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Psychiatr Serv. 1996 Dec;47(12):1378-81.

Recovery, Inc., as an adjunct to treatment in an era of managed care.

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Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


As capitation increasingly limits professional mental health services, self-help organizations may play an expanding role. Recovery, Incorporated, is an internationally active mental health self-help organization developed in the late 1930s by Abraham A. Low, M.D. The author reviews concepts about mental illness and health developed since Low's time, such as locus of control, learned helplessness, defense theory, and Antonovsky's salutogenic model. He describes how these concepts support many of the principles developed by Low, in particular the idea that optimal health is achieved when a person assumes responsibility for his or her failure or success. In the structured format that Low designed for Recovery, Inc., meetings, members learn to identify self-defeating and illness-promoting thoughts and impulses and counter them with self-endorsing thoughts and wellness-promoting actions. The author suggests that professionals should become familiar with self-help organizations in their communities, promote relevant research, and facilitate referral to these groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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