Therapeutic Community

What is a Therapeutic Community?

Spring Lake Ranch has existed as a therapeutic community for more than 86 years (before the term was even coined), first opening itself to military veterans struggling with trauma and PTSD back in the 1930s. 

The central philosophy behind the therapeutic community model is that every resident is empowered to be an active participant in his/her own recovery from mental illness or addiction, as well as in the recovery of other residents. Residents and staff engage together in every aspect of the community, finding purpose in structure in working alongside each other and rediscovering their individuality through recreation. Day-to-day community activities such as dishes and cleaning are a collaborative effort shared among residents and staff. 

Spring Lake Ranch provides an environment of acceptance where people are valued for who they are, not who we think they should be. Everyone is a valued member of the community, regardless of race, class, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. The needs of different cultures and religions are integrated into the therapeutic community, such as the celebration of Passover, Hanukkah, and others.

Resources on Therapeutic Communities:

Therapeutic Communities and Mental Health System Reform 

Connectedness and Citizenship: Redefining Social Integration 

A Theory of Social Integration as Quality of Life