A Complexity Perspective on Narrative Identity Reconstruction in Mental Health Recovery
The Author(s) 2019. The issue of complex nonlinear change processes is one of the least understood aspects of recovery and one of the most difficult to apply in recovery-oriented health care. The purpose of this article is to explore the recovery stories of 17 mental health peer support workers to understand their narrative identity reconstruction in recovery using a complexity perspective. Using the Life Story Model of Identity (LSMI), a narrative thematic analysis of interviews suggests that self-mastery as part of personal agency is an important component of participants' narrative identity reconstruction. Self-mastery is particularly evident in redemptive story turning points (positive outcome follows negative experience). A complexity perspective suggests that participants realized their adaptive capacity in relation to self-mastery as part of recovery and that its use at story turning points critically influenced their recovery journey. Further exploring self-mastery as adaptive growth in narrative identity reconstruction appears to be a fruitful research direction.