Self-Determination, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Recovery Perspectives Among Certified Peer Specialists: A Qualitative Study

Emre Umucu, Karen L. Fortuna, Blaise Morrison, Garrett E. Huck, Jonathan F. Deiches, Jessica M. Brooks, Fong Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Certified peer specialists refer to a category of trained mental health professionals who self-disclose serious mental illness to support the rehabilitation and recovery goals of others with serious mental illnesses. The purpose of the current study was to better understand certified peer specialists' perceptions of: (a) the role of self-determination in vocational rehabilitation programs, (b) experiences with vocational rehabilitation services, and (c) the conceptualization of mental health and vocational recovery. A total of 12 participants completed the qualitative interviews in-person or over the phone. This study utilized a Consensual Qualitative Research approach. Study participants described self-determination as an important component in attaining work, as well as overall mental health and vocational recovery. Overall, our findings indicated that certified peer specialists have unique descriptions for self-determination and recovery, as well as diverse experiences with vocational rehabilitation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-312
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chiropractics
  • Analysis
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology

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