The Therapeutic Community in Retrospect and Prospect

  • William B. O’Brien
  • Sy Halpern


The 20th century therapeutic community movement is a phenomenon which owes its existence as much to the failure of the medical model as to any other reason. One could look back at some of the historical attempts at treating drug abuse with a sense of humor if the problem were not deadly. Thus, we see solutions such as hypnosis in 1890, heart tonics and vichy water in 1895, static electricity in 1903, insulin in 1931, and moving along, refrigeration therapy in 1941, and prefrontal lobotomies in the early 50’s (Brill and Lieberman, 1972). Across the world traditional institutions have been confronted with growing numbers of drug addicts, alcoholics, and more recently a new breed, the polydrug abuser.


Drug Addict Therapeutic Community Historical Attempt Abuse Behavior Heart Tonic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William B. O’Brien
    • 1
  • Sy Halpern
    • 1
  1. 1.Daytop Village, Inc.New YorkUSA

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