• EN

Therapeutic Community Scale of Essential Elements Questionnaire (SEEQ)

User Information



Author/Developer / Address:

George DeLeon.
Gerald Melnick.
Center for Therapeutic Community Research
2 World Trade Center, 16th Floor.
New York,
NY 10048
Phone: 1 212 845 4400.
Fax: 1 212 845 4698.

Publication dates:


Description / Type of Assessment:

SEEQ is a self-administered 139 Likert-type item questionnaire. Respondents rate items as 0 (objectionable) or on a scale ranging from 1 (very little importance) to 5 (extremely important).

Primary use / Purpose:

SEEQ is an approach to develop a typology of therapeutic community treatment programs for substance misuse. It is based on a theoretical framework of the components of TC treatment and describes the modalities' distinctive philosophy and treatment elements.

Domains measured / Life Areas / Problems Assessed:

The items are organized into six broad dimensions, each of one is composed of several more narrowly defined domains. The dimensions are:

  1. TC perspective: includes the domains View of the Addictive Disorders, View of the Addict, View of Recovery and View of Right Living.

  2. The Agency: Treatment Approach and Structure includes Agency Organization, Agency Approach to Treatment, Staff Roles and Functions, Clients' Roles and Functions, and Health Care.

  3. Community as Therapeutic Agent includes Peers as Gate Keepers, Mutual Help, Community Belonging, Outside Community Contact, and Community/Clinical Management, Privileges, Sanctions and Surveillance.

  4. Educational and Work Activities consists of Formal Educational Elements, Therapeutic-Educational Elements, and Work as Therapy.

  5. Formal Therapeutic Elements consists of General Therapeutic Techniques, Groups as Therapeutic Agents, Counselling Techniques, and the Role of the Family.

  6. Process includes Stages of Treatment, Introductory Period, Primary Treatment Stage and Community Re-entry Period.


Directors and staff of therapeutic community programs for substance misuse.

Administration / Completion Time:

Between 30-45 minutes.

Scoring Procedures:

The scores of items included in each six dimensions are added to obtain a Total score for this dimension, and an average score (by dividing by number of items in each dimension).

Scoring Time:

Not specified.


Not any necessary.

Source of Psychometrics:

George DeLeon, Ph.D. & Gerald Melnick, Ph.D. (See address above).



Availability / Inquiries:

George DeLeon, Ph.D. & Gerald Melnick, Ph.D. (See address above).


There are no costs.

Practicability / usefulness:

SEEQ can be used to obtain a detailed profile of the theoretical perspective of a therapeutic community program.


The choice of SEEQ (short or long form) depends on specificity of the information needed to answer the research or evaluation questions. SEEQ - Long Form contains larger number of items, and more specific information.

Relevant Studies
Clarifying the Nature of Therapeutic Community Treatment
Melnick, G., DeLeon, G. Clarifying the Nature of Therapeutic Community Treatment: A Survey of Essential Elements. In Press (Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment).

This study reports on the extent to which TC agencies share a common set of beliefs about the essential elements of TC treatment. The Survey of Essential Elements Questionnaire (SEEQ), a Therapeutic Community Recovery Theory based instrument was used in a field survey of 59 directors of agencies identified as TCs through their membership in Therapeutic Communities of America was conducted. Results showed a high degree of concordance in the perceived importance of a set of treatment elements as identified in the SEEQ. Two cluster of TCs, identified as "Traditional" and "Modified" TCs were identified, based on their responses to the SEEQ. Results were seen as supporting the therapeutic community Recovery Formulation from which the SEEQ items were drawn.

Therapeutic Community: Diversity in Treatment Elements
Melnick, G., DeLeon,. G., Hiller, M.L., Knight, K. Therapeutic Community: Diversity in Treatment Elements. In press. Substance Use & Misuse.

The present study uses data from the DATOS (Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study) to extend earlier research in developing a typology of Therapeutic Community treatment based on the SEEQ. The facilities participants in this study were 21 long term residential programs for drug misusers, 11 of them identified themselves as "traditional TCs" and 8 were "modified TCs". Findings showed that the SEEQ differentiated between "traditional" and "modified" therapeutic communities. The present study expands prior research supporting a typology of therapeutic community programs based on the SEEQ, by confirming the existence of traditional and modified TC clusters based on clinical practices.


Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 July 2004