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Recovery, Inc.


Recovery, Inc. is a mental health self-help organization founded in 1937 by neuropsychiatrist Abraham A. Low in Chicago, Illinois. Low wrote the book of principles used in the organization: Mental Health Through Will Training.[1] Fundamentally, Low believes "Adult life is not driven by instincts but guided by Will," using a definition of will that is the opposite of Arthur Schopenhauer's. Low's program is based on self-control, self-confidence, and increasing one's determination to act. Sociologist Edward Sagarin compared it with a modern, reasonable, and rational implementation of Émile Coué's psychotherapy.[2] Recovery, Inc. deals with a range of people, all of whom may have difficulty coping with everyday problems, whether they have been psychiatrically hospitalized or not. It is non-profit, non-religious, and although it uses methods devised by Dr. Low, groups are operated today mostly by non-professionals. As of recently, professionals have been allowed to lead meetings.[3]


For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Group processes

Recovery's method is essentially cognitive therapy; helping a person to be aware of possible errors or misconceptions in their perception of reality. Because its methods do not conflict with other therapies, it can be used in conjunction with twelve-step programs and is often recommended to patients by mental health professionals as an adjunct to their therapy.[3]

At the meetings, members share examples from their lives that caused nervous symptoms (e.g. physical sensations, racing thoughts) and try to "spot" the thoughts that occurred just beforehand. Other members offer alternative ways of looking at the situation and suggest how to better handle similar symptoms in the future. For example, a person may experience depression (or "lowered feelings" in Recovery language) because they are aiming for a perfect performance. Trying to be perfect or trying to appear perfect leads one to feel down if one makes even the slightest mistake. Members are encouraged to "endorse" (to give themselves credit) for their efforts—not for their successes. All improvements are acknowledged, no matter how small. Members are are taught only to compare themselves to themselves, not to other people. Longstanding members are encouraged to share their success with the Recovery methods to help newcomers.[2]


For more details on this topic, see Self-help groups for mental health: Effectiveness

Following participation in Recovery, Inc., former mental patients reported no more anxiety about their mental health than the general public. Members rated their life satisfaction levels as high, or higher, than the general public. Members who had participated two years or more reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their health. Conversely, members who had participated less than two years tended to be still taking medication, living below the poverty level and having smaller social networks.[4]

Participation in Recovery, Inc. decreased members' symptoms of mental illness and the amount of psychiatric treatment needed. About half of the members had been hospitalized before joining. Following participation less than 8% had been hospitalized. Members' scores of neurotic distress decreased, and scores of psychological well-being for longstanding members were no different from members of a control group in the same community. Long-term members were being treated with less psychiatric medication and psychotherapy than newer members.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Low, Abraham (1984). Mental Health Through Will Training. Willett Pub. ISBN 0915005018. OCLC 9878531. 
  2. ^ a b Sagarin, Edward (1969). "Chapter 9. Mental patients: are they their brothers' therapists?", Odd man in; societies of deviants in America. Chicago, Illinois: Quadrangle Books, 210-232. ISBN 0531063445. OCLC 34435. 
  3. ^ a b Recovery, Inc. (2007-06-19). Welcome to Recovery, Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-08-28.
  4. ^ Raiff, N. R. (October 1984). "Chapter 14: Some Health Related Outcomes of Self-Help Participation", in Gartner, Alan; Riessman, Frank: The Self-Help Revolution. New York, NY: Human Sciences Press, 183 - 193. ISBN 0898850703. OCLC 8975644. 
  5. ^ Galanter, M. (1988). "Zealous Self-Help Groups as Adjuncts to Psychiatric Treatment: A Study of Recovery, Inc". American Journal of Psychiatry 145 (10): 1248-1253. ISSN 1535-7228. PMID 3421346.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Recovery,_Inc.". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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