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Still in its infancy as a social science and profession, sociotherapy is ill-defined and thus takes many forms, according to the respective definitions created by the individual therapists, firms and institutions that employ sociotherapists and life enrichment therapists.[1] The Society for the Furtherance of Sociotherapy defines sociotherapy as “the methodical management of the living environment of a group of clients, directed towards reaching the treatment targets of this group—and conceived as a means of achieving the treatment targets of the individual client—within a functional unit, usually in a clinical treatment setting.” [2] This definition is most accepted especially in lifecare communities such as nursing homes.

The Sociotherapy Association in the United States describes a sociotherapy that emphasizes the support of awareness, relationship, and the integration of life and the environment. It’s main focus is the process of interpersonal relationships as a method of facilitating healthier living, rather than diagnosing intrapsychic psychopathology, and attempting to change it through coercion and analysis (psychology and psychotherapy). [3] The Society for the Furtherance of Sociotherapy says: “Sociotherapy operates through a holistic vision of mankind. That is to say that the human being is seen as a somatic, psychic, social and spiritual unity, which is unique because of his own history of growth.” [4]

Sociotherapy has been used in the treatment and education of adolescents at Kanner Academy and Community Schools in Sarasota Florida USA. In These settings the working definition of sociotherapy is the practice of promoting healthy growth and living by facilitating therapeutic communities, personal relationships and positive peer culture. It is better known as the “relationship therapy.”

Definition of sociotherapy as a social science and profession is also based on regional dicta. For example, the public health insurance system of Germany offered a uniquely German definition in order to subsidize treatment by sociotherapeutic professionals. It said that sociotherapy “designates non-medical, social, and work-related components of the care process.” [1]

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