* Peper Harow
The Peper Harow therapeutic community was founded in 1970. Melvyn Rose, the director, was supported by the psychiatrist Dr. Nora Murrow, who worked alongside him. Peper Harow provided therapeutic care and education in a residential setting for adolescent boys with a history of deprivation and abuse. In the 1980s, it became co-educational.
Like the Cassel Hospital, Peper Harow followed the established traditions of the therapeutic community movement, based on the ideas of psychoanalysts, such as Wilfred Bion and Tom Main, who had worked with soldiers invalided out as psychiatric casualties during the Second World War, and who had attempted to foster capacities for thoughtfulness, collaboration and creativity that had been compromised by experiences of severe trauma.
At Peper Harow, as was the case at the Cassel Hospital, residents and staff took joint responsibility for the daily maintenance of the community, contributed to cooking and cleaning, and were expected to attend the daily community meetings. These meetings were the forum where painful experiences from the past could be explored, and their impact on present behaviours and ways of relating could begin to be understood.
Every resident was assigned a personal mentor, whose role, like that of the Cassel nurse, was to work alongside the young person, helping him or her to resolve practical and emotional difficulties.
The Peper Harow Foundation was started with the aims of promoting this way of working with young people, and of setting up sister communities that would extend the work. The first such sister community was Thornby Hall, whose founding director, Alan Worthington, had been a member of staff at Peper Harow. The foundation, now renamed Childhood First, operates a number of other communities.
Melvyn Rose’s book, Healing Hurt Minds, describes the work of the Peper Harow Community at greater length.
(Rose, M. (1990) Healing Hurt Minds : The Peper Harrow Experience . London. Tavistock/Routledge. p 53)