The Consumer-Survivor Movement, Recovery, and Consumer Professionals

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Professional Psychology Research and Practice (Impact Factor: 1.34). 05/1997; 28(3):243-245. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7028.28.3.243


This article presents a brief history of the consumer-survivor movement in the United States, including the basis for various viewpoints within that movement. The authors also describe the concept of recovery that has arisen primarily from within the consumer movement and how it offers an important perspective for mental health providers. Also described is the impact of stigma and discrimination, which are especially destructive when they come from mental health providers. Finally, the authors explore the importance and utility for consumers to have mental health providers who themselves have experienced a serious mental illness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    • "The development of the movement can be traced to a small number of patients' rights groups that were working to improve conditions in hospitals and community treatment centers during the 1970s (Zinman, Howie the Harp, and Budd 1987), as well as accounts of consumers' personal recoveries and treatment system experiences (see Frese and Davis 1997; Jacobson 2004; Tomes 2006). A group of these former patients adopted the label ''psychiatric survivors,'' after it was demonstrated that the application of psychiatric labels had just as profound of effects on patients as the symptoms associated with their diagnoses (Kaufmann 1999; McLean 2009; Pescosolido and Martin 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The meaning of recovery from serious mental illness (SMI) has evolved over time. Whereas it was not even considered to be a primary goal of treatment thirty years ago, it is the main focus of mental health policy today. These changes are partially the result of the work of sociologists who were studying mental health during the time of institutional treatment and the early stages of community-based care. Despite these early influences, the sociology of mental health has largely overlooked the explicit study of recovery. This is because sociologists began shifting their focus from the study of SMI to the study of less severe mental health problems beginning in 1970s. In this paper I (a) discuss the evolving history of mental health recovery; (b) how recovery is defined today in policy, practice, and research; and (c) present an argument for why sociological perspectives and methods can help shed light on the tensions between the definitions while assisting to develop better understandings of the recovery process. In this argument I place particular attention on qualitative social psychological perspectives and methods because they hold the most potential for addressing some of the central concerns in the area of recovery research.
    Humanity & society 11/2012; 36(4):290-308. DOI:10.1177/0160597612458904
    • "At its core, the consumer/survivor movement is based on ideas relating to self-help, empowerment and advocacy (Shepherd et al, 2008). It provides a challenge to the traditional notions of professional power and expertise (Frese and Davis, 1997; Shepherd et al, 2008). The Recovery paradigm, initiated by user groups, rejects three fundamental assumptions embodied in the medical model: that experts necessarily know best; that achieving a life without mental ill health is the sole purpose of "
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    ABSTRACT: Recovery, within mental health policy, does not mean a ‘return to full health’. Rather, it embodies an acceptance that mental health problems may endure, but that ‘sufferers’ still want to be socially supported to rebuild their lives in meaningful and self-determining ways, allowing them to contribute and experience interdependence within society. Suddenly fashionable, the Recovery model has become the dominant paradigm, and is now in danger of being co-opted and distorted by mainstream English policy makers and ‘experts’ in the field. In this article, we explore the significance of this co-option for policy and practice. We use Noam Chomsky's critical methodology (as an exemplar of a left libertarian position) first to provide both a theoretical analysis and test of the cogency of the Recovery model, and then as a critical mechanism to judge manifestations of the Recovery model in practice. In Chomsky's political philosophy, we find that hope is both a prerequisite and a pre-condition for a trusting and supportive environment. Citizens (with or without mental ill health) need these conditions to be able to access and utilise their creativity in dealing with their current reality. For Chomsky, hope, our innate creativity and a supportive community are the necessary conditions of freedom. Those with mental ill health will not be excluded if society in general, and policy based on the Recovery model, foreground these elements. We find, therefore, that the Recovery model will have limited efficacy unless our communities embody trust and hope.
    Social Theory & Health 05/2012; 10(2). DOI:10.1057/sth.2012.1 · 0.47 Impact Factor
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    • "Although psychologists are equipped with the scientific knowledge of EBPs, their translation into community settings requires an understanding of practice orientations and the unique organizational and consumer-based needs that have become essential to community mental health (Agnetti, 2008). Many communitybased practices, such as Assertive Community Treatment, consumer-involved care, or system-based interventions, have initial evidence showing these approaches work in public mental health (Bronfenbrenner, 2005; DeLuca et al., 2008; Frese & Davis, 1997). Knowledge of community-based practices can help clinical psychologists effectively bridge the divide between divergent theoretical orientations and train around effective EBP translation and implementation into community settings. "
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    ABSTRACT: National reports have illuminated problems within the public mental health system such as fragmented care for serious mental illness, mental health care disparities for underserved populations, a dearth of data-driven evidence-based practices, and inadequacies in policy and advocacy work (President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Chu et al. (2012) established the public psychology competencies that would create the foundation needed for psychology leadership to assist in the transformation of the community mental health system. Yet, systematic doctoral-level training efforts in these competencies appear sparse. This article presents key components of a Public Psychology Doctoral Training Model that trains psychologists in the competencies needed for leadership in community mental health. Key components include the following: (a) a focus on public psychology foundational and functional competencies, (b) collaborative partnerships between academic, community, and county/state/federal entities, and (c) group case–method learning beyond the classroom. The Diversity and Community Mental Health (DCMH) emphasis area is presented as an example, and recommendations are provided for other doctoral programs endeavoring to establish similar programs.
    Training and Education in Professional Psychology 05/2012; 6(2):76-83. DOI:10.1037/a0028834 · 1.58 Impact Factor
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