About me

I’m a psychologist with a dream of a doctoral study or/and a career in environmental psychology, that is, the study of people-environment relationship. I’m particularly interested in built environment; psychology of architecture and design. It is not very likely that I’ll be pursuing that career  any time soon, so I started this blog to keep me motivated on the long run.

I’ll be recording and sharing what I learn about this field, and how I form and change opinions about issues that I find important and interesting. So, I expect to change my mind on some things, and look forward to it, because I expect my attitudes to get more mature as I gain more knowledge.

The researchers who work within this field provide the core of this blog, and I hope that they would benefit from this blog as well. I am especially grateful to those who share their articles in cost-free manner on their web-sites (and will link back to their sites so my readers can get more familiar with their work).

We are very visually oriented when thinking of matters of space, so addition of images to the blog is very valuable to me. I feel grateful to all those individuals who share their images for free and intend to use only creative commons licensed images in a manner specified by their authors.


Contact: zpacalat@gmail.com

12 Comments to “About me”

  1. I am very much motivated by how my office space affect my clients. Colors, types of chairs and comfortability. I would be totally interested in a career revolving around how to create therapeutic counseling spaces.

    • Hey Michael,
      actually there are more findings in the field of therapeutic hospitals than counseling offices, but maybe they’d be useful to you. As I see it, there’s only one health – no need to divide it on mental and physical (it’s a “gestalt”) – healing spaces are good for our generel well-being. If you find anything interesting on counseling spaces, please share.

  2. Hi! Reading your blog was extremely helpful. I am currently trying to study and understand the idea of the built form as something therapeutic. I am trying to understand to what extent can architecture be used to treat/cure developmental disabilities of a child. Is it possible? Would love to read your opinion of it! 🙂

    • Hi! Check out this great presentation by Peter Heijman. It sums up the relation of the built environment and health better than I could in one short answer. At one point there is a question “Is the person disabled or is the environment disabling?” I think it’s a great question because our planned-out, purposely built environment shouldn’t be disabling to anyone.
      I belive that anyone can benefit from good environment (whatever that is for them), including children with developmental disabilities. However, it’s hard to answer to what extent it can actually cure any condition (since there are too may factors influencing anyone’s health). Yet, any change for the better is significant for that one child and that one family, right?
      I see environmental interventions as a part of more holistic approach in medicine which is becoming more and more prominent (and considered less alternative than up until recently). Basically, I belive that one’s well-being can be stimulated by taking care of many other aspects of their life than just attacking the “sickness” – e.g. emotional support, physical activities, creativity excercises, and among others, environmental interventions.
      Even though environmental approach is a “light” approach (compared to, for instance, organ transplantation), it does have some hard, measurable effects – for example the patients viewing nature from their window needed less painkillers after the surgery, compared to those viewing buildings (in Urlich study in the 1970s).
      For more research findings, check out Informe design, a great site with many study summaries. Hopefully there you’ll be able to find out more about what you’re specifically interested in. I found some about classrooms for children with autism and how space and color affect cooperation among children. It’s interesting that many practitioners working with children had implemented environmental consciousness into their work long before it became a subject of scientific research (think of Waldorf, Montessori etc.).

  3. I’m so glad you found my blog, so I could find yours. I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

  4. Hi,

    I stumbled here when i googled decor for counselling room. You have quite an interesting blog here, and i’m liking the other non-counselling related content as well. Thanks.

    • Hi Bungi,

      thank you for coming by. Are you a counselor? There really isn’t enough research based literature on how to decorate a counselling room (nor too many great images if you google it, compared to interior decor for many other purposes). If you have any advice from your experience, please do share.

  5. Also, would you be able to include google +/twitter buttons so that sharing things would be easier?

  6. Hi! This is very exciting for me. I am a counselling student in Canada (hence two Ls in counselling!) completing an MA. I want to write my thesis on an aspect of how surroundings impact healing (not curing). My working title is Healing Spaces. I agree that the mental and physical should be viewed together..check this out . Any ideas of subject or literature wost appreciated.

    • Hi Anna!
      Healing space(s) is a great subject in environmental psychology and one of few that got implemented in practice very well (another is, for example, environmental infulences on consumer behaviour).
      As I still haven’t had a chance to research the issue as I’d like to (and, as you can see from my previous replies, I’ve been planning to for some time now), I’d suggest you to check informedesign.org site (if you haven’t already) to browse among many research abstracts – this is for example in health care http://www.informedesign.org/Rs.aspx?s=space&tId=664, and this is search for Healing spaces: http://www.informedesign.org/Search.aspx?sVal=healing%20spaces.
      Sorry I couldn’t help more, but maybe when you get more familiar with the subject, you could teach me something! I’d like an update on how your thesis is progressing 🙂

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