Mary Woods

One Hour AT A Time

Mary Woods

  • Recovery within Therapeutic Farm Communities

Recovery within Therapeutic Farm Communities

Monday 24th November 2008

Learn about the recovery process for those with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illnesses at therapeutic farm community, Cooper Reef. Gain insights on how community, self-determination, and relatedness play a key role in the recovery process. Listen now on
56 minutes

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One Hour AT A Time
Mary Woods
Sobriety Toolkit
Innovative Treatments & Recovery Paths
Family Recovery from Addiction
Recovery from Trauma
Creative Recovery Journeys
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Recovery within Therapeutic Farm Communities: An Inside Look at Cooper Reef

The number one thing that the residents whom I interviewed said, without exception, was the strength of the community itself, and that they considered that to be the most important factor in their recovery.
Therapeutic farm communities have gained popularity in recent years as an alternative treatment option for individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illnesses. In this episode of One Hour AT A Time, Mary Woods speaks with Virgil Strucker, the executive director of Cooper Reef, a therapeutic farm community in North Carolina, and Dr. Bob Swoap, a professor and chair of psychology at Warren Wilson College.
Strucker shares Cooper Reef's engagement process, which involves staff, professionals, and a focus on community, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and nutritional therapy. The importance of community in the recovery process is emphasized, as residents contribute to the community through work activities while also receiving individualized treatment plans. Challenges faced by individuals in the recovery process, such as marginalization and loss of motivation, are discussed, as well as the importance of supporting families. The balance between medication and nutritional therapy is also explored.
Dr. Swoap highlights the fundamental need for self-determination and relatedness in the recovery process. The philanthropic and positive attitude of family-started therapeutic communities is noted, along with the need for mental health professionals to recognize the potential for self-determination and relatedness. This episode provides a comprehensive look at the recovery process within therapeutic farm communities and highlights the importance of community, self-determination, and relatedness in the recovery process. Listen to the full episode now on