Social Model Treatment and Individuals with Dual Diagnoses

An Ethnographic Analysis of Therapeutic Practice

Published in: Journal of Mental Health Administration, v. 23, no. 3, 1996, p. 272-287

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1996

by D Weinberg, Paul Koegel

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In an effort to inform current debates with empirically grounded knowledge regarding therapeutic practice, this article presents an ethnographic analysis of treatment processes in a residential social model treatment program specifically designed for individuals with dual diagnoses. The article focuses on four fundamental themes: social model treatment; the formulation of clinical identities; recovery, personal responsibility, and authority; and the measurement of therapeutic success. The authors conclude that program residents have a central role in the therapeutic process that deserves particular attention. More effective therapy may result from a greater focus on the relationship among patients in therapeutic settings, as opposed to just relationships between patients and caregivers. The authors also call for more efforts to conduct intensive qualitative analyses similar to this one to improve both the concept of what we mean by the effectiveness of therapy and the effectiveness of therapy itself.

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