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Letters   |    
The Pedagogy of Recovery
Hans Oh, M.S.W., M.Ed.; Jordan DeVylder, M.S.W.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300250
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The authors are affiliated with the School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York City.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association


To the Editor: In 2009, the United Kingdom’s first Recovery Colleges began to emerge in London and Nottingham. These were sites of teaching and learning, established on the premise that education can empower people with mental illnesses and compensate for the debilitating effects of traditional psychiatric care. Today, hundreds of students are enrolled in these Recovery Colleges, taking a wide range of courses to meet their specific needs and interests. In contrast to the traditional medical model that focuses on symptoms and deficits, an educational paradigm seems more consonant with the principles of recovery in that it focuses on building strengths and achieving goals. Among the many courses offered are creating positive relationships, introduction to stress reduction, and understanding the benefits system. In this setting, people in recovery no longer assume the role of the patient in need of treatment; instead, they are students in pursuit of knowledge, who have the support of instructors who understand what it is like to live with mental illness (1).

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Perkins  R;  Repper  J;  Rinaldi  M  et al: Recovery Colleges. London, Centre for Mental Health, 2012. Available at www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/recovery/Recovery_Colleges.aspx. Accessed June 12, 2013
Freire  P:  Pedagogy of the Oppressed .  New York,  Continuum, 1970
Anthony  WA;  Ashcraft  L:  The recovery movement; in Mental Health Services: A Public Health Perspective, 3rd ed. Edited by Levin BL, Petrila J, Hennessy KD.  New York,  Oxford University Press, 2010
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