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

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

Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 119
(323) 442-2855
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Biography

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

In acknowledgement of her long-standing commitment to advocating for the role of occupational therapy in mental health, she was the recipient of the 2011 Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC) Practice Award and the 2017 OTAC Award of Excellence. In 2019, she was named to the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

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

2016

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). 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., & 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

2015

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(4), 397-410. https://doi.org/10.3109/07380577.2015.1051689 Show abstract

2013

Book Chapters

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

2010

Book Chapters

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. 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). 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., & 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

2009

Journal Articles

Pitts, D. B. (2009). Introduction to special section on occupational therapy [Guest editorial]. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32(3), 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(3), 155-161. https://doi.org/10.2975/32.3.2009.155.161 Show abstract

2006

Book Chapters

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

2005

Book Chapters

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

2004

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. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association. Full text

2001

Other Articles

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

1996

Book Chapters

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. Full text

1992

Book Chapters

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.