The goal of the project INTERACT (Interaction in Community Treatment) is to explore practices of face-to-face communication and social interaction used to implement Therapeutic Community (TC) programmes in the area of addiction recovery. The concerns for the continuing marginalisation of vulnerable people expressed in EU documents (e.g. Europe 2020, Green Paper “Improving the mental health of the population”) make it timely and crucial to carry out research that identifies practices by which vulnerable people can be encouraged and supported to engage socially, to express their views, and to actively collaborate in the design and implementation of activities that can satisfy their own needs. The project will address questions that have not been addressed in previous research. (1) How can TC educators foster client members’ participation and social involvement in TC programmes? (2) What are the obstacles and dilemmas that they meet in this process and how do they deal with them? (3) How is it possible to improve the educators’ practices so that the clients’ active involvement in the rehabilitation process is not hampered? The project will focus on three TCs, and will analyse a corpus of recorded professional-client multi-party interactions. The method of Conversation Analysis will be employed to identify the communication roadblocks and dilemmas that characterise the implementantion of the TC approach to addiction recovery. Such dilemmas can influence the practices carried out at the micro-level of day-to-day rehabilitation and support activities, which have an impact on the lives of vulnerable service-users. An expected outcome is to sensitise political and professional stakeholders to the possible challenges entailed in the delivery of social support programmes. The discussion of the findings will result in recommendations on how the training of TC educator should be improved in order to overcome the identified contradictions and dilemmas.
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