David A. Deitch
Although the model of drug misuse treatment called the “therapeutic community” (TC) traces its American roots to Synanon, it has quite an ancient pedigree. At the dawn of the Christian era, Philo Judaeus wrote of com-munitae therapeutrides , the art of which was to “heal the souls which are under the mastery of terrible… incurable diseases of pleasures and appetites….” Thus, it appears that the struggle with uncontrolled appetite was a challenge then, as it is now, and the ancients embraced similar principles to ensure spiritual health. These principles have been present in mutual help communities from early monastic splinter groups to the much later Methodist congregations that espoused a “return to first principles” and morphed into the early Oxford movement. They can be summarized as follows: Concern for the state of our soul and our physical survival Search for meaning: transcending truths Challenge and admonish with love Be invasive—accountable ...