Since the beginning of the 21st century, psychosocial therapies (i.e., rehabilitation) and the frequently associated topic of recovery have long been a theme of interest in France. These topics constitute the paradigm of a new spirit of care - which consists in the resocialization of the individual based on the criteria of autonomy - and represent a radical individualistic turn of the therapeutic practices stemming from the cognitive-behavioural approach. It represents a social turning point, a change in the current modalities of care. The author proposes a sociological approach of this new spirit of care in mental health nowadays, studying the interactions between human beings and society. The reciprocal relationships between new social ideals of individual autonomy (the ideal of hidden potentials) and the changes in therapeutic approaches to patients - now conceived in terms of disabilities or resources, rather than in terms of symptoms - are described. The author proposes a sociological hypothesis to explain how therapies work, comparing individualistic healing - that comprises the patient’s recovery - and the ritual healing of unilinear filiation societies. The author highlights that our present idea of the human being in society - the social spirit - and our understanding of therapy - the spirit of treatment - evolved interdependently.
Keywords: psychosocial rehabilitation, recovery, autonomy, treatment, surgery, schizophrenia, mental health.