The Healing Environment -
This chapter aims to explore use of multi-sensory experience such as light and shadows, acoustics and tactile materials for the recovery of mentally ill patients. This chapter will emphasise the importance of the healing environment and the use of the multi-sensory environment for recovery from mental illness. In this part, there will be an investigation into the ways, which an environment can be designed in such a way that it properly relaxes and calms the senses to offer a decent rehabilitative space. Generally, multisensory therapy takes place in a room either dedicated to or especially built for that activity. Therein, patients experience a range of tactile, visual auditory and olfactory stimuli designed to evoke feelings of comfort and safety.50 Essentially, the purpose of multisensory therapy is to allow patients to relax, explore and enjoy their surroundings with a view to making a full recovery. This is because a walk through a space with constant interaction of all sense modalities (in other words a multi-sensory experience) has healing and invigorating qualities.51 This section of the paper will look at aspects surrounding the layout of rooms, the objects within the different spaces, the use of natural light and the colours which patients are exposed to. There are many aspects to the external and internal aesthetic qualities of a building, which can result in having a positive and detrimental effect on patientsâ€™ wellbeing. This will be investigated through the use of a number of different texts in order to review the relevant literature on this subject.
50 Baillon, S., Van Diepenm E., & Prettyman, R., (2002). Multi-sensory therapy in psychiatric care. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 8, pp.444-452.
51 Pallasmaa, J., (2012). The eyes of the skin - architecture and the senses, 2nd Ed. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 44-49.