What do our clients say? Residents' perceptions of recovery in Retorno-A Jewish therapeutic community

Natti Ronel, Ety Elisha, Uri Timor, Gila Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Residents' perceptions of recovery in a therapeutic community (TC) have long been of interest to researchers and addiction practitioners. This study aims to continue this course of research in a TC in Israel. In particular, this study aims to present subjective perceptions of recovery of the clients in Retorno, a Jewish TC, using a qualitative, phenomenological, and retrospective study design. The participants were 21 clients, 11 juveniles, and 10 adults, who were administered an in-depth, semi-structured, individual interview. The findings cover two main themes: (a) the properties of treatment that the clients specified as significant to their recovery and (b) the expressions of change in the clients' lives during their recovery. The findings highlight the importance of unconditional acceptance and caring during therapy, along with additional spiritual values that might challenge clients. This perspective signifies the "how to" and "how it is perceived" rather than merely the "what to do." It represents the application of the emerging positive criminology that inspires the separation-unification vector of clients with some progress toward greater unification in the social, individual, and spiritual dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
Number of pages11
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Recovery
  • Subjective perceptions
  • Therapeutic community


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