What is the recovery-oriented approach to psychosis?

Since the 1980s, there have been transformative developments in the effort to help people in psychotic crisis - work that has held surprising discoveries. For example, full, lasting recovery from DSM-defined schizophrenia is the norm in many parts of the world. Research is showing that:

  • The effectiveness of “talk therapy” can far surpass that of traditional, biological interventions
  • The most effective approaches abandon traditional assumptions about what “schizophrenia” is and what will help
  • The authoritarian style of relationship between professionals and therapy partners needs to be transformed
  • The methods that work best evolved independently, but have many elements in common

Dr Hatton’s workshops outline basic recovery information based on:

  • an extensive, international research base
  • training by mentors and colleagues recovered from psychosis
  • specialized training and experience in a variety of evidence-based approaches

Among my most highly respected colleagues and mentors are many clinicians recovered from experiences of severe, “chronic schizophrenia” or suicidal depression. People with lived experience of emotional crisis bring unique insight, credibility, and hope to recovering people and their allies. The workshops utilize first-hand accounts of recovery, experiential exercises, film clips, demonstrations, vignettes, and skill practice as well as lecture.


Day 1

Recovery Essentials

Basic grounding in recovery ideas:

  • How likely is recovery?
  • “Normalizing” unusual experience
  • Giftedness and madness
  • Some of the ways people with lived experience of psychosis understand it
  • The Recovery movement
  • How to dialogue with voices
  • Correlates of the “schizophrenia” diagnosis
  • Problems with genetic, chemical imbalance, and neurotoxicity theories
  • The most effective approaches

Innovative Approaches

Research evidence, outcome data, core principles, how these approaches differ from standard treatment:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBT-p)
  • CBT-p Workbook
  • Hearing Voices Network self help groups
  • Open Dialogue family and network therapy

Day 2


Introduction to structured methods of exploring the meaning of voices and unusual beliefs; connecting “symptoms” to life history:

  • Maastricht Interview for Voices
  • Maastricht Interview for People Who Experience Paranoia
  • Developed by people with lived experience of psychosis


Ways to understand and actively engage with diverse human experience:

  • Self compassion: Dissolving enemy images of self and other (Francois Beausoleil)
  • Compassion-focused Dialogue for Voices (Charlie Heriot-Maitland, PhD; Eleanor Longden, PhD)
  • Evidence-Based psychodynamic therapy (Bertram Karon, PhD)
  • How to safely explore the meaning of “symptoms” in depth
  • Funding talk therapy for people with complex trauma

These workshops have been well-received by CMH staff, Assertive Community Treatment teams, Peer Support Specialists, graduate students, and professionals who work in prisons, early intervention programs, inpatient settings, and private practice. Some have related that ideas they learned “transformed” their relationships with clients. Many feel inspired, renewed, and energized for the difficult work we do.

Workshops include detailed handouts, information for further training, and extensive bibliographies.


The workshops are available on a sliding scale basis, from $750 to $1,500 per day plus travel expenses. If CEUs can be offered, it has worked well to ask for donations or charge a reduced, public sector rate for the training.