• mental health nursing;
  • partnership in coping;
  • recovery alliance theory;
  • recovery;
  • theory of nursing;
  • working alliance

The recovery alliance theory (RAT) is a mid-range theory of mental health nursing based on humanistic philosophy. The conception of the RAT was the outcome of collaboration among service users, practising mental health nurses, educationalists and managers and was developed in the context of a number of political and social changes as well as changes in the mental health field. The theory is composed of six constructs: humanistic philosophy, recovery, partnership relation, strengths focus, empowerment and common humanity. The derivation of three concepts from these constructs, namely coping, self-responsibility/control and working alliance, forms the basis for the translation of the constructs into a system of mental health nursing practice [Partnership in Coping system (PinC)]. The constructs underpinning the RAT were clearly demonstrated in a preliminary trial of the PinC system.