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Volume 24, Issue 3 (autumn) 2003


John Gale

ABSTRACT: No abstract.


Private spaces, open spaces and asylum

Bill McGowan

ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the theme of Social Ecology and Mental Health by attempting to bring together a range of concepts and ideas from health, social and urban geography, social ecology urban sociology, architecture, psychoanalysis, and public health.
The concept of ‘social space’ is used as an organising framework to illuminate the ways in which the built environment, and the wider social, economic and political structures may support or inhibit the ‘expressive’ function of asylum and the implications of this for our health and social wellbeing in our everyday lives in western urban cities. Concepts drawn from psychoanalytic literature are used to highlight the relationship between the internal world of the individual and the external environment through a discussion of the spatial anti psychological significance of a range of public amenities i.e. housing, open green spaces, transport systems etc.
The work of Anthony Giddens is used to set this discussion within a wider sociological context and a number of his ideas are used to locate and identify the therapeutic community as an important health promoting ‘locale ‘within the context of the wider neighbourhood locality. A plea is made for the recognition and advancement of the therapeutic community as an important health promoting intervention within the field of public health.


The healing fields

Jenny Grut

ABSTRACT: This paper was presented at CHT’s annual conference, at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2001. The author is a psychotherapist who coordinates the work of the National Growth Project set up by the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. It is a unique project which works with refugees and asylum seekers in a long term rehabilitation programme using a combination of horticulture and psychotherapy on two allotment sites and in a remembrance garden. Here the author describes her work with 30 torture survivors and their families in what one client has called ‘hospital with a blue sky.’


Finding a place for our soul: working in participatory design

Teresa Howard

ABSTRACT: This paper describes a theoretical perspective and example of practice, developed by the author as a result of working in two professions concurrently; one dealing with the outer physical world: architecture and the other with the inner emotional world: psychotherapy Two short case studies are used as examples to demonstrate how working with unconscious modes of communication enables a more complete response to the problem of designing a more soulful environment; one that begins to meet some of our most difficult to express, inner needs.
Unconscious messages coming from the deepest recesses of our soul are always present but they usually get ignored, leading to impoverished communication and impoverished design solutions. Taking account of this delicate relationship leads to a form of participatory design that makes it possible for the end user to feel heard and involved. Consequently, an upward spiral from apathy to creative involvement is generated which significantly changes what is built, and how it is used and viewed.


The natural environment as an element in a therapeutic community treatment programme

John Gale

ABSTRACT: This paper the author outlines the ambiguous relationship which man has with the natural world, as well as some of the particular ways in which psychotic clients experience nature. He explains the philosophical basis for the way CHT works with nature, ddrawing on Heidegger an dLacon. Direct experience of the natural environment is built into the therapeutic programme, as is time for talking and thinking about the connection and alienation which we experience in relation to the earth. Together with an attentive reflection, provoked by the silence found in the countryside, these elements in the therapeutic treatment programme are aimed at helping clients gain greater self understanding, a sense of belonging and an ability to enjoy the world around them.


A report on a therapeutic summer camp for residents of mixed diagnosis from four therapeutic households run by Community Housing and Therapy

Terry White, Kate Brown and Nicholas Wolff

ABSTRACT: This paper is an account of a camp run for clients with a mixture of psychiatric diagnosis, which was held last summer. Initially inspired by research by a team of Polish psychiatrists, on a community programme for in-patients diagnosis with schizophrenia, a group of staff and clients set a theoretical basis for the project and planned a clinical framework on which the camp was run. There were excursions into the countryside and communal activities focused on cooking around a campfire. It is CHT’s aim to develop these five-day camps as an extension of its existing therapeutic programmes. Clients and therapists will be able to connect with the natural environment as part of a team, working on basic tasks together. It is hoped that will give them an experience of being part of community-forming and highlight the ambiguous character of their relation to the natural world.

ARCHIVE ARTICLES: Richard Crocket (1972, 1973)

Craig Fees

Notes on the architectural requirements of the therapeutic community approach to psychiatry in district general hospitals
Richard Crocket

Therapeutic community adaptation of standard plans for district general hospital psychiatric units
Richard Crocket


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