Therapeutic model

We are a Therapeutic Community.

As our recovery programme is a Therapeutic Community recovery model:

  • peer driven
  • self-help
  • abstinence

It requires each client to play a part in their own recovery by being totally engaged and actively participating is all structured and leisure activities.


Recovery is a self-help process of incremental learning towards a stable change in behaviour, attitudes and values of right living which are associated with maintaining abstinence. What distinguishes our therapeutic community model from other treatment approaches is the perspective use of the peer community to facilitate social and psychological change in individuals. Thus all activities are designed to produce therapeutic and educational change in individual clients and all clients are mediators of these therapeutic and educational changes.


The structure of the programme relates to the therapeutic community perspective, particularly the view of the resident and recovery. Ordered routine activities counter the characteristically disordered lives of our clients and distract from negative thinking, boredom, factors that predispose substance use. Thus the day has a formal schedule of varied therapeutic and educational activities with prescribed formats and routine procedures. Consistent with the self-help community method, all clients are responsible for the daily management of the community, cleaning activities, meal preparation and service, maintenance, grounds, purchasing of food, security, co-ordinating schedules, and preparatory chores for groups, meetings seminars recreational activities. Work roles meditate essential educational and therapeutic effects, strengthen affiliation with the recovery programme, provide opportunities for skill development and foster self-examination and personal growth.


Activities undertaken within job functions and social interaction strengthen self-help and are vehicles for teaching self-development. Learning and growth occurs through following procedures and systems and in behaving as a responsible member of the community upon whom others are dependent. With the exception of individual counselling and key work sessions, all activities are programmed in collective formats. These include daily meals prepared, served and shared by all residents, a daily schedule of groups, meetings, seminars; team job functions and organised recreational/leisure activities.


On entry into our programme a client spends the first two weeks in ‘safety net’ which is a ‘buddy’ system. This process of induction enables the new client to settle in, stabilise sleep patterns and become orientated with the structure, activities and other clients. Once ‘on structure’ each client is assigned a particular role within the community hierarchy and is assigned a job function within this role and ‘right living’ is reinforced on a daily basis. The experiences essential to recovery and personal growth unfold through social interactions. Education, training and therapeutic activities occur in groups, meetings, seminars, job functions and recreation. Each individual client engages in this process of change primarily with other peers.

The purpose of our highly structured programme of activity is to enable clients to re-learn or learn for the first time right living substance free in an environment of safety and care and is the foundation for preparing clients for full-time employment, independent living and continued and sustained abstinence from substance misuse. With a key focus on abstinence and replace prevention our therapeutic community communal life fosters a process of learning how to resist drug-taking (including alcohol) and negative behaviour. In essence this broad context of social learning essentially provides continual relapse prevention training.

The daily structure is interspersed with a range of activities to stimulate, challenge and support full-recovery. Activities include; group work – CBT and psychosocial intervention, peer groups, key working, relating chairs and one-to-one counselling.

We also provide Complementary therapy; Reiki, reflexology, auricular acupuncture, meditation and relaxation, smoking cessation.

Education activities include literacy and numeracy. Creative arts as a therapeutic tool using Drama and music, employment and training.

We work with a number of external partners to ensure recovery is a continuous focus. Over the years we have developed a fantastic partnership with Oxford University environmental project who provide voluntary work activities which give residents the opportunity of gaining valuable work experience and a written reference to add to their CV and portfolio of learning in preparation for seeking full-time employment.

Clients play an integral role in their own recovery through engagement within work departments running the community and learning new skills