Therapeutic Communities


A therapeutic community is a term that is used for group based approaches towards long term mental illnesses, drug addictions, and personality disorders. The approach was usually residential with clients and therapists being able to live together but increasingly residential units have been superseded based on day units instead. Therapeutic communities have gained some reputation for success in rehabilitation and patient satisfaction in Britain and abroad.

Studies have found that participation in a TC was associated with several positive outcomes. In example, DATOS, which was the most recent long term study of drug treatment outcomes, showed that those who successfully completed treatment in a therapeutic community had lower levels of heroin, cocaine, and alcohol use. They also had lower levels of unemployment, criminal behavior, and indicators of depression than they had before they had begun the treatment.

The therapeutic community is for the treatment of drug abuse and addiction and has existed for around 40 years. In general, the therapeutic community are drug free residential settings that use a hierarchal model with treatment stages that reflect increased levels of personal and social responsibility. Group processes and peer influences is used to help individuals learn and assimilate social norms and develop more effective social skills. There are many different and unique opportunities that are provided by those who are experienced with providing people with the guidance they need to return to their regular lifestyles before they were dealing with the issue of addiction. Some people find that the interactive quality of the therapeutic community makes it easier for them to transition back to certain stages of life.

Therapeutic communities differ from other treatment approaches mainly int their use of the community by comprising treatment staff and those in recovery. Many individuals admitted to therapeutic communities have a history of social functioning, vocational skills, education, and positive community and family ties that have been affected by their substance abuse. Recovery involves habilitation, which is learning the behavioral skills, attitudes, and values that is associated with socialized living. In addition to the importance of having the community as a agent of change, a second fundamental therapeutic community is having self help. Self help implies that the individuals in the treatment are the main contributors to the change process. Mutual self help implies that the individuals also assume partial responsibility for the recovery of their peers, which is an important aspect of an individual's own treatment.

The therapeutic community day is varied but regimented. A typical therapeutic community day begins at n7 am and ends at 11 pm. It includes morning and evening house meetings and job assignments as well as many other personal elements. Because employment is considered to be an important element of successful participation in society work is a distinctive component of the therapeutic community model. In the therapeutic community, all activities and interpersonal and social interactions are considered important opportunities to facilitate individual change. These methods can be organized by their primary purpose, such as clinical groups, community meetings, vocational and educational activities, and community and clinical management activities.

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