ABSTRACT This qualitative study examined the accounts of fifteen adults regarding how they recovered from serious psychiatric disability. Interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory approach within a framework of Symbolic Interactionism. Recovery was identified as a dynamic process of personal growth and transformation. Barriers to recovery included paternalistic and coercive treatment systems, indifferent professionals, side effects from medication, and psychiatric symptoms. The existence of supportive relationships, meaningful activities and effective traditional and alternative treatments were identified as influential in facilitating recovery. The consumer providers who participated in this study provided important findings and fresh understanding about the recovery process.