N.39 - Building a therapeutic community. A case of therapeutic engineering

The “Visting in italy” project: origins, organisation and prospects

Abstract

Visiting has its theoretical roots in the research of Lewin, and began in England in the early 2000s when the Community of Communities network, led by Rex Haigh, introduced this project structured on both peer- and self-review for monitoring the quality of treatment settings (for adults, minors, prisoners, etc.) and earning accreditation and financing from the National Health Service.

The Italian Visiting project, which Mito&Realtà designed, proposed and formally introduced in 2010, has the aim of encouraging communities to get to know each other through a process of assessing therapeutic and structural factors for the purpose of better identifying TCs’ weaknesses and strengths and encouraging immediate action with regard to problems by defining annual improvement goals and collaborating with the other participating TCs. This shared involvement is aimed at the creation of a TC network to counter isolation and establish a set common quality standards (benchmarks). The ultimate goal is to generate a circular exchange of good practices, procedures and materials, making more evolved experiences accessible to communities that have been unable to produce them. An essential feature of the Visiting project is the absence of that judgemental aspect often implicit to assessments in general.

The authors illustrate the origins and dissemination of the Visiting approach through the development of two variations, pointing out the common methodological and procedural aspects and, to some extent, the instruments that make each of them fully comparable with the others, as well as the differences, which make possible a wealth of experiential exchanges

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