How is treatment provided in a therapeutic community?

TC treatment can be divided into three major stages.

Stage 1. Induction and early treatment typically occurs during the first 30 days to assimilate the individual into the TC. The new resident learns TC policies and procedures; establishes trust with staff and other residents; initiates an assisted personal assessment of self, circumstances, and needs; begins to understand the nature of addiction; and should begin to commit to the recovery process.

Stage 2. Primary treatment often uses a structured model of progression through increasing levels of prosocial attitudes, behaviors, and responsibilities. The TC may use interventions to change the individual's attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to drug use and to address the social, educational, vocational, familial, and psychological needs of the individual.

Stage 3. Re-entry is intended to facilitate the individual's separation from the TC and successful transition to the larger society. A TC graduate leaves the program drug-free and employed or in school. Postresidential aftercare services may include individual and family counseling and vocational and educational guidance. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are often incorporated into TC treatment, and TC residents are encouraged to participate in such groups after treatment.

This page was last updated August 2002