BACKGROUND: Traditionally, treatment of psychosis has focused on the amelioration of psychopathology and return to adequate functioning: clinical recovery although there is growing recognition of the importance of subjective experiences associated with recovery: personal recovery. Positive psychiatry extends the focus of psychiatric treatment to go beyond the reduction of psychiatric symptoms and and improvement of functional disability to promote the attainment of well-being.
AIM: This article examined the conceptualization of well-being from the context of treatment for psychosis, its relationship with clinical recovery and highlighted some of challenges and implications for mental health services in promoting well-being.
DISCUSSION: Recovery from psychosis is a complex and individual process, where well-being is more than just the absence of mental illness. Clinical and personal recovery processes may contribute to well-being although further longitudinal studies are required. A recent framework for understanding well-being in psychosis helps address the lack of consensus in this field. There is a considerable overlap between the indicators of well-being in this model and the CHIME framework for personal recovery. Thus, interventions targeting personal recovery processes may be a potential way to promote well-being. Current mental health services face a considerable challenge if they are to fulfill the dual role of reducing psychopathology and/or disability whilst concurrently addressing personal recovery to promote well-being. The attainment of well-being may not only be a desirable treatment goal in recovery-orientated mental health services but also a potential protective factor against serious mental illness.