Handbook of Remotivation Therapy

Handbook of Remotivation Therapy

Handbook of Remotivation Therapy

Handbook of Remotivation Therapy


Remotivation therapy deals with the strengths, rather than weaknesses, of the client, and can be performed by any trained health professional, social worker, relative or technician. It saves time and money for mental health professionals with heavy caseloads by preparing noncommunicative clients for more advanced therapy.


The beginning of remotivation is well documented in this anthology, and the reader will find it rich in interesting detail. In the foreword I offer some of my thoughts and perceptions about its development and evaluation.

Smith Kline & French enjoyed the exclusive rights for marketing Thorazine in the 1950s and 1960s, and they generously supported the development of remotivation training programs and educational materials related to it nationwide. This became a large network of programs based particularly in state mental hospitals. Large numbers of regressed and withdrawn chronic mental patients benefited not only from the Thorazine they received but also from the positive resocialization achieved through the remotivation process. Many patients could live in open settings, or in less restrictive settings, at home, or in other community placement. We witnessed the onset of what came to be known as deinstitutionalization. Administrators of public mental hospitals could and did close wards that formerly housed chronic long-term psychotic patients. The hospitals themselves closed or became smaller, short-stay hospitals. An increasing array of psychotropic medications were used to quickly stabilize patients and return them to the community.

It might look as if remotivation therapists worked themselves out of jobs with the long-term chronic patient, but this was far from the end of the story. This anthology attests to the subsequent development of the National Remotivation Therapy Organization (NRTO) and its existence today as a meaningful resource in caring for people.

Soon after I joined the staff of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1961, I became familiar with remotivation and the APA–Smith Kline & French (SKF) Remotivation Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Robert Garber. Walter Pullinger from Philadelphia State Hospital led the national training center. I remember well the earnest and able leadership of Mr. Pullinger in the meetings of the advisory committee. At the time it was a happy and comfortable relationship that enjoyed the SKF functional support and the APA profes-

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