© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.Purpose of review This review explores the concept of person-centred care, giving particular attention to its application in mental health and its relationship to recovery. It then outlines a framework for understanding the variety of approaches that have been used to operationalize person-centred care, focusing particularly on shared decision-making and self-directed care, two practices that have significant implications for mental health internationally. Recent findings Despite growing recognition of person-centred care as an essential component of recovery-orientated practice, the levels of uptake of shared decision-making and self-directed care in mental health remain low. The most significant barrier appears to be the challenge presented to service providers by one of the key principles of person-centred care, namely empowerment. Summary Shared decision-making and self-directed support, two practices based upon the principles of person-centred care, have the potential for being effective tools for recovery. Full engagement of clinicians is crucial for their successful uptake into practice. More research is needed to address both outcomes and implementation.