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The History and Development of the European Therapeutic Communities. Eric Broekaert. University Växjö , Sweden , November 2009.

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the history and development of the european therapeutic communities

The History and Development of the European Therapeutic Communities

Eric Broekaert

University Växjö, Sweden, November 2009

Broekaert, E., Vanderplasschen, W., Temmerman, I., Ottenberg, D., & Kaplan, C. (2000). Retrospective study of similarities and relations between the American drug-free and the European therapeutic communities for children and adults. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 32(4), 407-417.
  • Eric Broekaert, Kathy Colpaert, Veerle Soyez, Wouter Vanderplasschen, Stijn Vandevelde. Transatlantic Dialectics:A study on similarities and dissimilarities in approaches to substance abuse problems in the United States and Europe. Submitted to: Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive Organizations.
early tc s in europe
Early TC’s In Europe
  • World War II: Innovation of psychiatry
    • ‘Northfield experiments’
      • Treatment of psychiatric casualties of war
      • Dealing with psychiatric problems in social settings


“A transitional

space of



Maxwell Jones

“ Social learning is complicated and painfull ”

the drug free tc
The drug-free TC
  • The Oxford- groups, Moral Rearmement, AA-movement
  • Synanon
  • American Behavioristic Communities
  • Integrated European Communities: behaviorists, psychopedagogues, humanist Christians
  • French Communities

The Oxford-groups, Moral Rearmement, AA-movement

Dr. Frank N.D. Buchman

“ A search for spiritual authority ”



Charles Dederich

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life”



The cradle of the drug-free TC


American Behavioristic Communities

Msgr William O’Brien

Charles J. Devlin

“You can not do it alone”

integrated european communities behaviorists
Integrated European Communities: Behaviorists
  • The Netherlands


“My house,

is a very very

nice house!”

Martien Kooyman

integrated european communities psychopedagogues
Integrated European Communities: psychopedagogues


Georges van der Straten Trempoline

“European companionship

in education, the formation

trough the journey”


Integrated European Communities: humanist Christians

Don Mario Picchi

Yuan Parés y Plans

“Progetto per l’ Uomo”

“I am like a sail, I catch the wind ”


Dr. Donald Ottenberg

“Taking decisions in a life that is valued”

french communities
French Communities


Lucien Engelmajer

‘Le Patriarche’

La Boère

“ A life without drugs ”


Swedish FriendsJan Henning "Moltas" Erikson, född 29 november1932, död 1 juni1988, var en svensk underhållare samt psykiater vid Ulleråkers sjukhus i Uppsala


Swedish FriendsLars Bremberg was an important person within the TC movement. He arranged the first Eupropean TC meeting in Sweden 1976. He started Vallmotorp 1973 and Daytop Sweden some years later.

european identity
European Identity
  • American Behaviourist tradition
  • Psycho-analytical-based milieutherapy
  • 1970’s-ideologies, marxism and critical theory
  • Integration of democratic and hierarchical TC approaches.
  • Social learning
adaptation of american models into own culture
Adaptation of American models into own culture:
  • Evolution towards more empathic behaviour modification and dialogue.
  • Traditional European educational theories, new school movement and reform pedagogy.
  • Integration of humanistic therapy into TC methodology.
  • Introduction of existentialist family therapy
More professionalism
    • Health care professionals and priests
    • Researchers
    • Less important role of ex-addicts
  • Scientific Research
    • Counterweight against spiritual and self-confirming tendencies
    • Transition towards integrative recovery and integrated treatment systems
  • EFCT
    • collaboration and information exchange
    • Links with EWODOR, European universities
post modern times
Post Modern Times

Michel Foucault

“ To change something in the minds of people ”