THE PAST two centuries show three distinct phases in society's characterization of the behaviorally deviant person. First, he was the criminal or possessed who required imprisonment; then he was the mental patient with a disease of the mind; and more recently he is the net result of disequilibria between biological, psychological, and social forces, with the emphasis on social.1-3 This emphasis clearly implies a need for therapy which concentrates on the mutual interaction between the patient and his social environment. Yet the most striking feature of most mental institutions is precisely that they remove the patient as far as possible from the environment in which he must ultimately interact if he is to be "cured."
This is one reason why chronic and repeated hospitalization for mental illness is a core problem of rehabilitative psychiatry. The development of various milieu therapies within
Daniels DN, Zelman AB, Campbell JH. Community Based Task Groups in Recovery of Mental Patients. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;16(2):215-228. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730200083012