With design to therapeutic success

A concept for the restructuring of psychosomatic clinics

Almost all of us have a friend, acquaintance or colleague who suffers from “burnout”, chronic stress, depression or other mental or psychosomatic illnesses or who has already undergone therapy. The term “burnout” in particular makes the subject of psychosomatics very topical. However, the clinics, most of which were built in the 1970s, are not. New findings in treatment and accommodation require a novel concept. One such idea is described in the master’s thesis “With design to therapeutic success”. Explained here at a specific clinic, however, it can be transferred to any house with just a few adjustments.

After a patient survey in this clinic on habits, wishes and worries concerning the clinic’s daily routine, individualisation was the cornerstone of the concept. Patients should be allowed to remove all things they do not like from their room and in return, to bring into their room objects that they want, that they need or that make them feel good.
The daily clinic routine for patients and staff is made easier with the help of a developed smartphone app. This enables the scanning and digital recording of the furnishings.

The rooms are given a new, neutral colour scheme in shades of grey and white, which supports the effect of the wood of the built-in furniture.
The rooms, which look a little bare in their raw state, will be decorated with the favourite room colour specified in the clinic questionnaire when the patient moves in. Over time, however, the patients discover the shelves with the many different items of furniture scattered throughout the clinic and begin to borrow them with the help of their smartphones, thus giving their room a very individual character.
The success of the therapy or the development of the patient can thus be seen in the furnishings of their room.

User Testing with Ulrike S.

Mrs Ulrike S. arrived at the rehabilitation clinic three weeks ago with the diagnosis of exhaustion depression and somatisation disorder. Her main goals for rehabilitation are stress reduction and conscious perception of her body and its reactions to her actions and those of her environment. Mrs S., who has always been very close to nature, likes natural materials such as wool, sisal and wood. The furnishings she has chosen reflect this.

During the last three weeks, Mrs S. took up the offer of mindfulness meditation and found that this method of conscious relaxation and examination of her own body and mind is a great help for her. She looked for a meditation cushion from the hallway to meditate in her room as well. Also, the meditation bowl, Buddha statue and its quotations belong to her room. Mrs S. enjoys the spatial separation of the sometimes quite clumsy living area from the sleeping area. The sayings and pictures on the magnetic board in the bedroom are very personal and not meant for all eyes. Every evening before going to bed and every morning after getting up, Mrs S. has these things in front of her and perceives them very consciously.
“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced,” Mrs S. wrote this Buddhist wisdom already in her 2nd week of rehabilitation on her wall.