Individuals living with serious mental illness are often difficult to engage in ongoing treatment, with high dropout rates. Poor engagement may lead to worse clinical outcomes, with symptom relapse and rehospitalization. Numerous variables may affect level of treatment engagement, including therapeutic alliance, accessibility of care, and a client's trust that the treatment will address his/her own unique goals. As such, we have found that the concept of recovery-oriented care, which prioritizes autonomy, empowerment and respect for the person receiving services, is a helpful framework in which to view tools and techniques to enhance treatment engagement. Specifically, person-centered care, including shared decision making, is a treatment approach that focuses on an individual's unique goals and life circumstances. Use of person-centered care in mental health treatment models has promising outcomes for engagement. Particular populations of people have historically been difficult to engage, such as young adults experiencing a first episode of psychosis, individuals with coexisting psychotic and substance use disorders, and those who are homeless. We review these populations and outline how various evidence-based, recovery-oriented treatment techniques have been shown to enhance engagement. Our review then turns to emerging treatment strategies that may improve engagement. We focus on use of electronics and Internet, involvement of peer providers in mental health treatment, and incorporation of the Cultural Formulation Interview to provide culturally competent, person-centered care. Treatment engagement is complex and multifaceted, but optimizing recovery-oriented skills and attitudes is essential in delivery of services to those with serious mental illness.