Deborah Pitts PhD, MBA, OTR/L, BCMH, CPRP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Room: CHP 133
Phone: (323) 442-2855
Deborah Pitts PhD, MBA, OTR/L, BCMH, CPRP is an assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy in the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She has developed an expertise in the philosophy and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation. She weaves her expertise in the area of schizophrenia, psychosocial rehabilitation and community support programs into her interest in how occupation influences the "lived experience" of recovery for persons labeled with psychiatric disabilities. She has provided consultation to local and statewide providers of community-based psychiatric rehabilitation services in California. She has served as a CARF behavioral health surveyor. She has conducted numerous workshops and published in the occupational therapy, psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health literature on these topics as well.
She served as AOTA's Mental Health Special Interest Section (MHSIS) Chairperson from 2003-2006 and as an MHSIS Professional Development Liaison from 2006-2009. She chaired the work group that developed the competencies for AOTA's Board Certification in Mental Health. She has chaired or served as a member of several AOTA ad hoc Work Groups that have focused on the mental health practice issues. She currently serves as the AOTA representative to the WFOT's Mental Health Special Interest Group. She was the 2011 recipient of OTAC's Annual Practice Award in acknowledgement of her long-standing commitment to advocating for the role of occupational therapy in mental health.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science
University of Southern California
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Occupational Therapy
San Jose State University
Pitts, D., & Hayes, S. (2013). Assessment. In P. Nemec & K. Furlong-Norman (Eds.), Best practices in psychiatric rehabilitation. Linthicum, MD: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2010). Evaluation in mental health occupational therapy. In M. K. Scheinholtz (Ed.), Occupational therapy in mental health: Considerations for advanced practice (pp. 115-134). (pp. 115-134). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B., & Gray, K. W. (2010). Collaborative work with teams and policymakers. In M. K. Scheinholtz (Ed.), Occupational therapy in mental health: Considerations for advanced practice. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2010). Supported housing: Creating a sense of home. In C. Brown & V. C. Stoffel (Eds.), Occupational therapy in mental health: A vision for participation. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2010). Work as occupation. In C. Brown & V. C. Stoffel (Eds.), Occupational therapy in mental health: A vision for participation. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis. Link to full text
St. George, L., & Pitts, D. B. (2006). Assessment. In M. S. Salzer (Ed.), Psychiatric rehabilitation skills in practice: A CPRP preparation and skills workbook. McLean, VA: United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. Link to full text
Bola, J., & Pitts, D. B. (2005). Assessing the scientific status of “schizophrenia”. In S. A. Kirk (Ed.), Mental disorders in the social environment: Critical perspectives. (pp. 120-136). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2005). Evaluation and assessment. In E. Cara & A. MacRae (Eds.), Psychosocial occupational therapy: A clinical practice (2nd ed.). (pp. 477-507). Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning. Link to full text
Vaccaro, J. V., & Pitts, D. B. (1996). Psychiatric rehabilitation in community settings. In J. V. Vaccaro & G. H. Clark, Jr. (Eds.), Practicing psychiatry in the community: A manual. (pp. 77-88). Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Press, Inc. Link to full text
Vaccaro, J. V., Pitts, D. B., & Wallace, C. J. (1992). Functional assessment in psychiatric rehabilitation. In R. P. Liberman (Ed.), Handbook of psychiatric rehabilitation. New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing.
Krupa, T., Fossey, E., Anthony, W. A., Brown, C., & Pitts, D. B. (2009). Doing daily life: How occupational therapy can inform psychiatric rehabilitation practice. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32, 155-161. doi:10.2975/32.3.2009.155.161. Link to full text Abstract →
TOPIC: This paper provides an overview of occupational therapy in the context of psychiatric rehabilitation and mental health recovery.
PURPOSE: The paper delineates practical aspects of occupational therapy's involvement in the mental health field with a discussion of occupation and the elements of conceptual models that guide the practice of occupational therapy.
SOURCES USED: CINAHL, Psych Info, Medline.
CONCLUSION: Occupational therapy is a key discipline in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation and brings to the field a strong theoretical and knowledge base along with unique procedures and practices. It is important for the psychiatric rehabilitation field to learn from all disciplines, including occupational therapy.
Pitts, D. B. (2009). Introduction to special section on occupational therapy [Guest editorial]. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32, 151-154. doi:10.2975/32.3.2009.151.154. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2004). Understanding the experience of recovery for persons labeled with psychiatric disabilities. OT Practice, 9(5), 8-10. Link to full text
Pitts, D. B. (2001). Assertive community treatment: A brief introduction. AOTA Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly, 24(4), 1-2. Link to full text