Maintaining the effective functioning of the therapeutic community as a whole

If the therapeutic community is to work as a therapeutic method, all its constituent parts described in this chapter must be in good working order. This requires a process of acculturation in which new members adopt the values of the community, emphasizing openness, responsibility, and active participation, and in turn pass these on when the next new members arrive. The quality of the therapeutic environment at any time will be an indicator of how well the acculturation process is working. Rapoport(4) has shown that this process is susceptible to a pattern of oscillation with recognized stages ( Fig 1).

Fig. 1 Pattern of oscillation in the therapeutic environment.
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