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The Recovery Philosophy and Direct Social Work Practice

Joseph Walsh

Publication Date - 01 July 2013

ISBN: 9780190615307

257 pages
6 x 8.9 inches

In Stock


The concept of recovery in mental health represents the radical shift from the reductive ideas of disease and cure to a holistic understanding of the individual. It is an investment in the personal journey toward wellness that involves developing hope, supportive relationships, self-motivation, social inclusion, and a greater sense of life's purpose. The principles behind the recovery movement mirror the NASW core values for the social work profession: emphasizing service and social justice through the empowerment and full engagement of the consumer in defining his or her strengths, needs, and goals. The Recovery Philosophy and Direct Social Work Practice explores the potential of the social work profession to use these core values to help persons with mental illness work toward recovery.

The book addresses the ways social workers can implement and support recovery activities through a consideration of recovery philosophy, the utilization of a social work perspective on recovery, and in-depth examples of recovery practice with individuals who have schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum. This book is a practical guide for direct practitioners. It emphasizes the cooperative dynamic of the social worker/consumer relationship and addresses the difficult topic of endings in recovery practice. The models presented in this book will enable social workers to expand their existing intervention skills to work more collaboratively with consumers toward their goals of holistic recovery from mental illness.


  • A practice-oriented approach, with content on the dynamics of the social worker/consumer relationship and endings in recovery work
  • A practice-oriented approach, with content on the dynamics of the social worker/consumer relationship and endings in recovery work
  • History and definitions of different models of recovery
  • Summaries and discussion questions following each chapter

About the Author(s)

Joseph Walsh (PhD, LCSW, Ohio State University) is professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has been a direct services practitioner in the field of mental health since 1974, first in a psychiatric hospital and later in community mental health center settings. Walsh was the 1998 recipient of the National Mental Health Association's George Goodman Brudney and Ruth P. Brudney Social Work Award, given annually to recognize significant contributions to the care and treatment of persons with mental illness.

Table of Contents

    The Book's Organization
    A Note on Terminology
    Part I: Social Work and the Recovery Philosophy
    1. Introduction: A Social Worker's Journey Toward the Recovery Philosophy
    2. The Recover Philosophy of Mental Illness
    3. Social Work Practice and the Recovery Philosophy
    4. A Social Work Model of Recovery Practice (and Some Others)
    5. Relationship Development With Recovering Consumers
    6. Spiritual Concerns of Recovering Consumers
    Part II: Recovery Interventions for Specific Mental Disabilities
    7. Schizophrenia
    8. Depression
    9. Bipolar Disorder
    10. The Autism Spectrum Disorders
    11. Endings in Recovery Practice
    12. The Future of Recovery

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