Different forms of therapeutic community have evolved from various origins. One clear strand is for specific treatment of those with personality disorders. Others include residential treatment of addictions, rehabilitation and offending behaviour programmes in prisons, social therapy housing for those with long term psychotic conditions, and therapeutic homes and schools for children with extreme emotional and conduct disorders. There is a long tradition of communities for people with learning disabilities which do not offer treatment but provide an alternative lifestyle choice for disabled and non disabled alike. Finally, there are a small number of communites which do not specify a particular client group and which offer faith-based community living and support.
The chart above represents all the TCs in the UK and estimates the percentage of TCs working with specific client groups. Of these, only those designated as working with personality disorder still remain in the NHS. All offending behaviour TCs are within the prison estate. The remaining TCs are situated within the voluntary or private sector.