How we work

Our Institution offers complex rehabilition program with three phases supported with adequate institutional and professional framework.

• Hospital for intensive psychotherapeutic rehabilitation, with increased protection, biomedical support and at the same time strong re-socializing process provided by the Community’s responsibility.

• The next phase in the rehabilitional treatment is the day-care unit, where a stronger emphasy is on the joint work with the family and the environment. Working with a more conscious self-participation in the therapy, a growing responsibility and the re-construction of the individual’s psychosocial reality can be achieved. During this phase, social help is also provided as an additional support for the individual’s ambition.

• The third phase mainly takes place in the social facilities. Here, besides the continuation of the psychotherapy, the goal is to establish detached lifestyle that is supported by focused social case-managemnet in a protected „home” to lead the clients back to independent living, job-taking, studying in the framework of six-month long contracts. The objective is to help the creation of self-supportive initiatives and their casemaps.

In order to implement this complex program we have established a Therapeutic Community, where the expected clinical efficiency is completed with the communal effect, as we believe that in such a micro-environment patients can learn about values which may react on the environment they have arrived from.

We participate - as the only Hungarian member - in the work of the Community of Communities (CofC) operated by the Royal College of Psychiatrist in Britain. CofC offers a quality improvement system, which we also apply for our organizational improvement as well as to audit other member institutions.

We intend to integrate:

• traditional biological, medical treatments;

• individual, family and group psychotherapy;

• a combination of different verbal and non-verbal techniques;

• socioterapeutic activities working with creative techniques;

• social-workers’ service to help resocialization;



The Community

The therapeutic community provides an environment with integrated psychotherapeutic activities for clients suffering from emotional, relational and mental disorders.

Psychotherapeutic activities (group- and individual-therapies) take place in the corrective relational space of the therapeutic community. The Community’s main role is to provide safety, and to facilitate the individual’s intention to take-up responsibility and tasksThis safe environment can also help to contain pathological, or regressive behaviour of the patients.

We continually make efforts to achieve direct, open communication. Community members are expected to take responsibility for their therapy and to take up tasks connected to everyday-life e.g. gardening, cleaning etc., they share work in a systematic, organized way.

The community is divided into five “hives”. Each hive consists of a therapist and a nurse, and can have approx. 10-12 patients. These hives function like micro-communities in the main community. Each hive creates its own rituals, e.g. joining-and-leaving the group, the way of supporting each other, or helping each other in tackling with every day problems. The members of the hives also participate in the same verbal psychodynamic small groups.

Staff and clients have set up the rules of the Community together.

Rules are to provide safe and clear frames for the therapy. Some of the most important rules are: no drugs, no alcohol, no sex and no physical violence in the Community. Everybody is expected to do some housework and keep his/her personal space tidy.

Community Rules are published on our website so anybody can learn about them.After admission a tailored contract is signed with everyone listing the rules having agreed beforehand with their therapist.

Some cases where we support patients to take up responsibility: e.g. if a client is on medication, it is his/her own responsibility to make sure about asking for it and taking it; or clients may also suggest changing or giving up a specific medicine if he/she feels it necessary; or the question of staying for the weekends is a joint decision of patient and therapist.

The psychotherapeutic plan

Each client has a therapist, because individual therapy is regarded as an important element, even though therapeutic work is primarily group-based. During the first three weeks newcomers take part in individual consultations and in socializing group sessions. Following that therapeutic work is continued in groups, non-verbal and verbal groups and when necessary family consultation is also possible.

Group sessions

Newcomers Group: Twice a week for newcomers for the first 2 weeks. This group intensively helps new members to learn therapeutic culture, express their feelings, emotions, motivation, working with art therapy and psychodrama techniques.

Nonverbal group sessions

szocioArt Therapy Group helps members to express emotions, feelings, and experiences using his/her own creativity.

Music Group gives opportunity for members to experience playing music together, making noises and sounds, rhythms and melodies getting closer to their own emotions, feelings, impulses. Based on experiences this group is important at the beginning of the therapy for clients with serious psychotic symptoms or self-harming behaviour to help them stay in the community.

In the Movement Group clients can express their emotions, feelings, memories through movements and gestures. This group also helps a lot at the initial phase of the therapy for clients with self-harming behaviour, serious narcissistic disorders and body image distortions.  

Playback Group: Playback Theatre gives space and time for members to tell each other their personal stories every week in a non-judgmental, warm and empathic atmosphere. It is a large group for all members of the community except those who attend psychodrama group sessions. Playing the stories members can experience their own aesthetic sense, creativity, fantasy and spontaneity. These experiences help them realize their feelings, improve their self esteem and find new, more constructive ways of coping.


pszichodrámaPsychodrama Group: a small group, working with ‘protagonist’ and ‘antagonist’ with the method worked out by J. L. Moreno. This type of group-work helps clients who are in the final period of their therapy in the House, or some of them return to attend this group after leaving the House, starting to work or study, thus finishing their therapy.

Verbal group sessions:

nagycsoportLarge Group: We have large group sessions three times a week where each member of the community participates. It is such a relational space where different parts coming from other groups, moment, events, relational conflicts, patterns from everyday community life can appear and can be worked through. So the large group gives space of therapeutic integration process.

befogadóSmall group sessions: Verbal, free-interactional small group sessions are kept once a week, lasting for 1,5 hour. The clients of one therapist take part. The therapist and the nurse who takes care of those clients facilitate this group work. We think mainly in terms of psychodynamic model, self-object relations, self-psychopathology and we focus on group dynamics.


egyéniA guest leader keeps Team Group once a week. It often happens that the interpersonal pattern and focus of the team-group and large-group are similar or the same. Working on relational problems the most frequently asked questions are: whom does the actual problem belong to (e.g. aggression, feeling of insufficiency, guilt, shame, rivalry)? Which of them are ours and which ones come from the clients?


Social work

The social worker offers counseling opportunity for the clients: she helps to evaluate his/her abilities, skills, professional experiences, and think together what the client could work or study. She helps the client how to get information about employment possibilities. Meanwhile if it is necessary (and often it is) the social worker can help clients to improve specific skills: e.g. how to write a CV, how to act on a job interview. They develop an ‘action plan’ and discuss the client’s experiences about the job interviews.

For those clients who have already finished their therapy and started to work or study, but due to some reasons (e.g. it is important to isolate them from their original environment, or without -a supporting- family he/she has never had an opportunity to look after herself) they cannot make a living on their own we can provide accommodation. At the same time, eight persons can live in the “Pier” house for a limited period of time and hopefully until they are able to live on their own.

Thalassa House organizes Open Days and Conferences every other year for those who wish to learn more about our work, operation and methods.

  • Cooperation Agreement of Thalassa Haz Therapeutic Community
  • Timetable