Institutional Work in Total Institutions and the Perspective of the Persons that Have Lived in Residential Treatment Institutions


  • Mitja Krajnčan
  • Boštjan Bajželj



institutional work, total institutions, residential, treatment, institutions


Institutional work includes all kinds of psychosocial assistance that offers, to people that need them, living environments and immediate environments adapted to their age, problems, disorders, and state. The diversity and dilemmas of institutional work represent the central theoretical discourse that the authors are researching in the explanations of the total institution, the exact answers regarding the help the youth that involuntarily find themselves in such institutions receive. The continued development of the discourse logically proceeds into deinstitutionalisation. Semi-structured interviews of adults that have spent their youth in such institutions represent the empirical part of the research. Extreme psychosocial pressures make the youth deviate away from goal orientation and the purpose of the institutions’ operations. So, additionally, the authors have gathered a collection of good and bad experiences to bring attention to the many imperfections that should not be self-evident. The key problems that people that have stayed in such institutions a decade ago would like to give light to are the non-existence of logic and specific learning and practical competences that would benefit them in the life outside of the institution. They also stressed the lack of using the quality relations that had been established in the institution as support in post-treatment.