University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Faculty
Faculty

Deborah Pitts PhD, MBA, OTR/L, BCMH, CPRP

Deborah Pitts

Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 133
(323) 442-2855
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Biography

Deborah Pitts PhD, MBA, OTR/L, BCMH, CPRP is an associate 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.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Occupational Science
2012 | University of Southern California

Master of Business Administration (MBA)
1988 | Pepperdine University

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Occupational Therapy
1974 | San Jose State University

Publications

Books

Krupa, T., Kirsch, B., Pitts, D., & Fossey, E. (Eds.) (2016). Bruce & Borg's psychosocial frames of reference (4th ed.). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Publishing. Full text

Book Chapters

Pitts, D., & McIntyre, E. (2016). Health promotion and wellness for persons with psychiatric disabilities. In T. Krupa, B. Kirsch, D. Pitts, & E. Fossey (Eds.), Bruce & Borg's psychosocial frames of reference (4th ed., pp. 245-264). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Publishing. Full text

Pitts, D., & McIntyre, E. (2016). Recovery frameworks. In T. Krupa, B. Kirsch, D. Pitts, & E. Fossey (Eds.), Bruce & Borg's psychosocial frames of reference (4th ed., pp. 37-56). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Publishing. Full text

Pitts, D., & McIntyre, E. (2016). Expression and occupation (psychodynamic perspectives). In T. Krupa, B. Kirsch, D. Pitts, & E. Fossey (Eds.), Bruce & Borg's psychosocial frames of reference (4th ed., pp. 211-226). Thorofare, NJ: Slack Publishing. Full text

Pitts, D., & Hayes, S. (2013). Assessment. In P. Nemec & K. Furlong-Norman (Eds.), Best practices in psychiatric rehabilitation. Linthicum, MD: Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association. 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. 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. 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). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Journal Articles

Mahaffey, L., Burson, K. A., Januszewski, C., Pitts, D. B., & Preissner, K. (2015). Role for occupational therapy in community mental health: Using policy to advance scholarship of practice. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 29, 397-410. https://doi.org/10.3109/07380577.2015.1051689 Show abstractHide abstract

Occupational therapists must be aware of professional and policy trends. More importantly, occupational therapists must be involved in efforts to influence policy both for the profession and for the people they serve (Bonder, 1987). Using the state of Illinois as an example, this article reviews the policies and initiatives that impact service decisions for persons with psychiatric disabilities as well as the rationale for including occupational therapy in community mental health service provision. Despite challenges in building a workforce of occupational therapists in the mental health system, this article makes the argument that the current climate of emerging policy and litigation combined with the supporting evidence provides the impetus to strengthen mental health as a primary area of practice. Implications for scholarship of practice related to occupational therapy services in community mental health programs for individuals with psychiatric disability are discussed.

Pitts, D. B. (2009). Introduction to special section on occupational therapy [Guest editorial]. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32, 151-154. https://doi.org/10.2975/32.3.2009.151.154

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. https://doi.org/10.2975/32.3.2009.155.161 Show abstractHide 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.

Other Articles

Pitts, D. B. (2004, March 8). Understanding the experience of recovery for persons labeled with psychiatric disabilities. OT Practice, 9(5), 8-10. Full text

Pitts, D. B. (2001, December). Assertive community treatment: A brief introduction. AOTA Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly, 24(4), 1-2. Full text