Background Principles of
the Recovery Approach
Agored Study Day
11th November 2010
Policy and Guidelines
Key Concepts
The Ten Essential Shared Capabilities
• The Recovery Model originated in the service user/survivor
movement in 80’s and 90’s.
• Based on self help empowerment and advocacy (re Civil Rights
movement and ‘AA’).
• The term refers to recovering hope for living full and purposeful
life whatever the circumstances.
• Recovery approach values treatment, but focus is on living with
ongoing symptoms/difficulties.
Policy and Guidelines
• The Department of Health consider that recovery is broadly applicable to all
long term conditions.
• Recovery is fully consistent with current health and social care policies
Eg - NICE/SCIE 42 on dementia (2006)
- Our health, our care, our say (DoH, 2006)
- Commissioning framework for health and well being (DoH, 2007)
- NSF for Older People in Wales (2006)
Policy and Guidelines (Continued)
• Recovery is seen as being relevant to all professionals in mental
health services.
• Shares the ethos of progressive social care practice (re
• Resonates with Human Rights Act.
Defining Recovery
• Emphasis upon living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life,
even with the limitations caused by illness.
• An individual process, ‘owned’ by the user.
• Developing a personal identity that is not defined by illness.
• Development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life.
• ‘…a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes,
values, feelings, goals, skills and roles.’
Recovery and Person Centred Care
• Common themes:
– Importance of valuing the individual.
– Choice, control and agency.
– Social inclusion and meaningful life.
Recovery – identity: me and mental illness.
ILLNESS (me) >>>>>>>>>ME (illness)
Identity: Person and Dementia
DEMENTIA (me) >>>>>>>>ME (dementia)
Key Concepts
• Finding and maintaining hope.
- Believing in one’s self; having a sense of personal agency;
optimistic about the future.
• Re-establishment of a positive identity.
- Finding a new identity which incorporates illness but retains a core,
positive sense of self.
• Building a meaningful life.
- Making sense of illness; finding a meaning in life, despite
• Taking responsibility and control.
- Feeling in control of illness and life.
Key Concepts (Continued)
• Active coping rather than passive adjustment: self manage
condition, as much as possible.
• A process of increasing understanding and acceptance.
• Moving towards a sense of meaning and purpose – being
involved in meaningful activities.
• Re-assessing goals and values (often life goals may no longer be
The Five Stages of Recovery
• Moratorium – a time of withdrawal and a profound sense of loss and
• Awareness – realisation that all is not lost.
• Preparation – Taking stock of strengths/weaknesses and starting to work on
developing recovery skills.
• Rebuilding – actively working towards a positive identity, setting meaningful
goals and taking control of one’s life.
• Growth – living a meaningful life, characterised by self management of
illness, resilience and a positive sense of self.
Putting it into Practice
• Supporting people to develop skills to manage
and live with symptoms.
• Supporting people to build active and
meaningful lives within their communities.
• Promoting a sense of hope.
• Valuing individual life experiences (re links with
person centred care/life history).
10 Essential Shared Capabilities
Working in Partnership
Respecting Diversity
Practising Ethically
Challenging Inequality
Promoting Recovery
10 Essential Shared Capabilities
Identifying People’s Needs and Strengths
Providing Service User Centred Care
Making a Difference
Promoting Safety and Positive Risk Taking
Personal Development and Learning
Making Recovery a Reality – Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
Recovering Ordinary Lives: The Strategy for Occupational Therapy in Mental
Health (2007).
A Common Purpose: Recovery in Mental Health Services RCP/CSIP/SCIE.
Recovery and Older People – (Lynn
Read/Kevin Sole).
Repper, J and Perkins, R (2003) Social Inclusion and Recovery. Balliere Tindall.
Social Exclusion Unit Report (2004) Mental Health and Social Exclusion.
National Institute of Mental Health (2005) Guiding Statement on Recovery.

Background Principles of the Recovery Approach