The purpose of this paper is to explore staff and service users’ perceptions of therapeutic principles within a unique male high secure learning disability therapeutic community (LDTC).
A qualitative approach was adopted using deductive content analysis and inductive thematic analysis. In total, 12 participants took part in a semi-structured interview to explore their perceptions of Haigh’s (2013) quintessence principles and any further additional therapeutic features in the environment not captured by the theory.
All five quintessence principles were identified in the LDTC environment. Some limits to the principle of “agency” were highlighted, with specific reference to difficulties implementing a flattened hierarchy in a forensic setting. Additional therapeutic features were identified including; security and risk, responsivity, and more physical freedom which appear to aid implementation of the quintessence principles.
The study was performed within a single case study design. Therefore, results remain specific to this LDTC. However, the finding of these principles in such a unique setting may indicate Haigh’s (2013) quintessence principles are evident in other TC environments.
This is the first research paper that has attempted to test whether Haigh’s (2013) quintessence principles are evident within a given therapeutic community. The research provides empirical evidence for the quintessence principles in a novel TC setting and suggests recommendations for future research.
Capone, G., Braham, L., Schroder, T. and Moghaddam, N. (2017), "Perceptions of therapeutic principles in a therapeutic community", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 60-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-02-2017-0009
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