Recovery to Practice Curriculum Modules

In August 2014, the APA Recovery to Practice initiative released a new curriculum designed to provide psychologists and other mental health professionals with information about the issues faced by people with serious mental health disorders and to provide training in the latest assessment and intervention approaches.

The curriculum consists of an instruction module plus 15 modules or chapters on a broad range of topics. Each of the text modules is fully referenced, contains a list of required readings, a sample learning activity, sample evaluation questions and is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

Each module in APA's Recovery to Practice curriculum is based on the most recent scientific literature. In its entirety, the curriculum presents a comprehensive training program in recovery oriented principles and practices to help people with serious mental health disorders recover and achieve their full functional capability.

The overarching goal of the APA Recovery to Practice Curriculum is to provide doctoral level psychology students with:   

  • Knowledge of the concept of recovery from severe mental illness.
  • Knowledge of rehabilitation assessments and evidence based and emerging practices to assist individuals with severe mental illnesses to achieve their goals and full potential.
More Information

Brief Descriptions of the Curriculum Modules

Instruction Module

The instruction module contains information about the importance of incorporating people with lived experience of serious mental illness into the teaching of the curriculum along with information about how to use each of the topical modules.

  • Introduction to Recovery Based Psychological Practice
    This module introduces the recovery model applied to behavioral health. Characteristics and fundamental components of recovery are defined.

  • The Recovery Movement: Role of Psychologists and Health Care Reform
    This module provides a historical overview of the concept of recovery as it applied to mental health and describes its evolution. An understanding of the role of the health care reform in shaping the future of recovery is explored.

  • Assessment
    This module discusses sound clinical assessment methodologies consistent with a recovery framework that is strengths-based and focuses on the functional capabilities of the individual.

  • Partnership and Engagement
    This module examines the importance of engaging people in the service delivery process and presents some of the impediments that keep people from becoming partners in this process. A discussion of how to successfully engage and involve individuals is presented.

  • Person-Centered Planning
    This module provides an overview of person-centered planning in recovery-oriented care. At its core, person-centered planning is a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to treatment in which individuals are empowered to find their own path to recovery.

  • Health Disparities
    This module provides an overview of the causes of the premature death experienced by people with serious mental illnesses and includes a discussion of the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender and culture related to these causes.

  • Interventions I: Guiding Principles and Integrated Framework
    This module is the first in a series of three intervention modules designed to be used together. Guiding principles that underlie the provision of all psychosocial rehabilitation services (PSR) are discussed, and an integrative framework is presented.

  • Interventions II: Evidence Based Practices
    This module is the second in the series of intervention modules. The evidence based practices developed, researched, and found to help people achieve their desired outcomes are presented.

  • Interventions III: Promising or Emerging Practices and Supporting Services
    This module is the third in the series of intervention modules, and describes services that have shown promise of achieving specified outcomes. Supporting services that are also widely acknowledged as essential services for helping people recover from the effects of serious mental illness are also highlighted.

  • Issues in Forensic Settings
    This module is the first of two forensics modules designed to be used together. This first module highlights the many issues and impediments people with serious mental health disorders face in the justice system.

  • Interventions in Forensic Settings
    This second module in the forensics series presents information about the interventions currently recommended to help people in the system avoid re‐incarceration and achieve a stable and satisfying life in the community.

  • Community Inclusion
    This module presents an overview of the issues that serve to exclude people with mental health disorders from participation in their communities. These include stigma, discrimination, poverty, and vulnerability. The circular and detrimental impact of social isolation and exclusion on an individual's mental health are explored.

  • Peer Delivered Services
    This module focuses on the role of peers in helping individuals recover and achieve a satisfying and productive life in the community. Peer support as an integral component of the mental health service delivery system is presented.

  • Systems Transformation
    Transforming a mental health system or an organization to one that is focused on helping people recover requires a fundamental paradigm shift from a system that is provider driven to one that is driven by the individuals who use the system and their families. This module presents key ingredients, challenges, successes and the role of psychologists in systems change.

  • Scientific Foundations
    This module provides the empirical basis for recovery, and presents the pros and cons of using quantitative versus qualitative methods to study interventions for people with serious mental illnesses. An introduction to mixed methods research, which offers a solution to the problems of using either quantitative or qualitative methods, is presented.