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Therapeutic techniques and subjectivation in treatment with drug users

Silvana Laura Garbi María Cecilia Touris María Epele About the authors

The internment process in therapeutic communities (TC) involves a multiplicity of therapeutic practices and strategies geared to abstinence from drug usage. According to the specialists' own regulations and explicit objectives, the residents must not only abandon the consumption of substances but also adopt new practices, attitudes, emotions and significances through the use of therapeutic techniques that allow them to adapt to the structure of the organization that these institutions impose. Based on the results of the ethnographic survey carried out between 2009 and 2010 in three TCs of the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the scope of this article is to analyze from a sociological and anthropological standpoint the "therapeutic tools" that comprise the treatment, the subject models that underlie these tools, the consequences that they may produce and their participation in the subjectivity production processes. For this purpose, we focus on analysis of "confrontation" as a privileged and omnipresent strategy of subjectivation in these therapeutic contexts, in order to reveal the epistemological, economic, political and ethical dimensions in the de-subjectivation process of the institutionalized drug user.

Subjectivation; Drugs; Therapeutic tools

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