My unconventional 40-year career in community mental health was built on specialized education, which allowed me to view the practice of psychiatry through a novel outsider and insider lens. This unique view led to my counter-institutional thinking regarding mainstream psychiatry’s “medication-first policy” and the implications of medication failure on impeding people from pursuing a recovery. My career insights have led to the creation of The Recovery Protocol Breakthrough to address the impact of poor medication returns eroding the belief in people that making a recovery is not an elusive dream. Of particular importance is my witnessing inside the hallways of institutional psychiatry the limitations of medications and their impact on the people served.

The areas of specialized education span from, an associate degree in Social Service Work, Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Psychiatry, NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), Nutrition applied to Mental Health, Energy Medicine for Emotional Change, and Narrative Practices applied to Brief Psychotherapy. With my unique expertise, I have been invited to conduct many workshops for professionals (Dietitians, Social Workers, Psychiatrists, and Psychotherapists) over my career span, covering topics such as the Holistic Approach to Trauma, Nutritional Approach to Mental Health Recovery and Recovery Orientation applied to Mental Health.

Major service roles have seen me design and direct a short-term stabilization unit for homeless men with psychiatric issues, holding a position as a mobile crisis first responder in mental health and as a trauma therapist for a community health agency serving marginalized populations. Significant career achievements include developing the first nutrition consultation service for underserved populations with psychiatric conditions and commencing a single-session clinic for rapid counseling with a major inner-city health center.

The conception of The Recovery Protocol Breakthrough would not have been possible without taking the road less traveled through my professional career, listening to unheard consumer voices, and utilizing my lived experience with the mental health system.

From this location, I am well-positioned to speak directly to consumers and service providers of all stripes regarding this innovative, novel, practice-based evidence program. My desire is for consumers experiencing “medication failure” to get more from their service providers in order to take charge of their lives and start recovering.



Paul Pakeman
The Recovery Specialist

“We are all in this together.”

-The Recovery Specialist