Deborah Nicolellis, MS, CRC, CPRP

Senior Training Associate | debbien@bu.edu

debbien-picDebbie is the Senior Training Associate at the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Debbie has been working to support people who are in recovery to create lives of meaning since 1988, when she began her career at the Veteran’s Administration. For 17 years, she supported people directly to develop careers, engage in employment and education, and to make informed decisions about their benefits. Since 1997, she has focused on developing the competencies and conceptual knowledge that clinical, supervisory, and peer staff need in order to support the recovery, rehabilitation, and behavioral health of people using services. Her areas of interest include supporting people to Consider, Choose, Get, and Keep education and employment, Motivational Foundations, Vocational Peer Support, Person-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Supportive Housing, and Enhancing Partnerships with people with psychiatric disabilities. Debbie has authored curricula, book chapters, and articles on a variety of topics in mental health recovery and psychiatric vocational rehabilitation, and is a seasoned presenter and skills trainer.

Areas of Expertise

  • Developing Workforce Capacity for Recovery-Oriented Systems
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Vocational Rehabilitation for People with Psychiatric Disabilities
  • Vocational Peer Support
  • Vocational Empowerment Photovoice
  • Self-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation
  • Developing Readiness for Change

Publication Selections

Nicolellis, D., & Legere, L. (2015).  Vocational peer support training program: Trainee handbook and toolkit.  Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Nicolellis, D., & Legere, L. (2015).  Vocational peer support training program: Trainer’s guide.  Boston MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Nicolellis, D., Farkas, M., & Legere, L.  (2015).  Vocational peer support training program:  Implementation guide. Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Restrepo, M., Gagne,C., Russinova, Z., Bloch, P., Pritchett, S., Woods, T., & Nicolellis, D.  (2015). Vocational empowerment photovoice: Workbook. Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Restrepo, M., Gagne,C., Russinova, Z., Bloch, P., Pritchett, S., Woods, T., & Nicolellis, D.  (2015). Vocational empowerment photovoice: Leader’s guide. Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Nicolellis, D. & Farkas, M. (2014).  Vocational Peer Support:  A New Specialization for Peers Supporting Employment.  Recovery & Rehabilitation Newsletter; Special Interview Issue.  Spring Issue, Vol. 14 (1).  Boston, MA:  Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

McNamara, S., Nicolellis, D., & Forbess, R. (2011). Self-directed psychiatric rehabilitation activities. Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Farkas, M., & Nicolellis, D. (2003). Readiness for rehabilitation and work. In J. R. Finch & D .P. Moxley, Sourcebook of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Practice. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Lim, S. Y., Nicolellis, D. L., Fahey, H., & Jaggi, C. (2002). Massachusetts mobile supported education programs. In C.T. Mowbray, P. Levine, K. Strauch Brown, K. Furlong-Norman, & A. P. Sullivan-Soydan, (Eds.). Supported education and psychiatric rehabilitation: Models and methods.

Awards

The Certificate Program in Psychiatric Vocational Rehabilitation received the 2002 Rehabilitation Services Administration Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Training and Education (October 8, 2002).

Recent Presentations

Nicolellis, D. (2016). The Psychiatric Rehabilitation Approach. Sonoma County Behavioral Health Division, Santa Rosa, CA. October 10, 2016.

Nicolellis, D. (2016). A skilled approach to Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Iowa Behavioral Health, Ankeny, IA. August & September, 2016.

Nicolellis, D. & Legere, L. (2016). Vocational Peer Support: Bringing the voice of lived experience to work. International Association of Peer Supporters 10th Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA. August, 2016.

Nicolellis, D., Rogers, E. S., Russinova, Z., Texeira, C., & Rapp, J. (2016). Improving providers’ competencies to promote vocational recovery among people with the lived experience of a psychiatric condition. 2016 Recovery Workforce Summit, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Boston, MA. May 25, 2016.

Nicolellis, D. (2016). Ignite session: UNREASONABLE: Do our assessments and plans align with our values? 2016 Recovery Workforce Summit, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Boston, MA.  May 24, 2016.

Nicolellis, D., Legere, L., Rogers, E. S. (2015). Invited Plenary. Vocational Peer Support: Is there a role for peers in employment? Alaska Peer Partnership Conference. Anchorage, AK, via Skype. November 10, 2015.

Legere, L. & Nicolellis, D. (2015). Vocational Peer Support: A promising new specialization for peer specialists. Alternatives Conference 2015. Memphis, TN. October 15, 2015.

Nicolellis, D. & Legere, L.  (2015). 1-day workshop. Vocational Peer Support: Advanced Skills for Peer Specialists. Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation Workshop Series. Wakefield, MA. September 25, 2015.

Rogers, E. S., Russinova, Z., Maru, M., Nicolellis, D., & Bloch, P.  (2015). Promising peer delivered practices designed to support vocational exploration and recovery. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Recovery Summit. Philadelphia, PA. June 2, 2015.

Nicolellis, D. (2015). Invited presentation: Psychiatric Vocational Rehabilitation: A methodology for VR counselors serving people with mental illnesses.  West Virginia Department of Rehabilitation Services Annual Conference, Roanoke, WV. May 28, 2015.

Legere, L. & Nicolellis, D. (2015). 5-day training. Vocational Peer Support. Promise Resource Network, Charlotte, NC. May 18-20, June 15-16, 2015.