Insights in Recovery: A consumer-informed guide for health practitioners working with people with eating disorders

About this resource

Gaining insight into consumer experience is essential for effective implementation of mental health recovery policy. Exploring what motivates people to engage in recovery and how they understand recovery in their lives may usefully contribute to the development of effective practice.


Insights in Recovery was a consumer participatory research project translating knowledge from lived experience into a framework of recovery oriented practice for health professionals working with people with eating disorders. This was a co-designed and co-managed research project involving shared leadership between specialists in eating disorders and people with lived experience. The substantive component of the project involved extensive consultation with consumers.

The personal approach to recovery is now central to mental health care policy and standards in Australia. The focus of this project was on identifying recovery oriented practices that any healthcare professional could utilise in any healthcare setting.

This project has highlighted areas where recovery oriented approaches for people with eating disorders may require a different emphasis. Of particular note is the need for:
• positive professional responses to help seeking and self-disclosure and the prioritisation of early intervention
• an understanding of recovery as a long term process that addresses eating disorder thoughts and quality of life issues
• a focus on the thoughts associated with eating disorders rather than priority given to weight and appearance
• service settings and healthcare practices that promote feelings of safety to enable people to engage in the hard work of recovery
• a health workforce with knowledge of eating disorders recovery informed by the experience of people with eating disorders.

AuthorButterfly Foundation
Year2016

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