Why your physical environment matters

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I've been reflecting this week on the importance of space.  When clients first come into my therapy room, I invite them to choose where they would like to sit. I also invite them to decide where I sit.  Space matters, it impacts the way we take in, access and process information.  If you are unconvinced, try sitting in a different seat in your living room tonight, and notice the effects. 

If space matters in a therapy room, it follows that it matters everywhere else too.  We have preferences for where we like to be, what kind of environments feel comfortable, and what feels stretching, or even frightening.  Being in nature is one environment that research shows is beneficial for reducing levels of anxiety and increasing levels of well-being.  Being near water, and near trees, in particular seem to have positive effects.  Personally I find big open landscapes, be that in the mountains or at the beach, calming.  Somehow my smallness relative to the scene is grounding, it puts me and my concerns into perspective.

We also have preferences for how our physical spaces are.  I know when my home has been cleaned and tidied I experience it entirely differently to when it is messy and dirty.  For me it is an act of self-love to make order and create cleanliness, somehow I am more settled inside when my environment looks peaceful.  For someone else, having a less ordered, more organic feel to home might work better, it really is about personal preferences and norms.

Why not give some thought to how your physical environments can better serve your well-being this week?  Where do you most love to be?  How can you make more time to be there?  How can you maximise the way your home affects you?  Where would you like more flexibility in perspective, and how could using space differently give this to you? 

For a safe, stable therapeutic environment to explore this, or any other well-being issue, get in touch 

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Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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