Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Donna C Owens


Physical restraints have been used as a means to control behavior that is harmful to self or others, often times stemming from diagnoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Restraints physically manipulate the body, but also have negative effects on thoughts and feelings. Verbal calming has been an option to aid in de-escalation, but there has been growing research on the benefits of using dance/movement therapy to process and resolve extreme emotions. The aim of this literature review is to explore the important work of therapeutic movement in acute inpatient settings, utilizing the power of the mind-body connection. Through a review of the literature, different dance/movement therapy techniques such as mirroring, breathwork, and tension flow rhythms have been shown to aid in calming for both patients and staff. Limitations are also addressed, specifically focused on power dynamics and gender roles within the inpatient psychiatry setting.

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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