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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 11, 815 - 822

Essay

Functional recovery and self-regulation: assignments for both clients and psychiatrists

J.C. van der Stel

background Currently, attention is focused on recovery, but the concept is under discussion. The functional aspect, i.e. the re-establishment and development of mental functions, is rarely explained in mental health care. As a result, certain opportunities may be missed, particularly with regard to helping clients to develop or restore their self-regulatory abilities.
aim To clarify what we mean by functional recovery and to explain why it is important to deal with this theme separately and to distinguish between functioning and mental functions.
method An overview is given of current developments in and around mental health care, and the true meaning of the concept of recovery is discussed. Furthermore, arguments are presented which stress the usefulness of distinguishing between four aspects of recovery: clinical, personal, social and functional.
results As is still the case in regular health care (rehabilitation), the subject of functional recovery is hardly ever dealt with as a separate entity. If it were to be dealt with separately and if attention were to be given particularly to the executive functions and their significance for self-regulation, fresh opportunities would arise for supporting clients in their recovery process.
conclusion If functional recovery is dealt with separately, new opportunities for recovery will arise, even if clinical recovery is no longer a viable option. The use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (icf) can ensure that focus in the future will shift to the recovery of psychosocial functioning and mental functions.

keywords executive functions, functional recovery, recovery, self-regulation