How do I get into a TC?

TCs vary and it is often best to speak directly to the TC you are thinking of joining. In most cases you will need to be referred by a doctor or social worker but there are some that will take self-referrals.

In the NHS TCs working with people diagnosed with a personality disorder generally use a complex admission procedure, rather than straightforward inclusion and exclusion criteria.

This results in diagnostic heterogeneity, and none claim to treat exclusively borderline personality disorder, although recent work has demonstrated that the admission characteristics of members show high levels of personality morbidity, with most exhibiting sufficient features to diagnose more than three personality disorders, often in more than one cluster.

The admission phase includes engagement, assessment, preparation, and selection processes before the definitive therapy programme begins, and is a model of stepped care, where the service users decide when and whether to proceed to the next stage of the programme.

A voting procedure by the existing members of the community, at a specifically convened case conference or admissions panel, is normally used to admit new members.

Programmes and their various stages are time-limited, and none of the therapeutic communities specifically for personality disorder are open-ended. Some have formal or informal, staff or service-user led, post-therapy programmes.


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