The Mental Health Recovery Movement and Family Therapy, Part II: A Collaborative, Appreciative Approach for Supporting Mental Health Recovery


  • Diane R. Gehart, PhD, Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, California State University.

  • The literature review was supported in part by a grant from the California Board of Behavioral Science that funded the creation of a bibliography for the new MFT curriculum that is available at and Portions of this article were presented at the 2009 American Association for Family Therapy Annual Convention.

Address correspondence to Diane R. Gehart, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, California State University, 18111 Nordhoff, Northridge, California 91330; E-mail:


A continuation of Part I, which introduced mental health recovery concepts to family therapists, Part II of this article outlines a collaborative, appreciative approach for working in recovery-oriented contexts. This approach draws primarily upon postmodern therapies, which have numerous social justice and strength-based practices that are easily adapted in recovery-oriented contexts. The model outlined in this article includes an overview of the recovery partnership (i.e., therapeutic relationship), mapping recovery (i.e., assessment and case conceptualization), recovery planning (i.e., treatment planning), facilitating recovery (i.e., intervention), accessing resources (i.e., case management), recovery maintenance, and service contexts as well as a case study.