Toward the therapeutic use of obscene language: a legal and clinical review.

G. J. Maier and R. D. Miller,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 21(2): 227-43, 1993.
Obscenity has been the subject of a series of court cases centered around the First Amendment, and its interpersonal effects have been studied by psychotherapists and communications theorists. But little has been written about the impact of the use of obscenity by patients in group settings to discharge their feelings and to dominate and harass staff and other patients. The authors argue that if staff are to be able to work effectively with patient populations who utilize obscenity routinely for these purposes, they must become more comfortable with its use, and to treat it as another symptom of the patients' interpersonal difficulties. Guidelines for the therapeutic use/management of obscenity on the ward are offered. [References: 64]