What Helps?

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"Therapeutic Environments – what helps, what hinders?"

Friday 5th December 2008 – ORT House Conference Centre, London, NW1

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the quality of the social, as well as the physical environment has a direct impact on the experience and outcomes of service users.Yet it is often difficult for practitioners to establish and protect therapeutic environments in inpatient and residential services. It is important for everyone who works in mental health care to understand what goes wrong when a treatment or care environment ceases to be therapeutic, as well as understanding how to release the full potential of the environment to embrace the patient, family and caregivers in a psychosocially supportive therapeutic space.

The conference will explore how the environment – both the physical environment (buildings, gardens, layouts of rooms/facilities) and the social environment (interactions between staff and patients/residents) – can create an atmosphere, context, culture, surrounding and setting, which aids recovery and healing in different institutions.

Key themes

The therapeutic environment in childcare; the ward environment in psychiatric treatment; healing potential in the environment ; developing standards to regulate treatment and social care environments.

Aims of the conference

This conference aims to make recommendations as to how the sector should look at the healing and therapeutic potential of the treatment and care environment with a variety of client groups.


Welcome and introduction

Chair: John Gale CEO, Community Housing and Therapy

10.10am Opening session

The Mulberry Bush as a therapeutic community: context and culture 1948 – 2008

John Diamond, CEO, Mulberry Bush School Ltd

10.50am Developing a healing environment for problematic drug and alcohol users

Bob Campbell, Business and Development Manager, Phoenix Futures

Question and answer session

11.50am Using the social environment in psychotherapy with adult mentally ill?

Kannan Navaratnem, The Arbours Crisis Centre

12.30pm Environment – judge, jury, executioner and cure?

Dr Claire Charlesworth-Moore, Consultant Psychologist,The Peaks, Rampton Hospital

Question and answer session

2.30pm Developing a national kite mark for mental health services that are enabling environments for both service users and staff

Tom Harrison, Chair of the Enabling Environments Advisory Group
Sarah Paget, Programme Manager of Community of Communities, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement

3.10pm How conducive to recovery is the typical NHS psychatric ward?

Bill McGowan, University Lecturer, Brighton University

3.50pm Research into the effectiveness of therapeutic environments

Mark Freestone, Head of Research,Westgate DSPD Unit, HMP Frankland and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Durham

Question and answer session

4.30pm Chair’s summary, refreshments and close

Website: http://www.pavpub.com/pavpub/conferences/showfull.asp?Conference=770

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