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2009 06 04 Vvgn

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2009 06 04 Vvgn

  1. 1. 12 th EFTC congress “Eyes on the future” The Hague, 2 - 5 June 2009
  2. 2. The History and Role of Spirituality in Therapeutic Communities Eric Broekaert
  3. 3. Spirituality in the TC <ul><li>Aiming at unique relationships and connections </li></ul><ul><li>Searching for the transcendence of dichotomies </li></ul><ul><li>Within a transitional space of experience </li></ul><ul><li>Aiming at the development of the individual’s inner life </li></ul><ul><li>Endangered by sectarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Ecologically and systemic interconnected </li></ul><ul><li>Lift up by deconstruction and transformation of nothingness and critically embedded in science and professionalism </li></ul>
  4. 4. Searching for the transcendence of dichotomies <ul><li>Alfred Adler (1870-1937) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>What cannot be divided </li></ul><ul><li>Community feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Family Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Josua Bierer </li></ul>
  5. 5. Within a transitional space of experience <ul><li>Early TC’s in Europe: </li></ul><ul><li>World War II: Innovation of psychiatry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Northfield experiments’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment of psychiatric casualties of war </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The creation of a “milieu” </li></ul></ul></ul>Harold Bridger “ A transitional space of experience”
  6. 6. <ul><li>Synanon: craddle of the actual TC “ A most promising effort to rehabilitate narcotic addicts” (Yablonsky, 1965) “The best example of Eupsyhia” (Maslow, 1967) “An important alternative to the criminal justice system” (Gates and Bourdette, 1975) “The cradle of the Therapeutic Community” (Broekaert et al., ?) </li></ul>Aiming at the development of the individual’s inner life
  7. 7. Charles (Chuck) Dederich (1913 – 1997) Founder of Synanon
  8. 8. Synanon The cradle of the drug-free TC
  9. 9. Synanon: the therapeutic community (1958 – 1969) <ul><li>Major aims: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- curing and supporting addicts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- development of human potential </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Synanon: the therapeutic community (1958 – 1969) <ul><li>Therapeutic tools: </li></ul><ul><li>- ‘The Game’ + ‘Circle and Triangle’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Structure and hierarchy balanced with openness in groups proved to be a powerful means to deconstruct and reconstruct one’s personality. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Openness during encounter groups led to identification with the positive drug-free value system of ‘more advanced’ residents, who represented the community’s ideology. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Synanon: the social movement (1965 – 1975) <ul><li>Receiving Lifestylers </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming of a flourishing enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Acquiring more real estates </li></ul><ul><li>Less focus on rehabilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Opening of the Synanon School </li></ul>
  12. 12. Synanon: The religious movement (1975-1991) <ul><li>Charismatic leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Dominates the ‘method of behavioural change’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Indoctrination of residents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community separated from society </li></ul><ul><li>No graduation </li></ul><ul><li>Value based ideology Religion </li></ul>
  13. 13. Endangered by sectarianism A Religion too far A historical and qualitative study on how ex-Synanon members value critical incidents that led to the downfall of their utopia. Eric Broekaert, Ilse Goethals, Veerle Soyez and Rowdy Yates
  14. 15. Synanon: The religious movement (1975-1991) <ul><li>Course of events: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Pledge of loyalty (’70) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- An explicit ban on smoking (’70) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Aerobics (’74) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Bald heads day (’75) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Use of violence (’75) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- ‘Weight-ins’ and sugar-free dieet (’76) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- ‘In the Game’ / ‘out the Game’(’76) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Vasectomy and abortion (‘77) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Changing partners (’77) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Use of Alcohol (’78) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Lawsuits (’75 – ’91) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. A young bald executive
  16. 17. Justification value based ideology Religion <ul><li>The historical inheritance of the community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Founder of Synanon (Charles Dederich) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Alcoholics Anonymous ( Bill and Dr. Bob) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Oxford Group Movement ( Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- The Schwenkfelders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Caspar von Schwenkfeld von Ossig </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Caspar von Schwenckfeld von Ossig (1490-1561) <ul><li>Silesian nobelman </li></ul><ul><li>Christian reformer and spiritualist </li></ul><ul><li>He had his own views on the sacraments - the Heavenly Flesh doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced Anabaptism , Puritanism in England and the Pietistic Movement on mainland Europe </li></ul>
  18. 19. Caspar von Schwenckfeld
  19. 20. The Schwenkfelders <ul><li>Gathered as ‘Invisual Church’ for religious meetings in homes </li></ul><ul><li>Took leading positions in other Christian Churches such as the Evangelical Lutheran and the Pietist movement </li></ul>
  20. 21. The Schwenkfelders <ul><li>Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman (1878-1961) </li></ul><ul><li>Perkiomen Seminary </li></ul><ul><li>1908: Lutherian Minister </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Foundation of the First Century Christian Fellowship “…an attempt to get back to the beliefs and methods of the Apostles” (Lean, 1985) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1928: The Oxford Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The movements’ fundaments: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- ‘a miracle of the spirit’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- the world under the guidance of God </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- a search for a ‘spiritual authority’ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman
  22. 23. Oxford Group Movement <ul><li>1938: Moral re-armament movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- return to those simple home truths: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Honesty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Purity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Unselfishness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Love </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The Group is no real organization and has no membership list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- organization of Group: a series of concentric circles extending outward from the leader and his associates to the undetermined number of individuals who drift more or less casually into and out of the movement or some part of it </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Alcoholics Anonymous
  24. 25. Synanon <ul><li>Chuck Dederich and his affiliation with the AA-movement </li></ul><ul><li>The Game was considered as the realisation of Christ’s “Confess yea one to another” </li></ul>
  25. 26. Qualitative analysis of open interviews with ex-Synanon members: conclusion <ul><li>Findings support the hypothesis that the in Synanon used methodology of structure and openness in a spiritual context has long-lasting and penetrating effects with regard to changing people’s behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a major responsibility for the many therapeutic communities in the world to keep their standards high and their activities open to society. </li></ul>
  26. 27. Ecologically and systemic interconnected <ul><li>Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) </li></ul><ul><li>Against Reductionism: Systemism </li></ul><ul><li>We are all materially interconnected by mental forces </li></ul><ul><li>Steps to an Ecology of Mind </li></ul><ul><li>Double binding </li></ul>
  27. 28. Embedded in positive criticism, science and professionalism <ul><li>Positive criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Science </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalism </li></ul>
  28. 29. Dr.Donald Ottenberg Positive Criticism
  29. 30. Georges De Leon Science
  30. 31. Griffith Edwards Professionalism
  31. 32. Lift up by deconstruction and transformation of nothingness <ul><li>Postmodern Times </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern Spirituality </li></ul>
  32. 33. Post Modern Times Michel Foucault “ To change something in the minds of people”
  33. 34. Post Modern Times Jacques Derrida “ Even language can be deconstructed”
  34. 35. Postmodern Spirituality <ul><li>Uncertainty prevails on the great truth </li></ul><ul><li>The productive void of postmodernity may be a door to a positive spiritual deconstruction, a transformation of nothingness. </li></ul><ul><li>If you deconstruct everything, then it starts to transform itself into something else. </li></ul>

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