Social Skills Training

I’m grateful to Dr. Robert P. Liberman, M.D. for giving me a positive review for my memoir Left of the Dial.

He is the Director of the UCLA Psych Rehab Program. He published Recovery from Disability. It’s the bible for recovery and he sent me a copy years ago.

Dr. Liberman is the Father of the Rehabilitation Movement. He’s been at this gig of helping people recover for decades now.

At the UCLA program and at other programs throughout the U.S. the focus is on using social skills training and cognitive remediation or CET (cognitive enhancement therapy) to treat people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

This kind of treatment enables those of us with a more severe form of the illness to resume their own version of a normal life.

Peers in Dr. Liberman’s program have gone on to become a truck driver for a coffee company, a teacher of inner city kids, a music score composer for film, a peer advocate, and to do other things.

Dr. Liberman boasts of at least three dozen peers who have achieved a good recovery after going through the UCLA Psych Rehab program.

Like I said other social skills training and cognitive remediation programs exist throughout the U.S. You should research these kinds of trainings with your loved one’s treatment team. You should research this option if you think it would benefit you too in your own recovery.

It IS possible to be recovered. This is a noble and worthy goal for a significant number of people diagnosed with schizophrenia. I dare advocate for recovery for everyone.

Unlike the confrontational “anti”-crowd, I don’t think there’s any shame in living in recovery. You can be recovered and still live in recovery. I don’t think the goal is to distance ourselves from what happened to us.

Running 100 miles in the opposite direction we only return to where we were. What we resist, persists. We can accept that the illness is or was a part of our lives at the same time we move forward into a new era in our lives.

The future starts today. The Aveeno skincare advertisement gets it right: The best way to predict the future is to create it.

We can create a better future using social skills training and cognitive remediation.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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