Lothlorien is a therapeutic community for people with mental health problems. It has been run since 1989 by the Rokpa Trust, an international charity founded by Dr. Akong Tulku Rinpoche of Samye Ling Tibetan Centre in Dumfriesshire. Buddhist values of compassion and tolerance are the basis of our approach, but we are not a religious community and are open to everyone.
The community consists of 10 residents with mental health problems and 4 voluntary co-workers, living in the 13 bedroomed main house and a further 5 people living in the move-on house, Roan Lodge, The 6 staff, known as the Core Group, come in on weekdays. The community has 17 acres of land, including vegetable gardens, woodland and pasture land.
Lothlorien Community is based on the therapeutic community model, which includes principles of collective responsibility and empowerment. 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. 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. Tara Rokpa Therapy methods such as relaxation, artwork and massage are part of the programme, as well as regular sessions of Qigong.