What is Therapeutic Community (TC)

The therapeutic community (TC) for the treatment of drug abuse and addiction has existed for about 40 years. In general, TCs are drug-free residential settings that use a hierarchical model with treatment stages that reflect increased levels of personal and social responsibility. Peer influence, mediated through a variety of group processes, is used to help individuals learn and assimilate social norms and develop more effective social skills.

TC's differ from other treatment approaches principally in their use of the community, comprising treatment staff and those in recovery, as key agents of change. This approach is often referred to as "community as method." TC members interact in structured and unstructured ways to influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors associated with drug use.

TCs treat people with a range of substance abuse problems. Those treated often have other severe problems, such as multiple drug addictions, involvement with the criminal justice system, lack of positive social support, and mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial and other personality disorders).Read more  

Symposium Information

March 5 through 8, 2012 Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

This event is being co-hosted by the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society, BC Corrections Branch and the Nanaimo Addiction Foundation.

This symposium will provide an overview to Therapeutic Communities (TC) within the context of:

  • Evidenced-based Practice in Addiction Treatment Programs
  • The Disease of Addiction
  • Therapeutic Community Models and Adaptations

In addition, there will be opportunities for the establishment of mutually beneficial working partnerships for the planning and implementation of therapeutic communities in a broad range of setting and with diverse groups of people.

The 2012 symposium will be the first National Therapeutic Community Symposium in Canada and will focus on leadership, capacity building and networking for community workers, health care providers, employee assistance program providers, researchers, planners and policy makers at the municipal, regional, provincial/territorial and national levels.

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