TCIE 2 The Theoretical Framework (Spain)

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II.- The theoretical framework that surrounds therapeutic communities, giving examples of different TC models that are currently in use.

Taking into account that at the moment more than 60 % of the existent TCs belong to Proyecto Hombre, I would like to add its fundamental concepts to this second part, now that you can find its spirit in all the different programs.

  1. It is a therapeutic & educational program
  2. The therapeutic process is a free decision
  3. A non-profit organization
  4. A non-religious organization
  5. A non-political organization
  6. Professionals working in TCs are required not only to be available to offer their services but also professionalism
  7. A therapeutic family assessment
  8. Violence of any kind is rejected
  9. The program is open to everybody
  10. It is not only a health programme (7)


Starting from these data I will clarify the basic theoretical framework of the work and the theoretical basis.

  • The TC in itself. Using the TC as a method to modify the whole person.
  • The self-help approach as mutual help.
  • The individual\'s complete participation at the TC, that is the reason why this participation needs to be voluntary.
  • Everybody at the TC shares the responsibility for the atmosphere and for the efficacy of the program.
  • The TC is a process of change.
  • Breaking up with drugs and their environment.
  • Family participation.
  • The philosophy of the programme and the values are explicit and known by all participants.
  • At all the TCs, as G. de Leon points out, the specific objective is to treat the individual disorder and the wider objective is changing the individual\'s lifestyle.
  • The staff is made up of therapists (at the Proyecto Hombre TCs all the therapists are trained at the Training School in Aravaca), teachers and volunteers. The team\'s work is focused on the TC as such – knowing that the basic therapeutic factor is the client\'s relationship with the community of residents – and also on the client as individual – that is why all interventions on the client have to be known and assumed by all members of the team. That is why the daily staff meeting is so important.
  • That is also why the client\'s relationship is with the team and not with each member separately.
  • The basic components of the TCs. as different authors point out (9) they exist in all Spanish TCs; with more or less impact but they exist in all of them. I do not explain them here as I have already done so in other paragraphs.
  • I now will explain the therapeutic tools used at the Proyecto Hombre TCs and which are registered in the therapeutic file:

Interview, therapeutic contract, self-help groups, seminars, encounters, follow-up groups, single-family/couple groups, groups for many families, confrontation, free-time and leisure activities, occupational workshops, educational workshops, social skills groups, educative experiences, thematic groups, programmation groups, registers of responsability faults, of achievements, of positive valorations and living together. Among these one might emphasize the dynamic groups, the historical groups, the autobiographic groups, the structure of the sectors as well as the structure of the roles, the warnings.


Notes: 7.- Proyecto Hombre Association, Annual report1990, Madrid 1991, page 65

8.- The TC and the addictions, Desclée de Brouwer, Bilbao, 2004, page 121

9.- De Leon, G. "The TC and the addictions", page 454-6, Martien Kooyman ("The Therapeutic Community for drug addicts" Ed. Mensajero, Bilbao 1966, Pages 44-51 and 62-72), the conclusions from the De Haan Congress, Belgium, June 1991 sponsored by the European TC Federation and by the Gent Laboratory of Orthopedagogy of the National University with remarks made by Ottenberg (I National Proyecto Hombre Congress, Proyecto Hombre Association, Madrid, 1995 pages 74-78) and by Eric Broekart (Proyecto Magazine, nº 17 March 1996, pages 32-33, De Leon, G. Proyecto Magazine, nº 51, pages 20-21 and De leon, Des. Congress, pages 113-124)

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