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Sensory approaches in inpatient psychiatric settings: innovative alternatives to seclusion & restraint.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Services, Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, Northampton, MA 01060, USA.


The national initiative to decrease the use of seclusion and restraint in psychiatric inpatient settings requires innovative methods to facilitate the processes of consumer self-organization, self-care, and positive change. Sensory-based approaches and multisensory rooms are valuable resources as cultures of care shift to become more responsive and collaborative. This article explores the importance and efficacy of trauma-informed approaches that are sensory supportive, address the individual needs of the person, and strengthen the therapeutic relationship.

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