A comparative sociological account of eight different therapeutic communities, One Foot in Eden, originally published in 1988, was the first study in this area to compare observational material from such a large number of settings.
The communities chosen represent the wide variety of therapeutic community practice at the time: a residential Rudolf Steiner school for mentally handicapped children; two contrasting residential psychiatric units; a community for the treatment of addiction; a communally organised community for mentally handicapped and disturbed young people; a psychiatric day hospital; and two contrasting halfway houses for disturbed adolescents. All these places are recognised therapeutic communities seeking to mobilise the social life of the community as an instrument of therapy, yet, as this study shows, they follow different (and sometimes antithetical) treatment practices.
The book also directs new light on other areas, of particular concern to sociologists, such as the general properties of therapeutic work and the socialisation process as it is experienced by new community residents.
It will be of special interest to therapeutic community staff, to sociologists of medicine and occupations, and to others involved in the care of disturbed and handicapped people.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. Introduction. 1. The Historical Development of Therapeutic Community Approaches 2. The Settings 3. Reality Construction, Reality Confrontation, and Instrumentalism 4. Resident Progress 5. Audience and Resident Resistance 6. The Impact of the External Environment 7. Conclusions. Appendix: Research Methods. Bibliography. Name Index. Subject Index.
Michael Bloor, Neil McKeganey, Dick Fonkert