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This presentation provides an overview of a 2010 CREST.BD study exploring differing understandings of recovery in bipolar disorder: from no hope of recovery, to clinical recovery characterized by a diminishing of symptoms, to personal recovery characterized by meaningful quality of life. The researchers engaged in participatory research with a sample of Canadian individuals living with bipolar disorder using qualitative research methods. The presentation highlights the methods, results, and conclusions which include prioritizing quality of life in the treatment process and emphasizing an individual’s capacity to engage in self-management strategies. Originally presented by CREST.BD member Sharon Hou at a poster session during the International Review of Bipolar Disorders in Nice, France (May 21-23, 2012).