The Recovery Workbook: Practical Coping and Empowerment Strategies for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Revised edition

LeRoy Spaniol, Martin Koehler, and Dori Hutchinson

The Recovery Workbook: Practical Coping and Empowerment Strategies for People with Psychiatric Disabilities, Revised edition

Price: $29.95  $14.47

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+ Leader’s Guide: $4.95  $2.47 (PDF file)

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Audience: Recommended for use by consumer and/or professional leaders as part of a training workshop, course, or seminar in the recovery process. It also can be used by self-help groups and individuals for self-study of recovery.


A resource for professionals, family members, and consumers/survivors to help people who experience psychiatric disability begin the process of recovery.   Psychiatric illness—and the stigma that surrounds it—can be devastating. People are left feeling profoundly disconnected from themselves, from others, from their environments, and from meaning or purpose in life. Recovery is a empowerment process that can help rebuild these important personal, social, environmental, and spiritual connections; and help confront the devastating effects of stigma.   Purpose:

To teach awareness and understanding of the recovery process. To teach coping and empowerment strategies for recovery. To provide the information and skills needed to strengthen the recovery process, to cope more creatively, and to live life more fully.

Citation: Spaniol, L., Koehler, M., & Hutchinson, D. (1994, 2009). The recovery workbook: Practical coping and empowerment strategies for people with psychiatric disability, Revised edition. Boston, MA: Boston University, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

Product Details


Paperback: 120 Pages, PDF file
Product Dimensions:
 8 x 11 inches

Leader’s Guide

CD: 120 Pages, PDF file
Product Dimensions:
 8 x 11 inches

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Recovery
Chapter 3: Increasing Knowledge and Control
Chapter 4: Managing Life’s Stresses
Chapter 5: Enhancing Personal Meaning
Chapter 6: Building Personal Support
Chapter 7: Setting Personal Goals


LeRoy Spaniol LeRoy Spaniol, PhD, retired in 2004 as Senior Director at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  He holds a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has 41 years of experience in the mental health field as counselor, advocate, program developer, administrator, and educator.  Dr. Spaniol was the Founder and Executive Publisher of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal and is currently a Consulting Editor for the Journal. He has taught as an Adjunct Full Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Boston University.  He also founded and taught in the Recovery Center, a rehabilitation program for people with psychiatric disabilities at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  He is currently President of NAMI of Cape Cod and serves on the Affordable Housing Committee for the Town of Wellfleet, MA.  Dr. Spaniol has published 18 books and many book chapters and articles about psychiatric rehabilitation, recovery, and families.

Martin Koehler, BA, worked as a teaching assistant and a research assistant at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation for many years. He was involved in numerous presentations at conferences and co-authored several books on recovery published by our Center.

Dori Hutchinson Dori Hutchinson, ScD, has worked at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University for 25 years.  She currently serves as the Director of Services Division which serves women, men, and youth with serious psychiatric illnesses who also may be homeless, at risk for homelessness, and experience significant co-morbidiites.  Her programs have included: Hope and Health: an evidenced-based program of health education for persons with serious mental illness and serious medical issues; the Recovery Center–a Holistic health Adult Education program; The Training for the Future Computer Program; a vocational training program; Jump Start-a Career Oriented Peer Mentoring Program for Young Adults with mental illness: The College Mental Health Initiative and Individualized Recovery and Health Promotion Services for persons with serious mental illness.  She was a project director of a NIMH funded pilot study evaluating the quality of inpatient care for women with psychiatric disabilities who were trauma survivors. She serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University.  Dr. Hutchinson sits on several community mental health center advisory boards both locally in Massachusetts and nationally. Dr. Hutchinson was the 2000 recipient of the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Association’s (IAPSRS) Early Career Research Award for her contributions on health issues for persons with serious psychiatric disabilities.  She served as the chairwoman of the research committee of the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services Association (IAPSRS), now known as USPRA, from 2002-2004 and is currently an active member. Dr. Hutchinson has developed and implemented recovery-oriented service initiatives that assist people who have mental illness assume their rightful roles as students, employees, residents and members of their communities.  She provides training nationally to organizations and providers who wish to deliver recovery-oriented services and conduct relevant program evaluations.  Over the last 20 years she also has developed health service initiatives in community rehabilitation settings, inpatient settings, and educational settings that provide health promotion knowledge and skills to empower people with psychiatric disabilities to recover their functional health that has resulted from the consequences of living with a serious psychiatric illness.


…The Recovery Workbook has been the cornerstone of all peer support meetings that I do. I have seen people with tears in their eyes thanking me for bringing and sharing the Recovery Workbook into their lives. Several thousand people in Massachusetts with the Peer Educators Project have used this workbook. Even more people with the Vet To Vet peer education across the entire United States in the VA health care system. The Recovery Workbook has been the most demanded and used materials that I have used in almost twenty years of peer support. I have started with the Recovery Workbook in the pilot phase and never lost faith in this book’s potential to transform lives. Carry it under one arm, set up a group, teach the materials, and watch wonders happen. If you are looking for something, try the original Recovery Workbook. Used, tested, and constantly in use for over a decade. Moe Armstrong, MBA, MA, Founder Vet To Vet and Peer Educators Project

…The Literature Committee of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has reviewed your book, The Recovery Workbook: Practical Coping and Empowerment Strategies for People with Psychiatric Disability,… and is recommending the book to the more than 200,000 NAMI members… Betsy Samuelson Greer, NAMI Literature Committee

Wedenoja, M. (2000). The recovery workbook: Practical coping and empowerment strategies for people with psychiatric disability. NAMI Advocate, December-January, 31-32.

Articles about the Recovery Workbook

…A quote from the abstract of the following article states: “…Conclusions: The study, which is one of the first randomized controlled trials of a recovery-based group intervention for persons with serious mental illness, showed that the Recovery Workbook group program was effective in increasing individuals’ perceived sense of hope, empowerment, and recovery. In an era when recovery is the primary goal around which reformed mental health service delivery is organized, researchers should continue to study recovery-based interventions, such as the Recovery Workbook to determine their potential as evidence- based treatment options.” Barbic, S., Krupa, T., & Armstrong, I. (2009). A randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of a modified recovery workbook program: Preliminary findings. Psychiatric Services, 60(4), 491-497. Click here for the article

…Although the article cited below describes Vet-to-Vet in which Moe Armstrong used a “pocket sized” Recovery Workbook, the workbook itself is not specifically referenced. Resnick, S. G., Armstrong, M., Sperrazza, M., Harkness, L., & Rosenheck, R. A. (2004). A model of consumer-provider partnership: Vet-to-vet. (2004). Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 28(2), 185-187. Click here for a pdf copy of the article

…This article describes “recovery oriented publications.” Resnick, S. G. & Rosenheck, R. A. (2008). Integrating peer-provided services: A quasi-experimental study of recovery orientation, confidence, and empowerment. Psychiatric Services, 59(11), 1307.