Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mental illness-Treatment-History, Peer counseling, Mental health services-History, Recovery, Mental health, C/S/X movement, Peer support, Certified peer specialist


The last decade of the twentieth century signaled a major shift in United States' mental health care, with 'recovery-oriented care' the new paradigm for mental health policy and services. While there is a consensus on the need to focus on recovery, the concept of recovery remains an evolving construct. This study examined the evolving conceptualization of recovery, focusing in particular on the role of the Consumer/Survivor/Ex-Patient Movement in altering social discourses concerning mental illness, recovery and the power dynamics within the extant mental health system. This study concludes with an examination of the recent Certified Peer Specialist position, concluding that like recovery, peer support remains an evolving construct.




iii, 43 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 37-40)