Re-storying narrative identity: a dialogical study of mental health recovery and survival

J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2015 May;22(4):278-86. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12188. Epub 2015 Feb 6.


Some of the complexities of recovery and survival are arguably relatively neglected in current UK mental health nursing policy and, by association, clinical and research practice. In order to redress this, this paper, part of larger research project, will present two short stories, contextualized in a critical theoretical and methodological position. The overall significance of the argument in the paper is in its emerging benefits and implications for users of mental health services, practitioners and researchers. The central, orienting principle in the paper, cohering with all of its strands, is 'narrative re-storying'. Organized in three parts, the first reviews selected relevant background policy and related literature, the contextual and theoretical bases of the paper, and related methodological and ethical issues. The second presents the two stories, and the third brings the paper to a close. It does so in discussing specific and global emerging implications for mental health nursing practice and research, around narrative re-storying as a recovery tool and methodological innovations that include 'hybrid' writing.

Keywords: narratives; recovery; therapeutic relationships; user involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Narrative Therapy / methods*
  • Personal Narratives as Topic*
  • Psychiatric Nursing / methods*