The paper will explore why a lived experience of communal living with severely emotionally troubled children, within a psychodynamic framework, offers a model of authentic shared responsibility and democratic living. This alternative model aspires to deliver the concept of 'each according to their ability, each according to their needs'. The paper will use a range of personal experiences, along with hypotheses about organisational and societal dynamics to explain how the use of core principles of therapeutic community work enable its ongoing survival and evolution, despite approaches that have tried to appropriate and 'colonise' the tantalising 'under the surface' spirit of this radical legacy and tradition. 

 

 

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John Diamond is CEO of the Mulberry Bush Organisation, active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for looked after children and care leavers, a trustee of the National Association of Special Schools, on the editorial board of the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, and a member of the Therapeutic Communities Accreditation Panel at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, with a long working career in residential therapeutic work with children and young people, and author of numerous related publications and lectures in the UK and internationally.

 

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