Facilitating intrinsic motivation in clients with mental illness

Chin Yu Wu, Shu Ping Chen, Judy Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article presents a set of practice guidelines for occupational therapy clinicians to resolve the problem of motivational deficits in clients with mental illness. The theoretical base for the practice guidelines is derived from self-determination theory and learned helplessness theory. Both theories describe motivational deficits as a result of cumulative frustration experiences in the past and an individual's perception that outcomes of events are uncontrollable. The General Causality Orientations Scale is used to assess motivational deficits. Several intervention guidelines are proposed to facilitate intrinsically motivated behavior. Two case examples are reported to illustrate the clinical application of these intervention guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalOccupational Therapy in Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 30 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Frame of reference
  • Motivational deficits
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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