Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 7, pp 781–792 | Cite as

Participants’ Assessment of the Impact of Behavioral Health Self-Direction on Recovery

  • Bevin CroftEmail author
  • Susan Parish
Original Paper


Self-direction involves managing a flexible budget, selecting and purchasing services and supports to meet individual needs and preferences. An emerging practice in the behavioral health field, self-direction is part of a systemic shift toward person-centered approaches to service provision. To understand the relationship between recovery and self-direction, the authors conducted a content analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with individuals from two self-direction programs in one state. A positive relationship between self-direction and recovery was established. Meeting basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are important first steps in the recovery process for self-directing participants. Recovery domains were dynamic and interrelated, with gains in independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence facilitating achievement of goals in other domains. To maximize the benefits of self-direction, program administrators may need to develop clearer program implementation standards and address poverty and limited access to appropriate behavioral health services and supports.


Self-direction Self-directed care Mental health and substance use recovery Qualitative research Self-determination 



Partial support for the preparation of this manuscript was provided by an NIAAA doctoral training fellowship to the first author, Grant No. 5T32AA007567-17.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Services Research InstituteCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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