Our strong therapeutic community is one of our most powerful tools in bringing about recovery. Castle Craig is a community of patients who work together to change each other’s lives. The result is a trusting and supportive environment where vulnerable people feel safe. The principles of our therapeutic community include mutual respect, fellowship, honesty and collective responsibility.
When a person is addicted they become self-centred, inward-looking and isolated. Recovery from addiction comes when people change their destructive attitudes and behaviours. Our therapeutic community encourages them to be aware of other people around them, it helps renew self-esteem, encourages patients to be open and gives each individual the hope that they can lead a sober life. The benefits of living within this community will stay with the patient when they return home.
How Does a Therapeutic Community Work?
Our therapeutic community is made possible thanks to our residential setting. A community spirit and positive peer influences help in the identification of feelings, problem-solving and the process of change. Evidence of the therapeutic community can be seen when patients:
- Mentor and orientate new patients – patients can offer newcomers a valuable insight into treatment and recovery whilst helping reduce anxiety;
- Attend all parts of the therapeutic programme together;
- Meet in group therapy where patients influence, challenge and support each other;
- Accomplish daily duties to encourage awareness and pride in their surroundings;
- Follow rules and guidelines so that everyone is treated equally;
- Engage with each other openly and avoiding cliques and unhealthy exclusive groups.
- Regular staff meetings are held so all staff are aware of the dynamics within the community at any time.
How do our Patients Benefit from the Therapeutic Community?
- Living within a set of basic rules and responsibilities encourages personal responsibility;
- Living according to a routine helps patients to regain a sense of normality in their once chaotic lives;
- It is a safe support network for patients to express themselves and share their experiences without criticism or judgement;
- Learning to cooperate with other people;
- Exploring new coping mechanisms which can be applied to life after treatment;
- Learning to cope with disagreements and difficulties without the use of alcohol or drugs;
- Looking after their community through therapeutic duties encourages a sense of self-worth;
- Sharing responsibilities encourages teamwork;
- Helping each other and discussing problems develops self-confidence;
- Solving problems due to challenges within the community teach patients how to cope with real-life issues without alcohol or drugs;
- It provides the opportunity to question how my behaviour/attitude affects others.
Shaping Your Own Recovery
Patients and staff meet weekly to discuss any matters affecting the community and to voice any concerns. We listen to our patients and we ask them to help us shape the community. This structure encourages personal responsibility.
Castle Craig is able to run a highly effective treatment programme based on the concept of a residential therapeutic community. Many of those completing treatment name this as the single most important element in their success.
*Video: The Therapeutic Community at Castle Craig. Interviews with Dr Margaret McCann, CEO; Prof. Jonathan Chick, Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist; Dr Maria Kelly, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Psychiatrist; Mark Abrami, Senior Therapist.