Doing Recovery Work Together: Clients’ and Counsellors’ Social, Discursive, and Institutional Practices




In this conceptual paper, we offer an alternative to traditional approaches to addictive behaviours and addictions counselling. We outline practice theory and tenets of an institutional ethnographic approach used to inquire into tacit or invisible practices of addictive behaviours, the work of recovery from them, and how counselling may (or may not) be helpful. We provide a conceptual alternative to working with clients who present for counselling with addiction concerns, using case examples as in invitation to practitioners to extend their work in new ways.

Author Biographies

Tanya E. Mudry, University of Calgary

Tanya E. Mudry is an assistant professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary as well as a counsellor educator, a registered psychologist, and a family therapist. Her research has three main areas of inquiry: recovery-oriented approaches to health, mental health, and addiction; critical, collaborative, discursive, and practice approaches research; and supporting the work of critical care recovery.

Tom Strong, University of Calgary

Tom Strong is a professor and a counsellor educator who recently retired from the University of Calgary. He writes on the collaborative, critical, and practical potentials of discursive approaches to psychotherapy, most recently on concept critique and development (particularly with respect to therapy and research) and on critical mental health. Among his books are Medicalizing Counselling: Issues and Tensions, Patterns in Interpersonal Interactions (co-edited with Karl Tomm, Sally St. George, and Dan Wulff), Social Constructionism: Sources and Stirrings in Theory and Practice (co-authored with Andy Lock), and Furthering Talk (with David Paré).

Emily M. Doyle, Athabasca University

Emily M. Doyle is a registered psychologist, a family therapist, and a counsellor educator. Her writing focuses on systemic and social constructionist approaches to practice and research.

Mackenzie Sapacz, University of Calgary

Mackenzie Sapacz is a recent graduate of the Master of Science program in counselling psychology at the University of Calgary. She is currently working as a counsellor at a community psychiatric unit in Calgary. Her research interests focus primarily on cell phones and human behaviour.




How to Cite

Mudry, T. E., Strong, T., Doyle, E. M., & Sapacz, M. (2020). Doing Recovery Work Together: Clients’ and Counsellors’ Social, Discursive, and Institutional Practices. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 54(4), 715–737.