1. The use of mechanical restraint was virtually eliminated on a psychiatric ward of acutely disturbed, combative patients.2. This was accomplished in a research setting through successive stages designed to be of educational value to the participants.3. At first, the nurses tended to substitute chemical sedation for mechanical controls.4. Through a number of informal talks and formal devices (restraint graphs, obligatory written memoranda for all restraint, etc.), Nursing Ward Therapy techniques were finally substituted for both mechanical and chemical restraint. As a result, the ward nurse perceived herself as shifting from a primarily medical role to the role of a psychiatric nursing specialist.5. Nursing Ward Therapy is presented as the alternative of choice in handling emergencies in large mental institutions.