Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph223-psaq-471526 November 27, 2003 16:17 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1, Spring 2004 (
RECOVERING THE SELF IN
SCHIZOPHRENIA: AN INTEGRATIVE
REVIEW OF QUALITATIVE STUDIES
David J. Sells, Ph.D., David A. Stayner, Ph.D.,
and Larry Davidson, Ph.D.
In this paper we review qualitative research on recovery from schizophrenia and
summarize how persons’ daily activities and experiences reﬂect mechanisms of
recovery of the self. We begin by describing examples of persons’ daily activities,
suggesting that they have in common a stance labeled by E. Corin (1990) as
positive withdrawal, representing negotiation of distance from the social milieu.
We note that positive withdrawal may foster the creation of larger life frames,
representing broad mechanisms through which to reconsider and ultimately
recover a durable sense of self. We suggest that these mechanisms are not
speciﬁc to people with schizophrenia, and brieﬂy discuss implications of these
ideas for models of outpatient treatment.
KEY WORDS: recovery; self; schizophrenia; qualitative research.
All authors are afﬁliated with Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven,
Address correspondence to David J. Sells, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, School of
Medicine, Yale University, 205 Whitney Avenue, Suite 306B, New Haven, CT 06511;
2004 Human Sciences Press, Inc.