Therapeutic Communities for Substance Use Treatment: How Psychosocial Integration Can Be Integrated Into Residential Recovery
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Problematic substance use continues to be well publicized in academic writing and the mainstream media. Using a narrative literature review, I examine the history of substance use in Vancouver from the theoretical framework of Alexander’s (2008) theory of psychosocial dislocation. I propose that an appropriate model of intervention is the Therapeutic Community (TC). The TC is set up to mobilize mutually supportive peer relations. These relationships are fostered through structured encounter meetings led by senior residents and an emphasis on working together for the benefit of the group. The TC has a history of providing an environment that produces beneficial outcomes for clients. Although TC research may lack the support of randomized controlled trials (RCT), research using methods suitable for analyzing TC outcomes has shown numerous positive results for participants. I propose that the benefits for TC participants in Vancouver can be enhanced through seeking psychosocial integration both in the TC and in the Greater Vancouver area. This can be accomplished through serving and seeking healing relationships with populations—both indigenous and immigrant—that have an experience of psychosocial dislocation.