Psychiatric Rehabilitation Consultants (PRC): Consumers and Clinicians-Partners in Empowerment

Robert Paul Liberman, MD

Dr. Liberman
On the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine since 1970, Dr. Liberman has been Professor of Psychiatry since 1978. He has directed the UCLA Center for Research on Treatment & Rehabilitation of Psychosis, funded by the NIMH, since 1977. This center includes 25 scientist-practitioners, who conduct research projects and develop and validate new treatment techniques in Biobehavioral psychiatry, integrating innovative methods from principles of psychopharmacology, behavior, learning theory, and brain-behavior-environment interactions. Research projects under the Centers umbrella are conducted at various sites around the USA in medical schools, mental health centers, VA Medical Centers, and state hospitals.

The inspiration for Dr. Liberman's work in treatment development and evaluation has come from his direct, clinical involvement with mentally disabled persons at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Camarillo State Hospital, Oxnard Mental Health Center, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute & Hospital. With his colleagues at the UCLA Center for Research on Treatment & Rehabilitation of Psychosis, Dr. Liberman has produced a series of user friendly modules for training social and independent living skills for the mentally disabled. These modules have been translated into 15 languages and are used throughout the world.

From 1970-1997, Dr. Liberman directed the Clinical Research Unit at Camarillo State Hospital, where the most refractory and challenging patients with schizophrenia and other disabilities were treated.  The Camarillo-UCLA Clinical Research Unit was awarded a prize in University-State Liaison by the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Liberman was Chief of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center from 1980-1992. While directing this Service, Dr. Liberman and his colleagues developed innovative methods of vocational and social rehabilitation. From 1980-1985, Dr. Liberman was Director of the National Rehabilitation Research & Training Center, headquartered at the VA Medical Center and funded by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The Social & Independent Living Skills Program, a component of the Rehabilitation Service, was awarded an Exemplary Prize by the American Psychiatric Associations Institute on Psychiatric Services.

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