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The THRIVE Approach. Marion Aslan Time Healing Resilience Interdependence Vivacity Emancipation. THRIVE. Self help / guided approach to recovery Supplements current models of working Meets best practice criteria

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the thrive approach

The THRIVE Approach

Marion Aslan








  • Self help / guided approach to recovery
  • Supplements current models of working
  • Meets best practice criteria
  • Appropriate to all levels and areas of distress
The concept of THRIVE is one of taking the key

elements of restoration and recovery and using

them as the foundation stones for finding and

achieving the future you want to build.

If recovery is a journey, a process, a direction

rather than an event or a label then there has to

be a map, a guide, short cuts, beginnings and an

overall direction.

advantages of the thrive approach
Advantages of the THRIVE Approach
  • Teaches short cuts
  • Draws on people’s innate strengths and abilities
  • Enables people to find order in a disordered world!
  • Sees madness as a natural coping strategy that need not be permanent
  • Places individual at the heart of the recovery process



Resilience (recovery)

Survival with impairment



Level of Functioning


elements that underpin recovery
Elements that underpin recovery
  • Hope & hopefulness
  • Ownership
  • Self
  • Activity
  • Personal
  • Choice

THRIVE encompasses these within

Time Healing Resilience Interdependence Vivacity Emancipation

Recovery may take you back to where you

were, but to thrive means so much more.

It enables you to regain and reclaim life

not just as it was, but as it would and should have

been had the disruption not occurred.

It is a far more optimistic and hopeful concept.

Marion Aslan

Recovery and Thriving

Where the similarities lie are in the initial process

of becoming unstuck, the underpinning elements

that support moving on and the commitment

required from self to put in the work and effort

necessary for advancement.

Marion Aslan

“We all have that essential human resilience within us, not

to give in. We all have that capacity to grow stronger

through adversity” Courtney Harding, U.S.A.

Hope and optimism is crucial to the process and even this can be learned!

The THRIVE approach firmly believes that the individual is the expert of his or her experiences, and within every person lies the necessary resources to facilitate reclamation of their life.

In order to thrive, there is a clear process of

Breakdown, Breakthrough and Breakout

(Aslan & Smith 2008) which embraces recovery but

goes even further. It liberates the individual,

emancipates and encourages responsibility taking.

It can be actively supported by friends, family, workers and

colleagues, but the key person is you, your hopes and

desires and a commitment to reclaiming your life, working

through problem areas and gaining insight into yourself.


Experience in a social context

Explore your experiences


Startling/ inc. toxic factors

Engage with others get information

Reclaim power & ownership


Understand and make sense

Change relationship with experience

Get safe

Make choices begin to recognise power/politics

Emancipate self

Get stuck!


Begin to engage with experience

Reject labels/

Confront power

Mourning loss & healing

Identifying your experiences, Name the problem


Get safe again

Get stuck!



TIME is a natural healer as long as we don’t resist the

process and become stuck. Think of someone you have

loved who has died. The pain of grief becomes less raw

over time – you don’t forget or stop missing the person,

but over time you focus on the joy of knowing them rather

than the pain of losing them.

So it can be with emotional problems. With TIME you will

feel differently, gain a different perspective and move away

from the distress you feel right now.


Negative events

Do you see any patterns in your timeline?

Can you identify where your didtress began, or when it became problematic?

Does that follow any event or events in particular?

Past Positive events Present


Healing is integral to recovery and essential to

everyone’s wellbeing, sometimes easier to impart

to others than to give to ourselves.

There may be reasons why

we block our own healing

– guilt, worthlessness,

shame, lack of belief in our

own worth.


Part of the healing process is to acknowledge these emotions, and allow healing elements into our consciousness.

Showing Resilience is a common factor in those

who have survived and rebuilt their lives. Indeed

we all have a degree of resilience, and some

people are able to draw on their inner reserves

and show Resilience even where

the system may squash it.

It is also possible to build up our

own resilience and to help support

the process in others.

Resilience encompasses the psychological damage

AND enduring strength that can result from

struggling with hardship

“We can call this natural healing process resilience.

