XV European Congress of Therapeutic Communities in Malaga

 

“Therapeutic Communities – Promoting an Integrated Model”

The Proyecto Hombre association and the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities  (EFTC) have organized jointly the XV European Congress of Therapeutic Communities in Malaga, from 11 to 14 March 2015. Several international and special guests joined the conference including philosopher José Antonio Marina, TC specialist George de Leon and Gabriel Mejia, once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, among others. Ms. Gisela Rodriguez-Hansen, representative of Dianova, presented the methodology and the comprehensive educational intervention model developed in Can Parellada therapeutic community (Dianova Spain), in the Barcelona region. 

We are confronted with a multitude of new profiles of individuals with addiction problems, including women, youth, elderly, people with dual pathology, migrants and inmates – and new activities should complement formal treatment, those were among the main themes discussed during the conference along with the new approaches which should be implemented within  the Therapeutic Community treatment model.

The conference theme, «Therapeutic Communities, Promoting an Integrated Model » invited to reflect on the addiction problem’s current trends, while getting to know what’s effective in adequately treating addiction in TCs. The “Community as a method” treatment model continues to be successful despite 50 years of existence, due to its ongoing adaptation to the various addiction profiles that have emerged among drug abusers along those years.

The congress put special attention to the critical importance of implementing research and evaluation programs on drug dependence and treatments, as well as practices tailored to vulnerable social profiles, i.e. women (pregnant women, inmates, victimes of domestic violence, etc.), young inmates, people with dual diagnosis of mental illness and adiction, elderly, immigrants, etc.

In addition, presentations addressed the importance of developing supplementary activities besides formal treatment, including  sports, contacts with nature, developing social and employment skills, etc.

Gisela Rodríguez-Hansen

Dianova participated in the congress through Ms. Gisela Rodriguez-Hansen who is a psychologist at the Can Parellada Therapeutic Community, in the Barcelona region.

After presenting Can Parellada’s work methodology and comprehensive educational intervention, Gisela Rodriguez highlighted the precarious economic situation of those entering the community, with a 70% increase of users without income – a situation due to budget cuts and the crisis which has been affecting Spain for a number of years.

Lastly, Ms. Rodriguez underlined a dramatic increase in the percentage of users with dual pathology of mental illness and addiction disorders, passing from 42% in 2013 to 62% in 2014 –personality disorders and mood disorders being those most predominant.

Gisela Rodriguez concluded her speech by stressing the value of the long-term addiction treatment model; in addition, she emphasized that the profile of substance abusers had changed substantially in recent years with increased psychosocial problems, entailing a much greater need of help.

Text written in part based on the press release issued by the Proyecto Hombre Association