The Recovery Model Essay

1902 words - 8 pages

One in five Americans, approximately 60 million people, have a mental illnesses (Muhlbauer, 2002).The recovery model, also referred to as recovery oriented practice, is generally understood to be defined as an approach that supports and emphasizes an individual’s potential for recovery. When discussing recovery in this approach, it is generally seen as a journey that is personal as opposed to having a set outcome. This involves hope, meaning, coping skills, supportive relationships, sense of the self, a secure base, social inclusion and many other factors. There has been an ongoing debate in theory and in practice about what constitutes ‘recovery’ or a recovery model. The major difference that should be recognized between the recovery model and the medical model is as follows: the medical model locates the abnormal behavior within an individual claiming a factor that is assumed to cause the behavior problems whereas, the recovery model tends to place stress on peer support and empowerment (Conrad and Schneider, 2009). This essay will demonstrate that the recovery model has come a long way in theory and practice and therefore, psychological well-being is achievable through this model. When looking at the recovery model from a psychiatric rehabilitation perspective, there are a number of characteristics of the recovery process that have been suggested, which include: it is possible for recovery to occur without professional intervention, however this then requires people who believe in and stand by the person in recovery; it does not include dependence on believing specific theories about the cause of the circumstance; it can occur even if symptoms happen to re-occur, but this does not affect the frequency and duration of these symptoms; it requires recovery from a psychiatric condition including condition itself; it generally happens in a series of small steps; and lastly, it focuses on wellness as opposed to illness, and on consumer choice (Ralph and Corrigan, 2005). For the understanding of this paper, recovery is compromised of three constructs: As a naturally occurring phenomenon, people can recover with proper treatment, and lastly it reintroduces the notion of hope in mental illness (Ralph and Corrigan, 2005). Hope, as argued by many is seen as one of the keys to recovery. In order to fully critically examine the recovery model, it is essential to review the past vs. present notions and examine the elements involved. In the past, mental health systems were based on the belief that people with severe mental illness did not recover (Anthony, 2000).
Recovery, before it became a recognizable model had been used to cite the end of an illness. The use of this model in psychiatric models is fairly recent. The concept began to be incorporated into rehabilitation in the early 1990’s in the United States followed by many other first world countries. The concept has been defined and applied differently by professionals, consumers and survivors. The...

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