Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


The process of hospitalization and the environment of a typical psychiatric hospital is often counter-therapeutic. To challenge this problem, clinicians may introduce the concept of psychological containment. To elaborate, being hospitalized anywhere can be disorienting, frightening and even traumatic. This problem is only further exacerbated in psychiatric hospitals where patients may be disorganized, manic, or struggling with psychosis. Furthermore, psychological containment is essentially the ability for psychiatric patients to prevent their intense emotions from effecting others negatively, and to act with resiliency when other patients are unable to contain their own disruptive behaviors. This paper utilizes both an initial literature review to understand the problem at large, as well as the creation and an application of a therapeutic method on a hundred-bed psychiatric hospital. This method aims to address and explore containment and is further examined through personal artistic inquiry on the part of the writer. This work leads us to a main conclusion: introducing the concept of containment to a psychiatric unit is one step in creating an environment that is less traumatizing, and more therapeutic.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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