Dilemmas in recovery-oriented practice to support people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders: a qualitative study of staff experiences in Norway [2018]

Background
Recovery-oriented practice is recommended in services for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Understanding practitioners’ perceptions of recovery-oriented services may be a key component of implementing recovery principles in day-to-day practice. This study explores and describes staff experiences with dilemmas in recovery-oriented practice to support people with co-occurring disorders.

Methods
Three focus group interviews were carried out over the course of 2 years with practitioners in a Norwegian community mental health and addictions team that was committed to developing recovery-oriented services. Thematic analysis was applied to yield descriptions of staff experiences with dilemmas in recovery-oriented practice.

Results
Three dilemmas were described: (1) balancing mastery and helplessness, (2) balancing directiveness and a non-judgmental attitude, and (3) balancing total abstinence and the acceptance of substance use.

Conclusions
Innovative approaches to practice development that address the inherent dilemmas in recovery-oriented practice to support people with co-occurring disorders are called for.

Eva Brekke, Lars Lien, Kari Nysveen & Stian Biong
International Journal of Mental Health Systems, volume 12, Article number: 30 (2018)
DOI
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