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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168199 Find in a Library
Title: Delinquent in the Therapeutic Community: Actions Speak Louder Than Words (From A Practical Guide to Forensic Psychotherapy, P 216-222, 1997, Estela V Welldon and Cleo Van Velsen, eds. -- See NCJ-168168)
Author(s): G McGauley
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
London, N1 9JN, England
Sale Source: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
118 Pentonville Road
London, N1 9JN,
United Kingdom
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper uses a case study to assess the value and characteristics of a therapeutic community in treating violent and disturbed delinquent behavior.
Abstract: Severe, acting-out behavior by juveniles can often be contained by a therapeutic community's culture and its choice of response to problem behaviors. De-emphasizing staff hierarchy in favor of a structured resident hierarchy helps to engage residents who mistrust traditional authority. Delinquents' defensive style of lashing out at an authoritarian system is challenged when they find themselves in conflict with fellow residents who occupy senior positions. A healthy culture, in which both residents and staff examine the meaning of an individual's actions and feelings, reduces the likelihood of establishing a sado-masochistic style of relating to others. Like the juvenile in the case study, many residents have difficulty in thinking about and verbalizing their feelings, so they find traditional psychotherapy groups difficult. The structure of the therapeutic community's program, where work groups and creative therapy groups exist in concert with more formal psychotherapy groups, affords a range of therapeutic arenas where, through their actions, residents express some aspects of their internal world. In the case study, the community provided an opportunity for the juvenile to take the first steps toward developing and testing a different style of relating to others.
Main Term(s): Juvenile treatment methods
Index Term(s): Case studies; Forensic psychiatry; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile residential treatment centers; Psychiatric services; Psychotherapy; Treatment/Therapeutic Community
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=168199

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