Therapeutic Community Program
The Therapeutic Community Program is based on the notion that a careful exploration of difficult life experiences has the best chance of success when patients share their strengths with each other and with the staff in a serious partnership of mutual problem solving and social learning. Everyone—patients and staff alike—has something to offer and something to gain by participating. The program includes an interconnected series of groups aimed at enhancing patient authority, fostering interpersonal learning, and creating an environment that supports treatment. We engage in a process of “examined living,” characterized by learning through a public reflection on the meaning of behaviors, choices, and interactions (staff and patients).
In the Therapeutic Community Program, patients can experiment with new ways of being in relationships using some of the insights that arise in psychotherapy. There are nearly 50 group meetings held each week, some open to all, some within the different residential programs, some designed to address specific difficulties. These groups offer many opportunities to deepen understanding of how different ways of communicating affect the quality of relationships. Staff members offer consultation to small groups that focus on interpersonal learning and group dynamics. Other groups support sobriety or teach coping skills. Elected patient representatives work with staff on a variety of committees that help the community run more smoothly. Patients lead community meetings, address social problems, welcome new community members, and organize recreational activities. There are art shows, reading groups, open mic nights, basketball games, and many other activities. Each patient chooses to participate in different groups and activities. And, if there is a group that doesn’t yet exist, patients can join together to create it. It is a rare person who cannot find a place where they have something to learn and something to contribute in this community.