Mission statement of socio-therapy

 

Socio-therapy contributes to the development of an open and accepting society. Socio-therapy and community-building groups serve to prepare people for a life void of labelling, where they can attain personal fullness, and where individual and communal cultural diversity is respected within society. Further aim of socio-therapy is for people to develop from the state of labelling and “learned inability”, to one of self-identity and personal “competence”.

The tools of socio-therapy and community-building are the groups created in the institutions providing our social environment (schools, workplaces, cultural and community centres), complemented by civil society, as well as the various clinical institutions, all of which can contribute to the workings of an open and tolerant society. Further tools of socio-therapy are the complex art-therapy methods, empowerment-techniques, as well as community-building and democracy enhancing communal action.

The art-therapy group methods used within socio-therapy provide an opportunity for gaining self-knowledge, for a life lived according to a consciously chosen system of values (both on an individual, as well as a community level), as well as that within our own experiences everyone’s personal psychological functioning, their values, and lifestyles – independent of mainstream social norms - be liveable, understandable and recognised as legitimate. Thus the effects of groups organised in the prevention phase can preclude that people be labelled or considered ill because their life-styles deviate from that of the majority. The group enables people to autonomously represent their own system of values and style of life, while at the same time tolerating and understanding other views of life - and being able to experience the basic operation of a multi-cultural society. Through the functioning of the group one can experience the emancipating affect and the joy of being within a unlabbeling and tolerant environment.

The empowerment-techniques used in our socio-therapy groups aid familiarisation with the diversity of life-styles, and the various social techniques used for transmitting these, they also help the understanding of the psychological and social modes of action involved with the representation of personal value systems. Understanding of the process of „socialisation into learned inability” is special psychological focal-point, as is the capacity of the individual to transform themselves from a state of inability to becoming active in shaping their environment and society. Through empowerment we can strive towards becoming self-conscious active individuals, who in partnership and though the recognition of personal dignity are capable of joint action and co-operation within the community.

Through group-guidance and community-building education, socio-therapy aims to train group-leaders through whom this approach and outlook can become accessible and liveable for more and more people.