This book will be useful for persons who want to learn about therapeutic communities in England and, to a lesser extent, how English treatment philosophy and modalities differ from those in the United States.
Prison Service Journal
The book is readable, covers theory, research, work with different client groups and includes an interesting thread woven throughout the book concerning the issue of how the TC has evolved variously in different countries and in different communities within the UK... all contributions are from experienced practitioners with a great deal to say. I enjoyed reading the book and would thoroughly recommend it to governors and prison staff of all grades as a first class summary of much that it important in the therapeutic community enterprise, in which learning the difficult lessons is an essential part of ensuring survival.
British Journal of Psychiatry
It is a multi-author book several of the contributors having written their own authoritative works. It embraces the roots of the therapeutic community movement and goes on to scan present practice and possible future development. It is easy to read and there is a considerable factual content, not only of the historical development of the therapeutic community movement but the basic concepts of therapeutic communities, their psychoanalytic roots and their application - including the application of group analytic approaches and understanding.
for anyone working with people with mental health problems or "personality disorders" (PD's) there is an important alternative perspective here which should not be ignored, particularly given the current policy moves towards detention of people with PD's. There are numerous insights to be gleaned which have relevance for all social workers as an overview of the distinctive practice and perspective of TC's it is of undoubted value and thought-provoking interest.
Therapeutic Communities achieves a high overall standard and maintains the reader's interest throughout. The core ideas of the therapeutic community movement are forcibly expressed and there is a clear celebration of the diversity of therapeutic communities. But along with this comes a willingness to engage with current agendas even though these are in many respects anathema. We are reminded of the roots of therapeutic communities and the distinguished line of key people whose ideas and practice have been so instrumental in the development of the diverse settings that are fascinatingly described. [The chapters] on research and the importance of demonstrating clinical effectiveness linked to financial efficiency are well written and welcome. [This book] is a serious attempt to reaffirm the integrity of the therapeutic community movement and to explore ways in which the richness and creativity of the tradition can be used to engage and persuade those who influence policy and allocate resources that the work of such communities is soundly rooted and efficient'.
From the Foreword by John Cox, Royal College of Psychiatrists,
The theory and practice of large group work, the ability to flatten the hierarchy yet to ensure firm leadership, and the recognition that our patients and residents are sometimes better able to assist each other, are important insights... The radical and alternative strategies for patient care that come across from the contributors to this book are the life blood for any renewal of community psychiatry.