Lothlorien Community is based on the therapeutic community model, which includes principles of collective responsibility and empowerment. Central to the life of the community is the daily meeting, where we plan work and other activities, and attempt to address issues of living together as a group in an open way. Each community member is encouraged to share equally in decision making about community affairs.

At Lothlorien, we have a strong belief in everyone’s potential for well being, even in the midst of pain and distress. We believe that people need not be imprisoned by their past. We avoid diagnosing or labelling, and attempt to break down the distinction which frequently exists between those seen as ‘well’ and those seen as ‘unwell.’ As a therapeutic community, we aim to help people to develop their strengths and work towards recovery through the shared experience of community life. All the members of the community play their part in creating a mutually supportive atmosphere and the experience of being part of a therapeutic community allows everyone involved to learn about themselves and how they relate to others.

The ordinary practical tasks of community life, such as gardening, cooking and cleaning, have a grounding effect and the rhythm of daily life provides a structure which helps restore a sense of balance to people’s lives. Relaxation, artwork, and QiGong are also part of the programme. 

The members of the Core Group have backgrounds in mental health, complementary therapy and horticulture. They work in the community from 9am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday. They are available on call in the evening and at the weekend. The Core Group’s main function is to facilitate the therapeutic aims of Lothlorien. Other responsibilities include offering individual support to residents in order to help them gain maximum benefit from their stay, reviewing new applications and overseeing the financial management of the project.

Lothlorien is an innovative alternative approach to mental health, but it is also respected as a valued provision within the mainstream and there are good links with the local statutory mental health services. Residents normally link with a G.P. and with the Community Mental Health Team at the local health centre in Castle Douglas for the duration of their stay here.