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Amanda Knapp, Psy.D., is a 2020 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Martha B. Straus, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Barbara Belcher-Timme, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Amanda Hitchings, PsyD, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

There is very limited research exploring the effects of a homely therapeutic landscape design on the psychological wellbeing of clients attending outpatient psychotherapy. In particular, very little is known about the impact of office design on client perceptions of their therapist and the quality of care they anticipate receiving. Ample data support the idea of healing environments; this has important implications for the field of clinical psychology. The theoretical framework underlying this study is the Tripartite Model, which states that people view spaces as most meaningful when they promote positive feelings of comfort, belonging, and security. Focusing on college students currently in counseling, this mixed methods exploration sought the answer to four questions: (a) What specific homely items are present in their therapeutic environment? (b) How may these items be impacting clients’ wellbeing? (c) How may these items be impacting their perceptions of the therapist? and, (d) What is the connection between their experience of the physical space and the quality of care they associate with these items in the room? The results suggest that homely therapeutic landscapes are positively correlated with wellbeing, but not perceptions of the therapist or quality of care. Therapists may glean from these findings that the therapeutic space can help promote self-disclosure and introspection, as well as aid emotional regulation and awareness. Future research should include a more specific measure of the association between the strength of the therapeutic relationship and homely therapeutic landscapes, as well as multicultural considerations for therapeutic environments that might aid the comfort of diverse clients.

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Amanda Knapp

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-8123-2502

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