Recovery management: what do you really mean and walking the talk about recovery

Recovery management: what do you really mean and walking the talk about recovery



Recovery in both addiction and mental illness is not always a smooth path.  This presentation will discuss what we really mean by recovery and recovery management.  It will explore what is working with recovery management and what remain as challenges.

This presentation will invite participants to examine their attitudes about recovery as expressed in the language and jargon we use in treatment; how assessments and treatment planning is done; how services are structured and delivered; and how relapse and substance use while in treatment is addressed.


Participants will

  1. Identify definitions, attitudes and dilemmas in recovery management.
  2. Discuss some challenges and discrepancies between concepts about recovery and recovery management and actual clinical practice.
  3. Apply ways to improve consistency in recovery management.


A. Identify definitions and dilemmas in recovery and recovery management

  • Definitions of recovery and recovery management in addiction and mental health
  • Review of selected recovery management principles and implications for clinical practice and policies
  • Challenges:  How to shift from program-driven, deficit based to person-centered, strength-based assessments? What is a therapeutic alliance and implications for treatment planning? What to do about substance use while in treatment?

B. Discuss the discrepancy between concepts about recovery management and actual clinical practice.

  • Discrepancies between recovery-oriented systems of care and how clients are engaged in a therapeutic alliance – ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment of needs and strengths in the context of the therapeutic alliance
  • Dealing with stages of change – abstinence oriented versus abstinence-mandated; working with trauma and co-occurring substance use; and “discovery” versus “recovery” treatment and use of the continuum of care
  • Terminology and words and terms that disempower people – words matter and promoting recovery beyond stabilization and acute crises