Approaches Used in Psycho-social Rehabilitation

Psychosocial rehabilitation is based on the basic idea that people are motivated to achieve independence and can adapt to achieve their goals. The current approaches used are a combination of evidence-based best practices as well as emerging, promising practices. Whatever specific strategies are used, the focus is on restoring social and psychological functioning.

Specific psychosocial rehabilitation treatments vary significantly from case to case, depending on a person’s needs and available resources. The process is highly personalized, person-centered and collaborative. Effective rehabilitation includes a comprehensive plan that addresses the patient’s life and functioning, and a PSR specialist is usually only part of the process. The plan is usually supervised by a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, or licensed counselor, and the process typically involves working with the client individually and in a community setting.

PSR is Based on One’s Strengths

Psychosocial treatments focus on strengthening clients and improving their current abilities rather than focusing on areas of weakness. These abilities help create a foundation on which other important life skills can be developed through observation, modeling, education and practice. Some specific areas psychosocial rehabilitation can address include skills training and experiences designed to increase:

• Flexibility and mental stamina

• Problem solving

• Self respect

• Social skills

• Stress Management

This is accomplished through one-on-one training sessions focused on specific skills, including combining education and experiences in other areas of life, such as cooking or entertainment. Such experiences allow individuals to apply their skills in a safe environment, with the supervision and support of PSR experts.

PSR is Holistic

Psychosocial rehabilitation seeks to address the areas of a person’s life that contribute to their overall mental and physical well-being. Professionals working in this field provide a range of individual and community-based psychological services. Mental health professionals look at the physical and social environment, develop a service plan, and work with other professionals while determining the needs of each patient. PSR professionals look at each patient’s situation and help determine what they need to live and function as independently as possible in their community. This often involves identifying what services the patient needs, locating those services in the community, and coordinating the delivery of those services.

PSR Person Focused

The patient plays a role in setting goals for what he hopes to achieve, and each patient’s goals are personalized according to their specific needs or concerns. The rehabilitation process is not about the therapist deciding what the client’s goals should be. Instead, the person can determine what they want to achieve, and then the focus is on providing the support and resources they need to achieve those goals.

Areas of interest

The main areas addressed through psychosocial rehabilitation include basic life skills, family relationships, peer and social relations, employment, education, entertainment, health and wellness.


Work has beneficial effects on mental health and can help people feel productive, so vocational assistance is an important component of psychosocial rehabilitation.

Finding and maintaining a job can often improve social connections, increase your self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life. Psychosocial rehabilitation workers also assist patients in finding and maintaining employment. This may include people developing professional skills, linking to community employment services, career planning and transportation assistance. This aspect of the PSR process may include assistance in filling out job applications or applying job interviews. In other cases, clients may work in ad hoc or supported work environments where they can develop and apply their skills.


Social skills and interpersonal functioning are important parts of psychosocial rehabilitation. Skills training focuses on helping people function better in their social worlds including family, work, school, friendships, and romance. This is achieved by teaching skills related to emotional understanding, interpersonal problem solving, verbal and speaking abilities, or nonverbal communication.

Community Operation

One of the most important goals of psychosocial rehabilitation is to help those with mental illness to integrate better into their communities. Therefore, professionals often work with patients in community settings and locations. For example, a child receiving PSR services may work with a mental health professional in school settings, but the child may also spend time on social trips to local workplaces, doctor’s practices, libraries, and other occasions. Applying social and life skills in these settings allows clients to gain experience and rehearse the interactions they may encounter as part of daily life.

The goal of PSR is to help customers engage with their communities as fully as possible, and many of the strategies used in the process are aimed at helping customers fully integrate into their communities. Doing so not only improves a person’s quality of life, but also helps build a continuous network of social support.

Effectiveness of Psychosocial Rehabilitation

Research investigating the results and effectiveness of PSR treatments is still ongoing, but there is evidence that these approaches have a generally beneficial effect.

PSR Can Improve Life Skills

A study of patients with schizophrenia and affective disorders found that psychosocial rehabilitation is associated with significant benefits in various skill areas such as family relationships, communication, community participation, self-care, money management, transportation, and professional skills.

PSR Can Benefit General Health

Studies have shown that PSR can help improve a person’s well-being and appearance. In a published study, 78% of children with serious emotional disorders showed significant improvements in psychological symptoms and psychosocial functionality after 13 months of psychosocial rehabilitation.

PSR Can Help With Serious Psychiatric Conditions

A review of psychosocial treatments has shown that these approaches also show promise in the recovery of schizophrenia. It has been found that rehabilitative strategies such as social skills training and cognitive improvement, which are frequently used in PSR, are helpful in addressing important areas such as social functionality, job recovery and independent living.

Psychosocial rehabilitation is not always necessary, but can be a helpful part of a comprehensive treatment program. By promoting recovery, improving quality of life and promoting community integration, the PSR can be an important resource for people diagnosed with a mental health problem. These types of services can help people with mental health problems develop their skills, identify strengths, and develop their capacity to be successful in their lives, jobs and relationships.


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