It is integral to and underpins recovery. It’s a

process of taking back control of your life and

reinventing yourself”

Courtney Harding, U.S.A.

“We all have that essential human resilience within

us, not to give in. We all have that capacity to

grow stronger through adversity”

Courtney Harding, U.S.A.


We all rely on other people

for some things some of

the time, and other people

may rely on us.

These are the natural

supports we can build on.


A healthier attitude is to look at ways of increasing

Our personal connections and relationships,

building Circles of Support


Vivacity is not a term we hear very often in mental health

spheres but our conviction is that we should be thinking

about this as a vital part of recovery. Being animated, full

of enjoyment of life is possible for all. Many people who

have experienced severe lows in their lives talk about

enjoying life even more after coming through illness or



Emancipation or liberation comes with taking

control of one’s own life and celebrating your own

individuality and uniqueness. Playing a vital role in

society and being valued can enhance our sense of

freedom and remove us from the constraints of

being regarded as mentally unwell, maintained in

the system and feeling as if life happens to other


“This book fills a gap, where psychiatry more and more

fails to see that mental health problems are a reaction to

problems in life and not only, if at all, symptoms of an


The THRIVE Approach focuses on the person’s own

potential and their capabilities to find solutions for their

problems. Using this process, it is about framing your

understanding of your experiences”

Marius Romme,

Professor Emeritus of Social Psychiatry, Maastricht

Author of “Understanding Voices & “Accepting Voices”

the approach encourages the individual to
The approach encourages the individual to
  • Learn self therapy
  • Find ways of increasing resilience
  • reframe their experience

and either “let go” or “work through”

  • Find a future
  • Find restored hope
the approach encourages the supporter to
The approach encourages the supporter to
  • Act as a “reflector”
  • Take a more active listening role
  • Learn the language of distress
  • Understand metaphor & meaning
  • Retain hopefulness
  • Be a companion or guide on the journey

Enables workers to reclaim their helping roles


Feedback from participants on

THRIVE course

  • Challenged some of my ideas – e.g. the behaviour and lifestyles of some people who might seem “risky” or “abnormal” are strategies of survival
  • This course helped me put aside my background and training, allowing learning from others and to look at who is the expert
  • Gave me confidence to work with clients in a person centred way
the thrive assessment planning tool
The THRIVE Assessment & Planning Tool
  • The planning tool is for individuals who are currently receiving services or support.
  • It will assist recovery by helping to organise and plan all relevant support needs in a way that is useful to the individual, their workers and families, giving an overall direction of where the person wishes to be in their life
  • Ownership belongs to the individual - they assume responsibility in determining their care plan
  • Risk and safety issues negotiated
the thrive approach32
The THRIVE Approach…
  • Focuses on the values of working with individuals in a person centred, hopeful way towards recovery.
  • It sometimes challenges traditional thinking and concepts of mental illness, focusing rather on working with the individual, their story, their hopes, their dreams, skills and strengths rather than symptoms
potential outcomes of the thrive approach
Potential Outcomes of the THRIVE approach
  • People regard themselves differently – “survivors” , “victors”
  • Self knowledge
  • Self acceptance
  • Self determination
  • Self worth
  • Pride – “I am who I am”
outcomes for workers
Outcomes for workers
  • Renewed enthusiasm – the job you originally set out to do!
  • Pride in new skills – a huge variety
  • Optimism and fulfilment – seeing people reclaim their lives
  • Self worth arising from self knowledge
I wanted to let you know, at a difficult time personally and

professionally, I found it uplifting, positive, clear, simple,

not patronising, encouraging me in the way that I work,

inclusive, varied, funny and very real.

I have passed on details to the coordinator for mental

health promotion, to the rest of my team and to some folk

involved in recovery stories down here.

Thank you both for all the hard work putting it together and for the


All the very best with the project

Frances, Community Psychiatric Nurse, C.M.H.T. Cornwall


Sometimes its just a different perspective that is needed.

If you don’t believe us, look sideways