Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S088: Beyond the rabbit hole of maintenance … to professionals teaching and living lives of recovery

By August 29, 2014 No Comments

You can read an abstract for this session here

Lyn Mahboub & Robyn Martin

Lyn discussed the various definitions between clinical, social and personal recovery, and the impact those definitions have on the lived experiences of consumers.

Social recovery, Lyn believes, often relies on outdated thinking. As an example, the term relapse was put forward which, in itself, suggested that recovery is a linear process, which many find it is not. Rehabilitation is also sometimes “rebadged” as recovery without a recognition that the two concepts involve a different way of thinking.

Personal recovery was defined by Lyn as “having a good life, whatever that looks like to me”, necessitating the individual to have control over their own lives and destiny. Personal discovery was outlined as a personal journey of recovery driven by the consumer.

The concept of maintenance was presented as being closely aligned with clinical recovery, and that rather than maintain stability, individuals should be encouraged to strive further. Lyn suggested that as people are being “kept in chemical hibernation”, years of life and opportunity are being lost as they become passive recipients of care.

Suggestions for what active recovery might look like included:

  • the formulation and adoption of a holistic model towards recovery;
  • consumers defining their own experiences;
  • the potential for consumers to exit services;
  • human rights advocacy;
  • social inclusion and social network promotion; and
  • flexible, individualised services.

Issues of risk and risk assessment were raised, with Lyn suggesting a recovery-focused approach to assessment was valuable. Whilst understanding this challenges traditional approaches, Lyn argued that recovery is about growth and discovery which often involves a risk.

Robyn challenged the audience to hold onto the tensions around risk assessment and suggested that in that process, the question of “whose risk is it?” be asked.