The therapeutic community refers to a range of residential approaches to the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. Although most therapeutic communities share essential components, several variations of the approach exist. A typical therapeutic community involves a drug-free residential setting in which the staff and residents work together to encourage movement through a series of hierarchical treatment stages. Each new stage represents individual growth and increased responsibility. This entry explores essential components of therapeutic communities as well as current modifications of the approach, including its use with special populations. Further, the entry includes a discussion of factors related to the effectiveness of therapeutic communities.

Basic Principles

The ultimate goal of therapeutic communities is lasting lifestyle change for the participants. An assumption of the therapeutic community philosophy is ...

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