November 1973

Milieu Therapy: Contraindications?

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Brentwood Veterans Administration Hospital and University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(5):640-643. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200050053009

That the proper environment can exert a vital force of its own to all those who are exposed to it is a presupposition of milieu therapy. An overlooked element in the milieu is the complexity and intensity of environmental stimulation. Leading theories of schizophrenic behavior all assert that the basic defect in schizophrenia consists of a low threshold for disorganization under increasing stimulus imput. The milieu emphasis on forced social interaction, participation, and liveliness is conceptually unsound for the disorganized schizophrenic patient. The "enriched" milieu may contain a toxic dose of environmental stimulation for some schizophrenic patients.