Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Nicole Taylor

Second Advisor

Peter Buirski

Third Advisor

William Staudenmaier


Therapeutic community, Severe and persistent mental illness, Change, Trauma


In order to gain better understanding of how therapeutic communities instigate change, this interpretative phenomenological study explores the recognized agents of change as reported by current and recent community members of a particular therapeutic community. Four superordinate themes were discovered: the structure of the program, engagement in the community, intentionality/mindfulness, and applied knowledge. While the results from this study are similar in several ways to the current literature, they also expand the literature about therapeutic communities in one important way. The change agents reported as leading to healing strongly resemble current best practice for the treatment of trauma. Limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

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39 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons