Debate on therapeutic communities

We asked:- Is it a good idea for workers to live
alongside their clients?

These are some of the comments we

“If ‘workers’ include carers and ‘clients’ include the
cared for, then it can be very appropriate that the two live
alongside each other if they share a community life-style such as
Camphill promotes and facilitates.”

Dr Sam Sinclair
Camphill Scotland


“I don’t think this is a good idea at all. As we
say, work and family are two separate things, and there is a danger
of not keeping the balance in life.

Also we can make our clients fully dependent on us. My
understanding is that we need to empower the clients to make them
independent so that they can lead their own life. If we make them
dependent they will be de-skilled and could lose their self-esteem.
Surely this will affect their wellbeing and quality of

Dr. Harish Mehra


“My view is that it will bring about a lot of confusion in
the sense that professionals need to maintain a professionalism
with clients. This could be eroded when clients and workers live

Olive Onwualu
Mental Health Team


“I do not believe it is a good idea because I think it
fosters an unhealthy interdependency and over cosseting.

 It raises a number of issues. How do people who need to learn
the skills of community living manage to take real risks? Also, is
this the real choice of the service user and ‘Big
Brother/Sister springs to mind. I also have concerns about
vulnerable people being abused and exploited.

The notion by the worker that they are ultimately responsible
could lead to things being withheld and what happens to the service
user if the worker decides/is forced to withdraw?”

Y Duddridge

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