Psychiatric Rehabilitation: Fiction or Fact?
The purpose of this paper, which summarizes two separate presentations made at the International Symposium for “Rehabilitation in Psychiatry”, is to give an overview of what has been learned about working with people who have chronic psychiatric disabilities. Anthony et al. (1986) have reviewed the literature to detail incongruities found in the research over the past ten to fifteen years. This paper will first summarize some of the ideas commonly held about working with this group. Second, some principles of rehabilitation that have evolved from research will be described. Psychiatric rehabilitation has emerged from a number of beliefs about treatment of persons with chronic mental disabilities held by the field of mental health. Chronically mentally ill persons are those whose diagnosis consists of one of the major psychiatric disorders; whose functional limitations are severe; and whose disability has been of a long term duration (Goldman et al. 1981). Ten statements summarize beliefs held by those contemplating treatment of this population (Table 1).
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