Places and Spaces of Psychiatry

Environmental psychology, or a focus on transactions, interactions, and non-actions humans have with and within environments they are exposed to, was originally developed in the environments of mental institutions. Environmental psychology has consistently been ignored by the larger field of psychiatry and its public administration. Subsequently, public psychiatry has created places which eliminate “freedom of choice.”

Psychologists Harold Proshansky, William Ittleson & Leanne G. Rivlin (1970) addressed the human need for “freedom of choice”, and how it “serves as a unifying concept that can help to organize and make clear the definitions of other terms” (p. 174). This framework has inspired some of the prime areas of investigation in the work of environmental psychology through the subjects of privacy, territoriality, and crowding.

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 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.