Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Boston University Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Self-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Activities

Sue McNamara, Debbie Nicolellis, and Rick Forbess

Curriculum / Workbook (PDF)


Was: $39.95

Self-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Activities

Sue McNamara, Debbie Nicolellis, and Rick Forbess


Was: $39.95


These activities are useful for those who want to work independently or with support to discover where they want to live, learn, work, or socialize. A valuable resource for individuals, peers, mental health and rehabilitation service providers, family members, and others, who will find the Self-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Activities to be user-friendly and helpful in making important life decisions.


Based on the values and principles of psychiatric rehabilitation, the Self-Directed Psychiatric Rehabilitation Activities is a product designed to walk a person through the process of considering, choosing, getting, and keeping a preferred living, learning, working, or social role. The individual is the driver in this process, while others sit in the passenger seat helping to navigate the route, if some assistance is wanted and needed.

The outlines and worksheets are written for personal use. The process in this manual is designed to assist a person to explore and develop readiness for rehabilitation; to choose a valued role in residential, educational, vocational, and social settings; and to review and develop skills and supports in order to be satisfied and successful in a chosen role. Individuals may want to use these Self-Directed Activities independently or with a small group of peers.

The activities are organized with:

  1. An overview of each activity
  2. An outline of the steps for completing the activity worksheets
  3. Examples from one person’s experience with the entire process
  4. Blank worksheets to help guide individuals through the process

This format of an Overview–Outline–Example–Worksheets is designed to help people walk through the parts of the process one step at a time. The activities are written in PDF files, which allows the flexibility of printing out the sections as individuals go along in the process as well as the ability to print out extra worksheets as needed.

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

Product Details

PDF file: 224 pages
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-878512-49-9

Table of Contents


  1. Exploring My Readiness for Rehabilitation
  2. Developing My Confidence and Readiness
  3. Choosing a Valued Role
  4. Assessing My Skills
  5. Reviewing My Supports
  6. Developing My Skills
  7. Developing My Supports



Sue McNamara bio image

Sue McNamara, MS

Ms. McNamara began her career in 1978 providing services for people with psychiatric disabilities in community programs, and in 1985 she began teaching the skills of psychiatric rehabilitation to providers in the mental health field. For 15 years, Ms. McNamara worked as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. She has co-authored several articles and curricula on psychiatric rehabilitation. She created the Professional Development Program, which offers various options for continuing education through the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Currently, Ms. McNamara works as the Product Specialist in the Training Division at the Center.

Debbie Nicolellis photo

Debbie Nicolellis, MS

Ms. Nicolellis served as Program Manager at the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. She directed the Certificate Program in Psychiatric Vocational Rehabilitation, an award-winning training program for vocational rehabilitation professionals, and the Vocational Peer Support Training Project, a federally-funded curriculum designed to train peer support specialists in supporting vocational recovery. Ms. Nicolellis began her work with the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation as Supported Education and Employment Specialist in 1989. She focused on enhancing the competencies and conceptual knowledge of mental health, rehabilitation, and peer support personnel in psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery-oriented services throughout the country and abroad. Ms. Nicolellis specialized in the Psychiatric Vocational Rehabilitation process, Social Security Work Incentives, Readiness Assessment and Development, Employment Support, Vocational Peer Support, and enhancing partnerships with people with psychiatric disabilities. Ms. Nicolellis has authored several curricula, book chapters, and articles in Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Rick Forbess photo

Rick Forbess, MSSW

Mr. Forbess was the Associate Director of Training at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. He began his career as a provider, supervisor, and manager in community mental health centers in Texas and Maine. He received his Masters of Science Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1978 and joined the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation as a Senior Training Associate in 1985. Since that time he has provided training and technical assistance to a wide range of mental health agencies throughout the United States and Canada in order to implement psychiatric rehabilitation, person-centered service planning, and other services guided by values considered central to facilitating a person’s recovery from mental illness. He has developed and assisted with the development of training technologies, manuals, guides, and program curricula and has co-authored published articles and book chapters on psychiatric rehabilitation and case management.


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