Knowledge on user experiences from mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) is still limited in a Danish context, especially regarding recovery from offences, severe mental illness, long-term admissions and often involuntarily contact with hospital psychiatry. The study is based on 34 semi-structured interviews with nine forensic patients exploring their experiences with personal recovery processes. The MDOs point out a significant number of elements and factors enhancing, supporting and limiting personal recovery processes. Long-term recovery processes for MDOs involve coming to terms with mental disorders as well as offences. Working with offender recovery implies addressing and understanding the index offence leading to psychiatric measurement as well as addressing risk and prevention of future crime. This coming to terms is an individual and deeply personal process and it often involves several and changing narratives. According to the informants, professionals play a crucial role in supporting recovery processes and maintaining hope and optimism over time. MDOs experience structural barriers limiting recovery potential, especially stigma or limited areas of participation. It is important not to focus solely on personal recovery as a one-dimensional individual process or responsibility, but as a process also marked by structural and organisational challenges.
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