What is therapeutic in Therapeutic Residential Care? How to support and analyse the therapeutic dimension in residential care
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The term Therapeutic Residential Care (TRC) (Whittaker, del Valle, & Holmes, 2014) involves the planful use of a purposefully constructed, multi-dimensional living environment designed to enhance or provide treatment, education, socialization, support, and protection to children and youth with identified mental health or behavioral needs. The paper illustrates, through the example of its application in a mother-child unit, a multi-component working method developed to support the therapeutic function of residential care. The method proposes a planning and evaluation tool whose systematic use promotes a group mentalization process aimed at building a shared knowledge by the staff on each guest user, reducing the fragmentation of points of view and individual representations.