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The complexity of the therapeutic experience within the therapeutic community based on an ex-patient’s account

Daniela Ivanova (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK)
Andrew John Howe (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Patricia Burns (Three Boroughs Personality Disorder Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)
Merryn Jones (Three Boroughs Personality Disorder Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

ISSN: 0964-1866

Article publication date: 10 May 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021

104

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of the therapeutic community and to look at the potential changes that some patients may experience following treatment at the therapeutic communities (TC).

Design/methodology/approach

A thematic analysis was conducted on an e-mail sent by an ex-patient of the TC. The text was reviewed multiple times and codes were generated. Based on the data found, three themes were identified. The e-mail was sent to the patient’s primary therapist, who was asked to provide an account of the e-mail. The therapist was sent six questions created by the authors of the paper; the responses were used to compare the two perspectives.

Findings

The main findings entailed the changes the patient went through after her treatment at the TC. The patient’s account described her inability to process the adversities she had been through at the time and therefore her inability to communicate them. However, the impact the service had on the patient, according to the e-mail was evident years later. The lack of a support network during treatment at the TC and evidence of one following treatment seemed to be the key factor in the patient’s improvement.

Originality/value

The authors confirm that the research presented in this paper is their original work. The authors hereby acknowledge that all material included in this piece of work, that has been published or written by another person has been referenced accordingly.

Keywords

Citation

Ivanova, D., Howe, A.J., Burns, P. and Jones, M. (2021), "The complexity of the therapeutic experience within the therapeutic community based on an ex-patient’s account", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 81-88. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-11-2020-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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