Contrasting the Essentials of Recovery Orientation and Person-centered Care

Main Article Content

Margit Schmolke
Juan Mezzich


The historical roots and contextual matrices from which Recovery Orientation and Person-centered Care have arisen are reviewed along with their current conceptual bases and profiles. Then, they are systematically compared in terms origins, conceptual definitions, key elements, clinical uses, education and training, and research lines. Such contrasts yielded indications of both differentiation and convergence. These hold implications for the further development of these perspectives and their prospective contributions to the whole health field.

Article Details

Regular Articles
Author Biography

Margit Schmolke, Training and Research Institute of the German Academy for Psychoanalysis in Munich

Dr. Margit Schmolke is clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst and group psychotherapist in private practice. She is lecturer and training analyst and co-chair of the department of Group Psychotherapy Training at the Training and Research Institute of the German Academy for Psychoanalysis in Munich, Germany. She is an active member of the Sections “Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry” and “Preventive Psychiatry” of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). Her special fields of research and professional activity are psychodynamic treatment, resilience and protective factors in severely psychiatric patients, recovery.


Davidson L, Harding C, Spaniol L (2005): Recovery from Mental Illness: Research Evidence and Implications for Practice. Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Amering M, Schmolke M (2009): Recovery in Mental Health. Reshaping Scientific and Clinical Responsibilities. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.

Slade M (2009): Personal Recovery and Mental Illness: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals. Cambridge, University Press.

Mezzich JE, Snaedal J, van Weel C, Heath I (eds)(2010): Conceptual explorations on Person-centered Medicine. International Journal on Integrated Care. Supplement 10.

Christodoulou GN, Fulford KMW, Mezzich JE (2007): Conceptual bases of Psychiatry for the Person. International Psychiatry 5(1): 1-3.

Institute of Medicine (2001): Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st Century. Washington, DC, National Academies Press.

US Presidential Commission on Mental Health (2003): Achieving the promise: transforming mental health care in America. Final Report. Rockville: US Department of Health and Human Services.

World Health Organization (2005): Mental health action plan for Europe: facing the challenges, building solutions. Helsinki, January, 12-15.

World Health Organization (2009): World Health Assembly Resolutions. Geneva.

Heath I (2005): Promotion of disease and corrosion of medicine. Canadian Family Physician 51: 1320-22.

Tournier P (1940): Medicine de la Personne. Neuchatel, Delachaux et Niestle.

Rogers CR (1961): On becoming a person: a therapist’s view of psychotherapy. Boston, Houghton Mifflin.

McWhinney IR (1989): A Textbook of Family Medicine. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Brera GR (1992): Epistemological aspects of medical science. Medicine and Mind 7: 5-12.

Alanen YO (1997): Schizophrenia: Its Origins and Need-adaptive Treatment. London, Karnak.

Chamberlin J (1979): On Our Own: Patient-controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System. New York, McGraw-Hill.

Deegan P (1992): The independent living movement and people with psychiatric disabilities: taking back control over our own lives. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal 15: 3-19.

Anthony W (1993): Recovery from mental illness. The guiding vision of the mental health service system in the 1990s. Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal 16: 11-23.

Barber ME (2012): Recovery as the New Medical Model for Psychiatry. Psychiatric Services 63, 3: 277-279.

Mezzich JE (2007): Psychiatry for the Person: articulating medicine’s science and humanism. World Psychiatry 6: 1-3.

Mezzich JE, Snaedal J, van Weel C, Heath I (2009): The International Network for Person-centered Medicine: Background and First Steps. World Medical Journal 55: 104-107.

Antonovsky A (1987): Unraveling the mystery of health. How people manage stress and stay well. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Deegan P (2005a): Recovery as a journey of the heart. In: Davidson L, Harding C, Spaniol L (eds): Recovery from Severe Mental Illnesses. Research Evidence and Implications for Practice. Vol 1, pp 57-68. Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Farkas M, Gagne C, Anthony W, Chamberlin J (2005): Implementing recovery oriented evidence based programs: identifying the critical dimension. Community Mental Health Journal 41: 141-158.

