Therapeutic Communities are a form of therapy that can be used in the treatment of a vast range of mental health conditions. Multiple people find these to be very useful.

Therapeutic Communities offer a unique approach towards mental health treatment. As a result, there are a range of advantages and disadvantages to these communities, as we explore in this article.

Therapeutic Communities can be useful for those who suffer from isolation

What are Therapeutic Communities?

Therapeutic Communities: Therapeutic Communities are for people with long-standing and complex emotional problems. These communities host groups of people, where individuals will often attend for weeks, and even months in some cases – typically attending a large house. Most therapy is provided in small groups. Patients are taught about interacting with others, and by partaking in group activities, learn the importance of getting on with others. When disagreements arise, the patients in the treatment are entrusted with setting rules to prohibit conflict. The patients also improve social skills by engaging in common behaviour – such as meal preparation. Not everyone is allowed into a Therapeutic Community, with the patients already situated at the community deciding whether or not an individual can enter. Overall, these measures can lead to an improved chance of recovery.

Advantages of Therapeutic Communities

  • Supportive environment: Therapeutic Communities offer a very supportive environment. For someone that is struggling with their mental health, this can be very useful. They allow a person to focus solely on their recovery.
  • Highly structured: Therapeutic Communities are highly-structured communities that can provide a strong routine for those that may lack activities or organisation. This can help a person prepare for the “real world”.
  • Range of therapies offered: Therapeutic Communities offer many different types of therapy. This makes it likely that a person will find a type of therapy that works for them.
  • Sense of cohesion: Therapeutic Communities allow people to learn with others and spur one another on through recovery. There is often a sense of cohesion and camaraderie between members, and seeing one another improve can be very motivating.
  • Learn long-term tools: Therapeutic Communities teach tools and techniques that can be used for the rest of your life. These include therapy techniques and general skills like organisation and time-keeping. These measures can help to protect against relapse.
  • Useful for multiple mental health conditions: Many people that are members of a Therapeutic Community will have multiple mental health conditions. A Therapeutic Community will can be perfect for this, as the different forms of therapy can help tackle different conditions.

Disadvantages of Therapeutic Communities

  • Time-consuming: Therapeutic Communities take a long time to complete. The minimum time to receive benefits from these communities is a month. The average time is 2-4 months. It takes time to benefit from these communities.
  • Group environment won’t work for everyone: Quite a few people will find a group environment works well for them. However, some people will struggle with the interaction with others. Many would prefer solo treatment.
  • No guarantee of entry: Therapeutic Communities are self-governing locations, as a result, members of the community will allow who can be admitted. These members will check to see if a person will fit into the ethos of a community.
  • Requires hard work: Based on the above, Therapeutic Communities require a person to abide by rules, pull their weight in a community, help others and generally contribute to the overall health of the community. This can be hard work for a person.
  • Commitment: Therapeutic Communities require a high level of commitment. A person will need to be work-free for at least a month, potentially more. Those who have a family may struggle to be without them for long.
  • Not many available: There are only a limited number of Therapeutic Communities in the United Kingdom. Therefore, not everyone will have access to them. Many will need to find an alternative form of treatment.

See Also


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