Sunday, October 11, 2009

Confrontational therapy in Denmark

Today a Danish newspaper reported about a alcohol detox program in the city of Frederiksberg.

It states that the clients were humiliated as part of the detox process.

But people needs to understand that this process of humiliation is normal in detox programs. It is called confrontational therapy or attack therapy.

It was invented long ago by the detox program called Synanon. Synanon developed itself into a kind of church but not before the methods became mainstream in the detox process of alcoholics and drug users.

One of the financial supporters - Mel Wasserman - who used to sell funiture established a boarding school based on a combination of the ideas of Danish continuation schools ("Efterskoler") and a detox program. Beside normal activities in schooling and leisure, the students had to take part in a 12 step detox program.

There is no number of the students he hurt in the process of becoming a self-taught saviour of teenagers in so-called need. The most important point of criticism was that they took teenagers in with all kind of problems claiming to be able to fix them. While everybody know that you cannot be able to give real help before you specialize, it unfortunately became mainstream in the industry to let the marketing department decide how many you can enroll.

Denmark did abandon juvies in the 1970's. They were quick to adapt the Missouri model with a lot of small group homes and it worked well for two decades until a new problem became very clear. Denmark had failed to make people aware of our houserules. Visitors to Saud Arabia have to sign a letter stating what they think is the most obivious rules in their country. It is fair. While the rules about women not driving and the general ban on alcohol seem unfair or funny for people arriving from other countries, it is kind of fair to state what the laws is, so people can leave very fast if they don't like them.

We failed and people did not know how to adapt to our society, so the crime among juveniles boomed. The number of group homes exploded and we discovered that we had copied the United States in one vital area where we should have sought regulation from the very start.

Still on this very date of October 11 2009 everybody can start a detox program or a juvenile group home. Like with Wasserman it doesn't matter what kind of education you had before entering this business. Of course there are some oversight. Poorly managed group homes have to close when they don't get new clients, but the damage had been done. The children are put on a path toward adult prison. Every statistic support that fact.

Inside the established health care department run by our public system for tax-expenses there are rules about how to conduct group therapy. Attack therapy is not allowed for good reason. Such rules don't apply to private run group homes, boarding schools or detox programs.

That's why we can see one example after another about how people in need to get rid of an addiction in their life become victim of a program which are either run by people with poor skills or by people with hidden motives like trying to hire the former addiction to their cult or church.

I hope that the Danish government will see to that this area is regulated. Addicts and so-called troubled youth should be able to receive therapy in out-patient programs in their local community. It is at least 10 times cheaper and it makes it possible to regulate a program thorough. Regulation saves lives and it keep the most obvious scam-artists away.

I urge the Danish parliament to save people who are in their middle of the worst possible crisis in their lives from fall victims to either poor quality, religious movements or crooks.
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