Images of Recovery: A PhotoVoice Study on Visual Narratives of Personal Recovery in Persons with Serious Mental Illness

Tom Vansteenkiste*, Manuel Morrens, Gerben J. Westerhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Personal recovery has become a guiding paradigm in mental health services. Most research on recovery is based on the exploration of personal stories of service users through verbal methods. As not everyone with psychiatric problems is able to verbally formulate a recovery narrative, the current study assesses personal recovery through PhotoVoice, with emphasis on visualisation, small stories and participation. Two ten-week groups were conducted with 18 participants living with severe mental illnesses. They participated in both the collection and analysis of visual narratives. Across the images produced by participants, four main recovery themes were found : People, Places, Activities and Finding Meaning. Compared to other frameworks, the emphasis participants put on the theme Places adds value to the understanding of recovery processes. Furthermore, participants showed that recovery is about dealing with vulnerabilities as well as aspiring a meaningful life. This study demonstrates that exploring visual narratives is powerful within recovery oriented mental health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity mental health journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 23 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Participation
  • Photovoice
  • Recovery
  • Visual narratives
  • Mental health

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