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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 62 (2020) 1, 54 - 61


A Soteria House in today’s mental health services; a small-scale therapeutic approach for people with a first psychotic episode

L. van Bouwel

background Thanks to the development in recent decades of mobile teams in the Netherlands and Belgium, ambulatory approaches have been created to offer effective treatment to patients with a first psychotic episode. If the support-network can no longer provide care, the person in crisis is referred to a hospital. The break with normal life and the associated stigma are often experienced as very radical by the patient himself, but also by his family.
aim To explore the extent to which a Soteria House can have a place in current care for patients with an acute psychotic episode.
method Description of the method of a Soteria House and reflection on the basis of the literature.
results A Soteria House offers a low threshold setting for people in a psychotic crisis, thanks to a destigmatizing approach. However, so far there is no scientific evidence of its effectiveness. In any case, the Soteria approach leads to greater satisfaction among patients and their family members.
conclusion A Soteria House can offer a meaningful alternative to the hospital for the relief of an acute psychotic crisis. Also, from the Soteria model a number of elements can be included that benefit both out- and inpatient treatment of a psychotic episode. However, this model requires more thorough research before implementation in regular care is possible.

keywords destigmatization, psychotic crisis, recovery, Soteria House