Snoezelen For Mental Health
Things change around us, both positively and negatively, and we aren’t always responsible or in control of what happens. These things can have a tremendous impact on how we live and feel. Experiencing illness, sudden or prolonged trauma, loss of loved ones, a limb or restriction of functional ability, role, employment, or home can impact deeply on thinking patterns and emotions. Our behavior may alter as we try to deal with the new situation. Often, people struggle to deal with the impact of life challenges that are out of their control, the enormity of these or feelings that are prompted as a result which can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.
We all experience difficulties as we progress through life.
This is where assistance from others can guide us and help us identify methods to help us cope with challenging experiences, both planned and unexpected, work through our emotions, change the way think, and plan a way forward with the aim of feeling better and functioning more effectively.
Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs) can be completely personalized to create a safe space for your client to completely relax, and be receptive to therapeutic interventions. Snoezelen rooms make it possible for the client or the therapist (or both) to create immersive environments where someone doesn’t feel threatened, and can feel safe and calm.
For example, if a client’s favorite experience is being in the shadows, walking among trees and in the rain – the color of the lighting equipment featured in the room (e.g. bubble tubes, fiber optics etc) can be set to darkened shades of green, a video could be played of a woodland walk, sounds of the trees, their favorite music can be played, and the scent of pine or grass and a breeze from a fan can all be triggered simultaneously.
The therapeutic goal may have simply been to create a calming space where someone can relax – lying down or seated in a comfortable beanbag or chair, away from the norms of everyday life environments. Maybe the client cannot do this elsewhere. They may benefit from various tactile items to squeeze, touch, stretch or pull – these repetitive motions can be self-soothing – this is why we have stress balls in offices! The intervention may be more complex, for example a guided purposeful relaxation script, providing a place where someone begins to talk about themselves, thoughts and a place to change thinking patterns – it is completely about the needs of the individual and how the facilitator decides to use the space from their professional perspective.
Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments provide environments where professionals can adapt the space quickly and easily to support their goals to deliver person centered care.