Skip to main content
placeholder image

A Complexity Perspective on Narrative Identity Reconstruction in Mental Health Recovery

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The issue of complex nonlinear change processes is one of the least understood aspects of recovery and one of the most difficult to apply in recovery-oriented health care. The purpose of this article is to explore the recovery stories of 17 mental health peer support workers to understand their narrative identity reconstruction in recovery using a complexity perspective. Using the Life Story Model of Identity (LSMI), a narrative thematic analysis of interviews suggests that self-mastery as part of personal agency is an important component of participants’ narrative identity reconstruction. Self-mastery is particularly evident in redemptive story turning points (positive outcome follows negative experience). A complexity perspective suggests that participants realized their adaptive capacity in relation to self-mastery as part of recovery and that its use at story turning points critically influenced their recovery journey. Further exploring self-mastery as adaptive growth in narrative identity reconstruction appears to be a fruitful research direction.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Kerr, D. J. R., Deane, F. P., & Crowe, T. P. (2020). A Complexity Perspective on Narrative Identity Reconstruction in Mental Health Recovery. Qualitative Health Research, 30(4), 634-649. doi:10.1177/1049732319886285

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85075183319

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 634

End Page


  • 649

Volume


  • 30

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • The issue of complex nonlinear change processes is one of the least understood aspects of recovery and one of the most difficult to apply in recovery-oriented health care. The purpose of this article is to explore the recovery stories of 17 mental health peer support workers to understand their narrative identity reconstruction in recovery using a complexity perspective. Using the Life Story Model of Identity (LSMI), a narrative thematic analysis of interviews suggests that self-mastery as part of personal agency is an important component of participants’ narrative identity reconstruction. Self-mastery is particularly evident in redemptive story turning points (positive outcome follows negative experience). A complexity perspective suggests that participants realized their adaptive capacity in relation to self-mastery as part of recovery and that its use at story turning points critically influenced their recovery journey. Further exploring self-mastery as adaptive growth in narrative identity reconstruction appears to be a fruitful research direction.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Kerr, D. J. R., Deane, F. P., & Crowe, T. P. (2020). A Complexity Perspective on Narrative Identity Reconstruction in Mental Health Recovery. Qualitative Health Research, 30(4), 634-649. doi:10.1177/1049732319886285

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85075183319

Web Of Science Accession Number


Start Page


  • 634

End Page


  • 649

Volume


  • 30

Issue


  • 4