International Survey of Recovery, Inc.
Judith A. Cook, Ph.D., Pamela J. Steigman, M.A., Carol Reinheimer, and Jane Burke, M.S.
Recovery, Inc. is one of the oldest mental health consumer led self-help organizations, founded
in 1937 by Abraham Low, M.D. The idea behind Recovery is to help people help themselves to regain and maintain their mental health. Dr. Low developed a set of tools and techniques for overcoming fears,
anger, and symptoms of nervous origin, and for strengthening self-confidence. His approach, a systematic method of will training, appears to be an earlier version of cognitive and behavioral therapy.
Used in conjunction with this method, Dr. Low established a set of rules imperative to the efficacy of his approach. Since Dr. Low's death in the 50's, part of the mission of Recovery's board of directors has
been to assure the preservation of the Recovery method. To that end, Recovery meetings follow a very structured format, adhering to the original rules and policies implemented by Dr. Low.
Although, there is tremendous devotion on the part of Recovery, Inc. members, group membership has been declining in recent years. With the hope and intention of having Recovery, Inc.remain a viable
alternative for individuals with nervous conditions, Recovery's executive director called upon the UIC NRTC to conduct an international survey of its leadership.
The intent of the survey was to 1) obtain a demographic profile of Recovery group leaders and members; 2) to assess the degree to which leaders are innovating and allowing some flexibility into their
meetings; and 3) to see how leaders are going about attracting and retaining new members. Eight-five percent of the 650 group leaders responded to the mailed survey, which is an unusually high response rate
for studies of this nature. The preliminary findings suggest that group leaders show a high degree of adherence to the Method, yet also show some degree of flexibility in how the Method is applied in their
For more information about this project,
please email Pam
Steigman, M.A., or phone her at (312) 413.3162.
Shirley Sachs, Executive Director, Recovery, Inc.