Davidson L, Strauss JS (1992): Sense of self in recovery from severe mental illness. British Journal of Medical Psychology 65: 131-145.

Davidson L, Chinman M, Sells D et al. (2006): Peer support among adults with serious mental illness: a report from the field. Schizophrenia Bulletin 32, 3: 443-450.

Deegan PE, Drake RE (2006): Shared Decision Making and Medication Management in the Recovery Process. Psychiatric Services 57(11): 1636-9.

Stevenson FA, Barry CA, Britten N, Barber N, Bradley CP (2000): Doctor–patient communication about drugs: the evidence for shared decision making. Social Science & Medicine 50, 6: 829-840.

Hamann J, et al. (2006): Shared decision making for in-patients with schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 114: 265-273.

Deegan P (2005b): The importance of personal medicine: a qualitative study of resilience in people with psychiatric disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 33, Suppl. 66: 29-35.

Brera GR (2009): Assessment of Person-centered Medicine and Person-centered Clinical Methods Teaching at the Ambrosiana University Milan School of Medicine. Paper presented at the Second Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine, Geneva, May 28-29, 2009.

Maguiña-Vargas C., Gonzalez-Mendoza J. 2012. Latin American educational perspectives for medicine focused on the person. International Journal of Person Centered Medicine 2: 159-160.

Mezzich JE (2011). The Geneva Conferences and the emergence of the International Network of Person-centered Medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17: 333-336.

Copeland ME, Allott PK (eds)(2005): Wellness recovery action plan. Sefton Recovery Group. (Website: or

Boevink W, Kroon H (2005): Living with a psychiatric disability: lessons to learn and to pass on. Website: (Accessed 12 August 2006)

Amering M, Hofer H, Rath I (2002): The “First Vienna Trialogue”- experiences with a new form of communication between users, relatives and mental health professionals. In: Lefley HP, Johnson DL (eds): Family Interventions in Mental Illness. International Perspectives, pp 105-124. Westport, CT, Praeger.

Cox J, Campbell A, Fulford KMW (2006): Medicine of the Person. London, Kingsley Publishers.

Finset A (2010): Emotions, narratives and empathy in clinical communication. In: Mezzich JE, Snaedal J, van Weel C, Heath I (eds): Conceptual explorations on Person-centered Medicine. International Journal on Integrated Care. Supplement 10: 53-56.

Zwaanswijk M, Tates K, van Dulmen S, Hoogerbrugge PM, Kamps WA, Bensing Jm (2007): Young patients’, parents’ and survivors’ communication preferences in paediatric oncology: Results of online focus groups. BMC Pediatrics 7:35.

Mezzich JE, Salloum IM (2009): Towards a Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis. In: Salloum IM, Mezzich JE (eds): Psychiatric Diagnosis: Challenges and Prospects. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.

Mezzich JE, Salloum IM, Cloninger CR, Salvador-Carulla L, Kirmayer L, Banzato CE, Wallcraft J, Botbol M (2010). Person-centered Integrative Diagnosis: Conceptual Bases and Structural Model. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 55:701-708.

Anthony W, Rogers ES, Farkas M (2003): Research on evidence-based practices: future directions in an era of recovery. Community Mental Health Journal 39: 101-114.

Slade M (2007): Recovery, psychosis and psychiatry: research is better than rhetoric. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 116: 81-83.

Corrigan PW, Salzer M, Ralph RO, Sangsster Y, Keck L (2004): Examining the factor structure of the Recovery Assessment Scale. Schizophrenia Bulletin 30: 1035-1041.

Rose D (2003): Collaborative research between users and professionals: peaks and pitfalls. Psychiatric Bulletin 27: 404-406.

Wallcraft J, Schrank B, Amering M (2009): Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.

Mezzich JE, Kirisci L, Salloum IM (2011). INPCM‐WHO Project on Developing Measures

to Assess Progress Towards People‐centered Care. Technical Report, Fourth Geneva Conference, International College of Person-centered Medicine.