In defence of a humanistic approach to mental health care: recovery processes investigated with the help of clients' narratives on turning points and processes of gradual change

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2011 Aug;18(6):479-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01695.x. Epub 2011 Jun 5.


Several studies in recent years have shown that recovery factors as experienced by clients are not always compatible with professional approaches. For example, clients often emphasize the importance of relationships and the satisfaction of universal human needs. The aim of the study has been to explore clients' descriptions of beneficial factors and to discuss the implications of those factors for the delivery of mental health services. Method has been qualitative content analysis of 347 user narratives. The study confirms findings in earlier recovery studies, but also demonstrates that the investigation of clients' stories leads to a range of existential dilemmas. Fundamental beliefs about what constitutes effective and necessary treatment are challenged. Recovery is a fundamentally personal process that involves finding a new sense of self and feeling of hope. Furthermore, it is not only an internal process; it also requires external conditions that facilitate a positive culture of healing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over / psychology*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humanism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration*
  • Norway
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Recovery of Function
  • Self Concept
  • Workforce
  • Young Adult