with other psychiatric approaches and your book clearly integrates psychiatric rehabilitation with a comprehensive model of patient centered care. It has also been difficult for the filed to articulate how to resolve the tensions that exist between the recovery movement and main stream psychiatry. Dr. Liberman have done an excellent job in bringing the issues to the fore and showing us a way forward in resolving these tensions. I will most certainly strongly recommend the book to my colleagues and students.—Robert B. Zipursky, M.D., FRCPC, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatric & Behavioral Neurosciences, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University

    Through easy-to- understand language, illustrations, and case examples, the author provides readers with some keys to augmentation of the treatment of patients with various types of mental health disorders. The book offers practical advice and, better yet, reasonable techniques and guidelines for enhancing treatment success for patients.—Doody Enterprises, Inc., 1/1/2009

    With historic vision, clinical sensibility, and scientific tenacity, Dr. Robert P. Liberman has been a founding father of psychiatric rehabilitation, developing it to form a cornerstone of treatment for persons with serious mental illness. Clinicians from all disciplines who serve persons with severe mental illnesses will benefit by including this book in their library.—Yad M. Jabbarpour, M.D., Psychiatric Services, 1/1/2009

    Recovery from Disability: Manual of Psychiatric Rehabilitation is a landmark achievement.—PsycCRITIQUES, 1/1/2009

    This book is highly recommended fir psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses or other health care worker who wish to help seriously ill psychiatric patients reach their personal goals and achieve a higher quality of life.—Relationship Therapy Journal, 1/1/2009

    Recovery from Disability is a valuable, practical, and comprehensive guide for mental health professionals. Dr. Liberman's visionary combination of humanism and empiricism offers a beacon of hope to clinicians, patients with serious psychiatric disorders, and their families. It is destined to become a classic in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation.—Kim T. Mueser, Ph.D., Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center; Professor of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire

    The author's breadth of knowledge in the field is demonstrated through the multiple well researched examples of recovery in practice that he cites. The author's personal passion for the possibilities that recovery brings, which is evident throughout, makes the book more compelling. The clinical examples make the text more readable and show how theory takes shape in the lives of individuals and families. The learning examples in each chapter give readers the chance to build skills and apply what they have learned to their current practice. The book addresses all of the multi-faceted components of recovery, breaking each component into manageable steps for practitioners and their clients. The section on social skills training, in particular, is excellent. The introductory
    section on terminology is also appropriate and thought provoking.—Monica N. Slubicki, M.D., Daniel W. Bradford, M.D., MPH, Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 1/1/2009

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