The transition to recovery-focused practice in mental health service delivery has been driven by consumer narratives. Challenging the positivist paradigm of the biomedical model, the principles of the recovery movement and those of social work are strongly aligned placing social workers in a prominent position to contribute to this change. The tenets of the biomedical model are most powerfully at play in the inpatient setting often portrayed in mental health literature as a negative and adverse experience. This paper reports on research utilizing the methodology of hermeneutic phenomenology undertaken in an inpatient mental health facility in rural Australia to explore the lived experience of inpatient care. Drawing on a phenomenological analysis and the use of NVivo, the paper argues that social workers need to take a critical stance within an understanding of epistemic injustice to challenge the dominance of the biomedical model and to play a significant role in the move to recovery-oriented practice. Consumer concerns call to core domains of social work practice. The consumer interviews are the focus of this paper with the findings highlighting implications for social workers in promoting recovery-focused practice.