Community as Method: Therapeutic Communities for Special Populations and Special Settings

Community as Method: Therapeutic Communities for Special Populations and Special Settings

Community as Method: Therapeutic Communities for Special Populations and Special Settings

Community as Method: Therapeutic Communities for Special Populations and Special Settings

Synopsis

This book presents adaptations of the therapeutic community (TC) model and method for special populations of substance abusers, and implementation in a variety of institutions and human service settings. Included are pregnant adult addicts and their children, adolescents, prison inmates and parolees, the homeless, and chronically ill clients in methadone treatment. The settings include community residence and transitional housing facilities, state prisons, county jails, homeless shelters, mental hospitals, inpatient wards and outpatient clinics, as well as community based treatment programs.

Excerpt

This volume is the first collection of published papers devoted exclusively to modified therapeutic community (TC) programs. It presents adaptations of the TC model and method implemented in a variety of institutions and settings for various subgroups of substance abusers with special characteristics, needs, and problems. These include pregnant adult addicts, mothers with their children, adolescents, criminal inmates and parolees, the homeless, chronically mentally ill, AND methadone-maintained clients. The settings include transitional housing facilities, a residential school, state prisons and a county jail, homeless shelters, a mental hospital's inpatient ward, outpatient clinics, and standard community-based residential TCs.

Although confined to a selected sample of clients and settings, the programs described illustrate the vigorous effort of TC agencies to meet the challenge presented by the widening diversity of individuals with substance abuse and related problems. Thus, in a certain sense this volume marks the evolution of the TC from its beginnings as an alternative to conventional treatment for drug addiction to a sophisticated services modality within mainstream health and human services.

The theme, special populations and special settings, was defined in 1990 by the collaboration of three organizations, each of which is invested in advancing the work of TCs--Therapeutic Communities of America (TCA), which is the North American association of agencies operating TC-oriented programs, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which has been the primary supporter of therapeutic community research and evaluation including most of the studies reported in this volume; and the Center for Therapeutic Community Research (CTCR), funded by NIDA as the first national center devoted to the scientific study of therapeutic communities, the development of TC researchers, and the dissemination of research for practice. The CTCR staff served as the coordinating entity for this volume and contributed seven of the papers. However, the majority of the contributions were from other agencies and investigators working independently.

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