Objective: The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the clubhouse model and its capacity to assist people with severe mental illness. Method: The paper uses a sample vignette (with all identifying information removed) and survey of literature describing clubhouses over the last 15 years. Results: Strengths of the clubhouse model include its ability to provide a safe environment, supportive relationships and supported employment activities. Criticisms include its failure to provide onsite psychiatry clinics and a risk of promoting service dependence. Conclusions: Modern clubhouses continue to provide useful models of psychiatric rehabilitation which are popular worldwide. Studying and describing the model is challenging due to its complexity. Mixed methodological approaches and recovery-orientated measurement tools may assist future research and development.