Series: The Therapeutic Community Training Series

Series: The Therapeutic Community Training Series


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De Leon explains how a therapeutic community uses its social environment to change individuals’ behaviours, lifestyles and identities. The community is the method itself: constant participation, evaluation, feedback and reinforcement of personal responsibility are core components of daily life.

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De Leon goes beyond theory to explain the specific operations of an ideal therapeutic community: what happens on a daily basis, what the physical space looks like, what activities are involved, and what are the functions and roles of the staff and community members. He emphasizes that all TCs can maximize their efficacy by enhancing and adhering to these components.

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De Leon lays out the framework and theory underlying a therapeutic community, including the TC approach to substance abuse treatment and recovery. He explains that the TC is different from other treatment models in that it views substance abuse as a disorder of the whole person, and aims to treat that whole person, not just the drug addiction. Thus, TCs create social living situations where all aspects of a person’s personality is displayed in work, formal groups and social activities, and then addressed directly by the community

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This video is a must for all those working in and developing Therapeutic Communities in prisons. Dr. Harry Wexler walks through the past and current research developments on the efficacy of Therapeutic Communities in prisons.

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Buy all 4 The Therapeutic Community Training Series DVDs.

The Therapeutic Community Perspective (The Therapeutic Community, Volume I)
Community as Method (The Therapeutic Community, Volume II)
Components of a Generic Therapeutic Community (The Therapeutic Community, Volume III)
Therapeutic Communities in Prisons: A Research Perspective

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Mullen explores the evolution of encounter groups beginning with the first groups created by Synanon founder Chuck Dederich in the 1950s. Mullen discusses the essential elements of these first groups including honesty, authenticity and mutual self-help—elements that are still core to encounter groups today. He highlights that although the brutal confrontational style of the first groups have softened, the commitment to hold oneself and other accountable remains central. He also discusses the challenges that face encounter groups and offers guidance on how to work within managed care systems while holding on to the traditions that make encounter groups such an effective means for change.

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Mullen walks us through several groups to show us what works and what does not work when facilitating an encounter group. He warns us of several traps facilitators can fall into: dominating the group, getting into power struggles, not being prepared or knowing the group members, and leading groups that are too large and don’t go deep enough. Through numerous vignettes, he illustrates solutions to these common problems, and offers words of experience and wisdom to the encounter group facilitator: know your people, be prepared, get feedback, and listen, listen, listen!

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Mullen discusses several key components to fostering growth and change in groups. He first explores the “marathon group” and how these day or weeklong sessions can bring participants into deeper understanding of themselves and what they need to change. He then discusses the importance of moral growth and ways in which facilitators can lead groups that foster moral growth by providing credible role models, healthy levels of conflict, role-reversal, and the teaching of responsibility. Finally, Mullen discusses the prevalence of PTSD among addicts and how encounter groups offer opportunities to heal from childhood abuse.

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Buy all 3 Encounter Groups for Addictions DVDs and save £19.
Evolution of the Encounter Group (Encounter Groups for Addictions, Volume I)
Pitfalls & Solutions (Encounter Groups for Addictions, Volume II)
Keys to Fostering Growth (Encounter Groups for Addictions, Volume III)

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