Deutsch: Genesung / Español: recuperación / Português: recuperação / Français: rétablissement / Italiano: recupero

Recovery is the personal process of discovery, release, and change in the lives of an individual, whether recovering from addiction to substances, compulsion, or some other dysfunction. Generally, Recovery (with a capital "R") refers more to the results of the 12-Step Program and self-help support groups that follow that method. In the addictions field, changes back to health in physical, psychological, spiritual, and social functioning. It generally is believed that recovery is a lifetime process that requires total abstinence from alcohol and nonprescribed drugs.

In the context of psychology, recovery refers to the process through which individuals improve their health and wellness, manage their symptoms, and regain a sense of self-autonomy and control over their lives after experiencing psychological distress or mental illness.


Recovery in psychology is not just about the reduction of symptoms, but also about building resilience and achieving an overall improvement in life quality. It involves a personal journey of growth, during which individuals develop understanding, coping strategies, and greater independence. This process emphasizes hope and empowerment, as individuals often redefine their identities beyond their mental health conditions and work towards personal goals and meaningful engagement in their communities.

Application Areas

Recovery is a central concept across various fields within psychology:

  • Clinical psychology: Focuses on therapeutic approaches that support recovery from mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Community psychology: Promotes recovery through community support systems, social inclusion, and empowerment.
  • Health psychology: Deals with the psychological aspects of recovering from physical health conditions that also affect mental health.

Well-Known Examples

The recovery model has been influential in the treatment of serious psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia, where the focus has shifted from merely controlling symptoms to enabling individuals to lead fulfilling, hopeful lives despite ongoing challenges. Recovery-oriented care is now a foundational aspect of modern mental health services, emphasizing patient-centered approaches that support individual recovery journeys.

Treatment and Risks

The recovery process in mental health involves:

  • Personalized treatment plans: Tailored to meet individual needs and goals, incorporating various therapeutic modalities.
  • Peer support and community involvement: Engaging with others who have experienced similar challenges can be empowering and supportive.
  • Ongoing assessment and adaptation: Recovery is often non-linear, requiring adjustments to treatment plans as individuals' needs and circumstances change.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing

  • Therapy Techniques: Commonly include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, skill development, and resilience-building exercises.
  • Healing Process: Involves learning to manage symptoms effectively, improving emotional regulation, rebuilding social relationships, and gaining a better sense of self-worth and purpose.


Articles with 'Recovery' in the title

  • Principle of componential recovery: Principle of componential recovery refers to a principle of the recognition-by-components model that states that we can rapidly and correctly identify an object if we can perceive its indiv- idual geons


In psychology, recovery is understood as a comprehensive, personalized process that encompasses not only the alleviation of symptoms but also the overall enhancement of an individual's well-being and functionality. It focuses on empowering individuals to achieve their full potential and maintain control over their lives, contributing to both their own well-being and that of their communities.


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