Your Home Environment Can Heal
How personal space impacts wellness and recovery.
Posted Mar 09, 2018
Throughout my career, I have always defined “helping” others as speaking directly and counseling them about their deepest and darkest issues. This has been a meaningful and powerful career path and it has been an honor to walk with my clients through the recovery and healing process.
I have been working as the Director of Clinical Services at Aware Recovery Care, in-home addiction treatment program which has enlightened me on the power of the “home” for healing. A home is not just about the family members and loved ones who live there- although that is such an important part of full recovery from addiction and mental health issues. An individual’s environment often reflects what is happening in their mind- a projection of the chaos or obsessiveness or scattered thought patterns. But the reverse can also be true—creating order and calm in an individual’s home can impact and heal their mind and body. It was especially important to me in early sobriety to live in a home space that was a sanctuary and safe place for me emotionally, spiritually and aesthetically.
I have discovered that Design Psychology is a field that studies this intersection- because we all have experienced the impact of our home environment on our moods or vice versa. My interest in this area has led me to combine my clinical addiction and mental health experience with my passion for home redesign into “Mind Redesign” consulting. My design consultation form includes questions beyond “what colors do you like” and is more of an effort to uncover a client’s overall mood/behavioral tendencies, organization style, emotions around the home or room and other deeper information.
I am learning that I can help individuals beyond talk therapy—that creating a healing experience in the home environment is still helping and facilitating wellness. While it is a priority that individuals address their most basic needs and safety issues, their home environment can become a focus once acute issues are stabilized. It is also possible to do this in a cost-effective way, but utilizing existing items in the home, rearranging furniture or eliminating clutter.
Maybe I am thinking about my own mental health because it makes my mind “peaceful” to think about redesigning spaces and using that creative part of my brain. I also notice that going to home decor stores which have calm aesthetics like my “happy place” The Rustic Barn in CT has a stress-reducing effect on my mind. So why not help myself while helping others?
For more information about the topic of Interior Redesign go to the Mind Redesign website.