Despite its psychoanalytic origins, the author situates the emergence of the therapeutic
community within divergent traditions. He theorizes the therapeutic community as both a ‘place’
and a space at the centre of which is an absence (the un-conscious). This absence is the foundation
of the Symbolic. The culture of each community is embodied in specific rituals and customs which
represent the Law (Oedipus). And the position the subject adopts in relation to the rules and boundaries
in the community always refers us back to his or her singular history. It is here, for the subject
of psychosis, that the spectre of the fragmented body emerges, within a psychic homelessness. In the
therapeutic community, the boundary between the inside and the outside is inscribed not just in the
spatial location but also by the relationships between members of the group.
Keywords: Absence, psychoanalysis, unconscious, desire, therapeutic community, Lacan, place, fragmented body.
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