Therapeutic Community


Today's post is about TC or Therapeutic Community. I chose these topic because our jails and rehabilitation centers in Malaysia are implementing TC program to rehabilitate their inmates and patients. Even our leading Pengasih Malaysia are using TC. Let's hear a welcome note from Pengasih's President, Mohd Yunus Pathi CSAC.

PENGASIH Malaysia Non-Profit Organization was initiated by reformed drug users in 1987.

Currently, we are providing treatment services for those suffering from substance abuse such as drugs, chemicals and alcohol. Over 3,500 clients have benefitted from our program. We are the only Rehab Centre wholly operated by former drug users.

We grow through knowledge building, hard work as well as through moral support from the government, special interest groups and private citizens. We adopted the Therapeutic Community (TC) approach in 1993 and is an active member of World Federation of Therapeutic Communities as well as the Asian Federation of Therapeutic Communities.

In training and development, we have worked with various organizations from USA, Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Phillipines, Pakistan, India and etc. PENGASIH TC approach have been adopted by associates in Indonesia and Maldives. We have hosted so far about 100 international TC trainees, men and women.

By sharing knowledge, we will learn much from each other. The benefit we seek is, to live a better life - free from drugs. Together, we will make a difference in our future, from what we are today.

-Mohd Yunus Pathi, CSAC
President, Persatuan PENGASIH MalaysiaAssociate Chairman - Operations, WFTC New York Vice President, Asian Federation of Therapeutic Communities Certified Substance Abuse Counsellor, WFTC New YorkTrainer/Consultant, Life Skills


What is a therapeutic community?

The therapeutic community (TC) for the treatment of drug abuse and addiction has existed for about 40 years. In general, TCs are drug-free residential settings that use a hierarchical model with treatment stages that reflect increased levels of personal and social responsibility. Peer influence, mediated through a variety of group processes, is used to help individuals learn and assimilate social norms and develop more effective social skills.

TCs differ from other treatment approaches principally in their use of the community, comprising treatment staff and those in recovery, as key agents of change. This approach is often referred to as "community as method." TC members interact in structured and unstructured ways to influence attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors associated with drug use.

Many individuals admitted to TCs have a history of social functioning, education/vocational skills, and positive community and family ties that have been eroded by their substance abuse. For them, recovery involves rehabilitation -- relearning or re-establishing healthy functioning, skills, and values as well as regaining physical and emotional health.

Other TC residents have never acquired functional life-styles. For these people, the TC is usually their first exposure to orderly living. Recovery for them involves habilitation -- learning for the first time the behavioral skills, attitudes, and values associated with socialized living.

In addition to the importance of the community as a primary agent of change, a second fundamental TC principle is "self-help." Self-help implies that the individuals in treatment are the main contributors to the change process. "Mutual self-help" means that individuals also assume partial responsibility for the recovery of their peers -- an important aspect of an individual's own treatment.

How beneficial are therapeutic communities in treating drug addiction?

For three decades, NIDA has conducted several large studies to advance scientific knowledge of the outcomes of drug abuse treatment as typically delivered in the United States. These studies collected baseline data from over 65,000 individuals admitted to publicly funded treatment agencies.

They included a sample of TC programs and other types of programs (i.e., methadone maintenance, out-patient drug-free, short-term inpatient, and detoxification programs). Data were collected at admission, during treatment, and in a series of followups that focused on outcomes that occurred 12 months and longer after treatment.

These studies found that participation in a TC was associated with several positive outcomes. For example, the Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS), the most recent long-term study of drug treatment outcomes, showed that those who successfully completed treatment in a TC had lower levels of cocaine, heroin, and alcohol use; criminal behavior; unemployment; and indicators of depression than they had before treatment.

Who receives treatment in a therapeutic community?

TCs treat people with a range of substance abuse problems. Those treated often have other severe problems, such as multiple drug addictions, involvement with the criminal justice system, lack of positive social support, and mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and antisocial and other personality disorders).

For example, in DATOS, which tracked 2,345 admissions to residential TC treatment between 1991 and 1993, two-thirds of admissions had a criminal justice status (e.g., on probation, on parole, or pending trial) at admission, and about a third had been referred to treatment from the criminal justice system. Nearly a third of admissions were women, and nearly half were African American. Sixty percent had prior drug abuse treatment experience.

The article above are taken from NIDA-National Institude On Drug Abuse. And below is an article which I copied and pasted from


What is a Therapeutic Community?

The therapeutic community is a drug-free self help program whose primary goals are the cessation of substance abuse behaviors and the fostering of personal growth. The TC model incorporates nine essential elements. These elements are based on the social learning theory that utilizes the community to foster behavioral and attitudinal change.

The elements are: active participation, membership feedback, role modeling, collective formats for guiding individual change, shared norms and values, structure and systems, open communication, individual and group relationships and a unique terminology.

The TC includes both professional and para-professional staff. Graduates of the TC program who have completed classroom and internship training in counseling are an essential part of the program's effectiveness, as is the inclusion of professionals from the fields of medicine, mental health, education, and law.

Community activities help members explore and learn about themselves in the following four distinct yet overlapping areas of personal development: behavior management, emotional/psychological, intellectual and spiritual and vocation/education and survival skills. The TC believes that people can change and that learning occurs through challenge and action, understanding and sharing common human experiences.

Treatment in the TC begins with entry into the community. Here the member learns the values and norms of the community, which are a reflection of those held by society. In the middle phase of treatment, members explore individual histories and experiences, practice new behaviors and begin to gain increased self-esteem and knowledge of themselves.

As new attitudes and behaviors are developed so too are individual goals and possibilities for the future, including vocational and educational training. The next phase of treatment involves the important task of re-entry into the larger community. New ways of relating to others are practiced and members gain valuable experience in working or going to school outside the TC while receiving support from the community. Ultimately, the member will be ready to live independently and continue to gain support from an aftercare program.

The TC model is adaptable to different client populations and settings. Adolescent programs include a full educational curriculum and greater family involvement. The model can be adapted to an outpatient setting, long or shorter-term treatment and include specialized groups such as those involving medical regimes or other lifestyle changes. The TC engages the whole person in the recovery process and challenges the individual to have a full, positive life with healthy supportive relationships and satisfying work.



I thank you for all the comments received from my last post. The situation still remains the same. I can't help it comparing them and ME!!! But one thing for sure, I ain't gonna stay 'small' anymore. With my wife help, I'm opening a retail shop at home. Please pray for my success, guys/gals.

p/s Sorry for being late. I'm having problem with my computer.

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3 Comments thus far...


Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

SCoUt said...

You are carrying an important message here.
I think of you often and will also keep you in my prayers.
Peace to you,

Shadow said...

hi, there's a new game around, please play with. YOU HAVE BEEN TAGGED!!!
the rules - each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. people who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly! in the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. don't forget to leave a comment on their blog that says they have been tagged and to tell them to read your blog!

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PS - Word verification has been enable. Sorry about that [Sept 3rd, 2013].


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