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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 13 (1971) 1, 301 - 318

Korte bijdrage

Het terapeutisch milieu: Tussen mythe en realiteit

Y. Nuyens, A.M. Ampe

The intention of this contribution was manifold. In the first place an attempt was made to gain insight into the different points of contact between psychiatry and sociology. More in particular there was pushed forward the thesis that a purely sociological problem gets maximal chances when it takes to structural analysis of the psychiatrical assistante, rather than when it goes into an object pre-constructed by psychiatry.
Subsequently this thesis was illustrated by the example of the psychiatric hospital. Under the influence of a series of factors however this seems to be involved in a quick process of changes. As object of this process there is increasingly more referred to the therapeutic community: this is credited with the predicate 'new technology'. The general, not shaded and little empirically tested character of the therapeutic community requires however some reservation: face to face with the technological character, the ideological dimension in and of the therapeutic community was accentuated.
The most important items in the criticism are especially on the one side the obscurity in the therapeutical aim and at the other side the adherente to indoortreatment without any extramural contact. Institutionally one is tempted to hark back to the vertical structure again and again as it is easier in operation.
The comparison with reality in the second part, meant as an explorative approach, mainly resulted in the affirmation of this thesis.
Further empirie investigation, wherein the therapeutic community is operationalized, shaded and evaluated, will be necessary before we can speak of a new psychiatric technology.