The course was developed by experienced therapeutic community practitioners and ex-service users to enable effective application of skills in the workplace. It is aimed at anyone who is working in a Therapeutic Community, and for those working in an environment where providing a therapeutic milieu is central to patient care, such as an enabling environment (including Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs) and Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs).
The term therapeutic community is used to refer to democratic therapeutic communities as well as environments which are therapeutic in nature and aim to provide person centered interventions within groups.
The course has been developed around the Handbook of Democratic Therapeutic Community Theory and Practice (2017), which is required reading, and is included in the cost of the course. The course uses mixed styles of learning to ensure interactive participation at all levels. Expert staff deliver training and supervision. All academic papers are provided in electronic format.
The course runs over 3 residential weekends, which are 6 months apart, although for some trainees they may wish to extend this and complete it over 3 years. During the 6 months between each residential, students are expected to receive monthly supervision which is included in the cost of the course, and to complete self-directed study as set out in the curriculum. Students who are not working in a therapeutic community or Enabling Environment will need to arrange a placement of roughly 3 months full time or a day a week for a year, which will provide the experience to be supervised.
In addition the weekends offer the opportunity to spend time with staff from other TCs to network and support one another in learning.