In his Bi-Blog entry for January 15th, Bob Hinshelwood wrote: "Right now we have the emerging diverging of the new TCTC from the equally new INDTC" to which David Kennard responded on January 18th "And now TCTC and INDTC. I really haven't heard of the latter."
So: WHAT IS INDTC?
INDTC is the International Network of Democratic Therapeutic Communities, initiated by John Gale of Community Housing and Therapy in discussion with others, in order to create a psychoanalytically grounded, international community of communication, training, support, development and lobbying for therapeutic communities and those involved in and with them.
A first meeting of the INDTC Advisory Panel took place in June 2012, and something like a launch was held on Sunday, November 11th in the form of a Symposium chaired by John Gale as part of the 11th World Congress of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Milan. (It would be interesting to know whether this key moment in the developing history of therapeutic community was recorded!).
The abstract for the session reads:
Symposium 42461: ESTABLISHING AN INTERNATIONAL NETWORK OF THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITIES
BARONE R., MANNU J., MINGARELLI L., GALE J., BRUSCHETTA S., SAFTIS T., ZOVANNI G.
The International Network of Democratic Therapeutic Communities, London, UNITED KINGDOM
To promote an international dialogue about psychoanalysis, rehabilitation and cross cultural issues; therapeutic communities for people with psychiatric disorders, for children, offenders etc; psychoanalytic thinking and its application to individuals and groups; ideas, develop theory, good practice guidelines and cooperate on new projects, and awareness of psychoanalytic approaches and psychosocial interventions amongst professionals worldwide. To train students and those working in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and social work. To provide student and staff exchanges between different countries and cultures. To lobby decision makers on policy, challenging the dominant discourse and the stigmatisation of the users of mental health services.
Design & Methodology.
Designing an interactive website which will provide opportunities for social networking amongst professionals. Arranging a calendar of events; identifying therapeutic communities that adhere to a broadly psychoanalytic methodology and recruit them to the network.
An Advisory Panel has been set up with members from Athens, Budapest, Rome, Milan, Palermo and London. A group of Associates has also been established including senior academics from the University of Palermo, The Centre for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex. Links are already being made with clinicians and institutes in South America, USA and Pakistan. Officers, an Administrator and Secretary have been appointed to manage the Network. Individual members already number over 200.
The Network has already received considerable support from senior clinicians, academics and practitioners
A third Advisory Panel meeting will be held in June 2013 in Budapest, hosted by Hungary's Thalassa Haz Therapeutic Community to coincide with their bi-annual conference, and an initial INDTC conference is being organised in Rome for November 2013.
According to John Gale:
"My view is that there is much to be gained from sharing ideas and experiences across national contexts especially at this time when the TC model and psychoanalytic thinking in general is under attack from more cost effective approaches (CBT, DBT, mindfulness etc) and the dominant discourse (empirical psychology research, evidence based medicine, therapeutic technologies and manualisation)."
A website is promised later this year.