What Is a Therapeutic Recovery Community?

What Is a Therapeutic Recovery Community?While rehab usually involves inpatient or outpatient treatment for roughly one month, many programs allow patients to commit themselves to a long-term environment of mutual care and recovery called therapeutic recovery communities. This innovative and evolving approach can be transformational for individuals struggling with addiction.

History of the Therapeutic Recovery Community Model

Starting in the 1950s professionals began experimenting with long-term treatment communities in places like mental health hospitals and prisons. Therapeutic recovery communities allow people with similar struggles to benefit by receiving help from others and by positively contributing to the recovery of their peers. This type of therapy has been applied to a variety of mental health issues such as the following:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse and addiction

Common Values and Goals of Therapeutic Communities

According to the Association of Therapeutic Communities the goals of the therapeutic community model are to prepare people to reengage with the outside world effectively and without harm to themselves or others and to care for the members of the group who are not able to engage in mainstream culture successfully. Though the modalities and particulars have evolved over the decades, a common set of values have come to define the therapeutic community model. These values are as follows:

  • Attachment– All humans have a need for healthy attachment to other people
  • Containment – Healthy environments for growth and change must be safe for the members
  • Respect – Each member is entitled to dignity and respect, which they need for proper development
  • Communication – Learning healthy communication skills leads to healthier thoughts and actions
  • Interdependence – Individual well-being is dependent on each member’s ability to recognize and respect mutual need for each other
  • Relationships – Learning to identify, respect and reinforce certain standards of healthy relationships aids in the recovery of the whole group
  • Participation – Being involved in and taking ownership of all of the decision-making aspects of the group is empowering and is required for personal well-being
  • Process – Taking the time to reflect on options and choices leads to better decisions and increased community contribution to decision-making
  • Balance – Positive and negative experiences are both important and helpful for healthy development
  • Responsibility – Each member of the community is responsible to the group and the group has responsibility to each individual member

Exploring Therapeutic Recovery Communities for Your Recovery Needs

The interest in therapeutic communities has seemed to increase in recent years with new programs being launched in prisons and by private individuals. If you are interested in learning more about this model and whether or not it will help you overcome mental health or addiction issues, please call our toll-free 24 hour helpline today.