The participatory research literature abounds with clearly articulated beliefs about the equitable and collaborative ways in which research should be undertaken (Freire, 2014; Reason & Bradbury, 2008; Wallerstein & Duran, 2008). I was personally drawn to a participatory approach because the principles align with my own belief that research should ‘matter’ to those involved. Yet, when attempting to enact participatory principles in the application of data collection with young people accessing a mental health service, I stumbled as I found the guiding theoretical literature provided little in the way of practical advice. This article provides a reflexive account of my attempts to co-create interviews with young people recovering from mental illness. I detail how I turned to feminist literature in search of guidance for collaborative modes of interviewing and through this process came to conceptualise my strategies as forms of ‘collaborative reflexivity’.