Concepts of Voices & Recovery, Risk & Self-Determination


The Journal of Social Work Practice proposes that mental health social workers are ideally positioned to “bridge and integrate the disparate but interrelated internal and external worlds of the psychiatric client living in the community. Managing and validating the totality of their experience to establish a radical, collaborative and life sustaining relationship which promotes real and meaningful recovery.” In this formulation, “recovery is considered as an essentially contested concept which must be self-defined and self-directed by the ideographic narratives of those who own and are living with the experience.”

Abstract →

Cameron, D., McGowan, P.; The Mental Health Social Worker as a transitional participant: Actively listening to ‘voices’ and getting into the recovery position. Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community. Published online Oct. 5, 2012

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].