RCCS Tidbit Of The Month: Recovery-Oriented Language

Do you remember when you were growing up being taught the phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? We were taught that so we could remain strong when we were bullied or disrespected by others. However, you might also remember that while you weren’t physically harmed by another person’s words, their hurtful language left an invisible wound that sometimes took longer to heal than a physical wound might have.

In a recovery-oriented program, our goal is to use language that makes a person feel valued, important, welcomed, and safe. Our language should also communicate positive expectations and promote hope, motivation, and optimism. Our language should never be hurtful or disrespectful.

For this month’s RCCS Tidbit, we offer a guide for staff and leaders to use when bringing awareness to our recovery-oriented language. We hope the ideas and tips in the guide linked below can support you on your learning journey as you become more aware of how language impacts those we serve.