Diane R. Gehart, PhD, Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, California State University.
The Mental Health Recovery Movement and Family Therapy, Part I: Consumer-Led Reform of Services to Persons Diagnosed with Severe Mental Illness
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
© 2011 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 429–442, July 2012
How to Cite
Gehart, D. R. (2012), The Mental Health Recovery Movement and Family Therapy, Part I: Consumer-Led Reform of Services to Persons Diagnosed with Severe Mental Illness. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 429–442. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00230.x
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 http://www.bbs.ca.gov and http://www.masteringcompetencies.com. Portions of this article were presented at the 2009 American Association for Family Therapy Annual Convention.
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
In 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a consensus statement on mental health recovery based on the New Freedom Commission’s recommendation that public mental health organizations adopt a “recovery” approach to severe and persistent mental illness, including services to those dually diagnosed with mental health and substance abuse issues. By formally adopting and promoting a recovery orientation to severe mental illness, the United States followed suit with other first-world nations that have also adopted this approach based on two decades of research by the World Health Organization. This movement represents a significant paradigm shift in the treatment of severe mental health, a shift that is more closely aligned with the nonpathologizing and strength-based traditions in marriage and family therapy. Furthermore, the recovery movement is the first consumer-led movement to have a transformational effect on professional practice, thus a watershed moment for the field. Part I of this article introduces family therapists to the concept of mental health recovery, providing an overview of its history, key concepts, and practice implications. Part II of this article outlines a collaborative, appreciative approach for working in recovery-oriented contexts.