'If there's no stability around them': Experienced therapists' view on the role of patients' social world in recovery in bipolar disorder
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Background: Recovery in severe mental illness has traditionally been described as a deeply personal process. At the same time, researchers are increasingly attending to the social nature of such processes. In this article, we aim to sup‑ plement the growing knowledge base regarding these social aspects by exploring the perspectives of experienced therapists: how do they view the role of the social world in processes of healing and growth for people with bipolar disorder? And in what ways can the social world impede recovery?
Methods: We conducted 12 semi-structured individual interviews and analyzed the resulting transcripts using a team-based thematic analysis method.
Results: We identifed three themes: (a) establishing a sense of belonging; (b) backing ongoing therapy; and (c) relational ripple efects.
Conclusions: We relate our fndings to existing theory and research, discuss clinical implications, and highlight study limitations. We argue that our fndings underscore the need to integrate an understanding of recovery as a personal and social process in the mental health care services that we provide.