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January 1968

The Community MeetingAn Analytical Study and a Theoretical Statement

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif
From the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(1):60-75. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740010062009

ALTHOUGH the holding of ward, large group, or community meetings has become common practice in institutional psychiatry, our literature review reveals a lack of careful scrutinization and evaluation of the contribution that these meetings make to patient recovery. Indeed, there is a general need to clarify exactly what are the specific elements that make a hospital milieu therapeutic and what elements are therapeutic for particular kinds of patients.

Regarding community meetings in particular, many questions arise. What is the rationale or purpose of community meetings? That is, what is the function of community meetings in the curative process, with which kinds of patients is it therapeutic, and in what ways is it effective? How should community meetings be structured to facilitate the recovery process? Is the application of community meetings universally therapeutic, even essential? Does a patient's participation in community meetings

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