The Therapeutic Community: Theory, Model, and Method / Edition 1

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This volume provides a comprehensive review of the essentials of the Therapeutic Community (TC) theory and its practical whole person approach to the treatment of substance abuse disorders and related problems. Part I outlines the perspective of the traditional views of the substance abuse disorder, the substance abuser, and the basic components of this approach. Part II explains the organizational structure of the TC, its work components, and the role of residents and staff.

The chapters in Part III describe the essential activities of TC life that relate most directly to the recovery process and the goals of rehabilitation. The final part outlines how individuals change in the TC behaviorally, cognitively, and emotionally. This is an invaluable resource for all addictions professionals and students.


The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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What People Are Saying

Marc Galanter
...a definitive work on one of the key models for addiction treatment...The book provides readers on all levels of experience with an understanding of what takes place in therapeutic communities, and how they themselves can play a role in the TC setting. (Marc Galanter, MD, NYU School of Medicine)
Barry Brown essential addition to any bookshelf of drug abuse treatment. In detailing the history, conceptual framework and practice of the therapeutic community, Dr. De Leon achieves the rare distinction of producing a highly readable resource volume...the most comprehensive description and analysis available of a treatment form whose influence has pervaded the whole drug abuse treatment. (Barry Brown, PhD, Former Chief, Services Research Branch, NIDA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826113498
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/15/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 1,084,960
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

George De Leon, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of substance abuse and is acknowledged as the leading authority on research in therapeutic communities. He is the director of the Center for Therapeutic Community Research (CTCR) at National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI), funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University. In addition to numerous research publications, Dr. De Leon has made notable contributions in the areas of clinical practice and professional education. He provides training in therapeutic community practice to psychiatric fellows, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and other health care professionals in treatment programs. He is also project coordinator for Therapeutic Communities of America in developing national standards for accreditation of therapeutic community programs in correctional settings. He is on the advisory board of the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders and a member of the Expert Advisory Committee on Chemical Dependency of the American Psychological Association College of Professional Psychology. He is a founding member of the New York State Psychological Association's Division on Addictions, as well as a founding member and past president of the American Psychological Association's Division 50 on Addictions.

Dr. De Leon is a recipient of several awards. The most notable are the Therapeutic Communities of America award for Distinguished Service (1978); the Eugenia Maria De Hostos and Jose Marti award for dedication and contribution to the field of psychology presented by the New York Society of Clinical Psychologists (1984); the award for Distinguished Service to Psychology (1990) presented by the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors (SPAB), and the 1993 NIDA Pacesetter Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pioneering Research on the Therapeutic Community Approach to Drug Abuse Treatment. He has maintained a private clinical practice in New York City for over 30 years. De Leon's work is also featured in the 3-DVD series, The Therapeutic Community, published by

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
  1. Part I: Introduction
  2. Therapeutic Communities: Evolution and the Need for Theory
  3. In Search of an Essential Therapeutic Community

  4. Part II: The Perspective and Approach
  5. View of the Disorder
  6. View of the Person
  7. View of Recovery and Right Living
  8. The Community Approach

  9. Part III: The Model
  10. The Physical Environment
  11. The Social Organization
  12. Work: Therapeutic and Educational Elements
  13. Staff in the Therapeutic Community
  14. Peers in the Therapeutic Community
  15. Relationships
  16. Program Stages

  17. Part IV: Therapeutic Community Methods
  18. Privileges and Sanctions
  19. Surveillance and Security
  20. Community Meetings
  21. Community Groups
  22. The Encounter Group

  23. Part V: The Process of Change
  24. Individual Change: Behaviors, Cognitions, and Emotions
  25. Individual Change: Essential Experiences
  26. Individual Change: Essential Perceptions
  27. The Individual in the Community: Participation in the Change Process
  28. Internalization and Identity
  29. The Treatment Process: A Conceptual Framework
  30. Therapeutic Communities: The Challenge of Evolution

A: Glossary of Therapeutic Community Terms
B: Therapeutic Community Philosophies
C: Assessment Instruments Available for Use in Therapeutic Communities
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2004

    Essential, but ....

    As a rank amateur, a square who volunteers at a 'half-way house' for indigent returning ex-offenders and recovering addicts, I have found this book of immense value in suggesting ways in which group living can be combined with 'self help' and even cognitive-emotional-behavioral therapy as a positive force for personal change. But it also told me much more than I wanted to know about the details involved in running a large scale program with significant financial and residential resources and a professional staff. I hope this author soon turns his considerable experience and expertise and abilities as a clear exponent of complex ideas to the problems faced by programs run on a shoe string, with no professional staff, but attempting to serve persons with problems and life circumstances exactly like those of the typical TC resident.

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