Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mental illness-Treatment, Gardening-Therapeutic use, Occupational training-Therapeutic use, Logotherapy, Mental health policy-United States, Recovery movement, Mental health services-United States, Farming, Horticulture therapy, SPMI, Supported education, Mental illness, Vocational horticulture therapy, Meaning, Theoretical


As the medical treatments available for mental illness continue to progress in the context of an ever-growing medical model with the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, individuals living with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) continue to experience barriers to receiving treatment. Furthermore, the treatment modalities largely based in pharmacological interventions and insight-based talk therapies fail to facilitate recovery, or to help individuals reach a place of sustained functionality. This theoretical study investigates vocational horticulture therapy as a way to facilitate recovery for individuals living with SPMI. I use Viktor Frankl's theory of Logotherapy in which he argues for the innate human drive towards meaning to understand the usefulness of vocational training opportunities and horticulture activities. I also provide an analysis of current mental health policy and argue for the collaboration between the well-resourced, mainstream medical model with the poorly funded long-term treatment-oriented recovery movement.




iii, 92 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-92)