Recovery (also known as the “recovery orientation,” “recovery vision,” or “recovery philosophy”) has been the dominant paradigm shaping current mental health policy for the past decade. It is claimed to be a revolutionary departure from the past and a guide to policy that will transform outcomes of severe mental illness. This review looks critically at the history of recovery and examines the ways in which this history has shaped the values, beliefs, and practices of current recovery-based policies. Recovery is a treatment philosophy that emerged from the ruins of deinstitutionalization and the psychopharmaceutical revolution. Yet paradoxically, recovery reflects many of the same ideas that made deinstitutionalization and the era of psychopharmacology possible. Further, history reveals how the recovery movement is deeply indebted to and embedded within the sociocultural values of neoliberalism that have shaped public policy since the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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