Throughout history, people suffering from a mental illness or emotional crisis have been treated quite differently. The accepted treatments of the day could be cruel, and sometimes deadly. Within these times, there have also been people who questioned treatment-as-usual, particularly when they viewed that treatment as either unhelpful or dangerous. Alternative treatment programs have been developed with varying success. CooperRiis is a therapeutic healing community in North Carolina that opened in 2003. It is providing an alternative to treatment-as-usual to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. This case study aimed to investigate whether there was a flexibility within the organization that allowed it to adapt to the changing needs within its own community, as well as to continue operating within the larger mental health community, to remain operational. The findings resulted in different revelations. It was discovered that the process of how decisions are made impact the community differently. Also, whether a leader is connected or disconnected from the community has a significant impact on it. These aspects, in particular, can influence feelings of empowerment or disempowerment within the community. Recommendations are provided both for where CooperRiis could benefit from more focus, as well as aspects of the programming it is doing well. In many of the alternative programs that are developed, a common thread is the focus on connection, as well as finding the humanity within both the providers and recipients of help. CooperRiis is yet another example of how this community, connection, and humanity is the therapy that heals.
|Advisor:||Fogel, Ken A.|
|Commitee:||Bothne, Nancy J.|
|School:||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-B 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Psychology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Alternative treatment program, Community, Cooperriis, Empowerment, History of mental health treatment, Qualitative case study|
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